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2019 Literary Awards Top Titles

Girl reading on top of pile of books

The 2019 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! award selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to establish their lists of the top titles published in 2018. We look forward to revealing the winners and honor books this October at the MLA 2019 Annual Conference in Novi!

Review the short list of titles vying for the 2019 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! awards and share them with your patrons to see if they agree with our work groups’ selections. The Thumbs Up! Award selection includes a teen vote, teens can vote for their favorite title from the top ten list through May 31. Learn more

MLA thanks the 2019 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! work group members who dedicated hours of their time and expertise to select the top titles, winners and honor books.

2019 YouPer (Young Person) Award

The YouPer Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in chapter book format. Read more about the YouPer Award here.

Top Ten Titles (in random order)

  • Blended by Sharon Draper
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
  • Breakout by Kate Messner
  • It Wasn’t Me by Dana Alison Levy
  • City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet #1) by Roshani Chokshi
  • No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen

2019 Mitten Award

Recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in picture book format. Read more about the Mitten Award here.

Top Ten Titles (in random order)

  • The Honeybee by Kristin Hall, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
  • The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins
  • I am a Cat by Galia Bernstein
  • Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri
  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
  • Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth by Kate Gardner, illustrated by Heidi Smith
  • Zola’s Elephant by Randall de Sève, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
  • A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
  • Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers (Eric and Terry Fan)

2019 Thumbs Up! Award

The Thumbs Up! Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and teen appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. Read more about the Thumbs Up! Award here. The award selection process includes a teen vote. Through May 31, teens aged 13 to 18 can vote online for their favorite book from the top ten titles. Distribute the top ten list to your teen patrons and encourage them to vote! Download the top ten list(pdf).

Please also consider posting a direct link to the survey on your own library website (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019ThumbsUpTeenVote). Voting can be done online from home or from the library through May 31, 2019. The winner of the Thumbs Up! Award and honor books will be announced at the MLA 2019 Annual Conference in Novi this October.

Top Ten Titles (in random order)

  • Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland
  • I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
  • I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor's Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope by Chessy Prout and Jenn Abelson
  • Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
  • A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
  • Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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