The YouPer (Young Person) Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in chapter book format. This award was given for the first time in 2014 by the Michigan Library Association. The award is given annually to one children’s book originally published in the United States during the calendar year that has captured the attention of the youth librarians throughout the State of Michigan for its ability to communicate through literature to an intended audience.

YouPer Award Guidelines (pdf)

Submit a nomination for the 2021 YouPer Award using the online form:

2021 YouPer Award Nomination Form

Award seals

Download the YouPer Award seals to use at your library! Winner, Honor Book, and Top Ten Title award seals are available for download here: MLA YouPer Award Seals 2020.pdf

2020 YouPer Award

The winner and honor books will be announced at Spring Institute 2020 during Thursday's Literary Awards Lunch! Can't make it to Spring Institute this year? Make sure to follow us on Facebook and tune in to Facebook Live, Thursday, March 19 at 12:15 when we will live-stream the event!

2020 YouPer Award Top Ten Titles

by Alyson Gerber

For Black Girls Like Me
by Mariama J. Lockington

Genesis Begins Again
by Alicia D. Williams

Lalani of the Distant Sea
by Erin Entrada Kelly

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James
by Ashley Herring Blake

New Kid (New Kid #1)
by Jerry Craft

To Night Owl from Dogfish
by Holly Goldberg Sloan, Meg Wolitzer

Planet Earth Is Blue
by Nicole Panteleakos

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe(Sal and Gabi #1)
by Carlos Hernandez

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky(Tristan Strong #1)
by Kwame Mbalia


2019 YouPer Award

The 2019 YouPer Award Work Group read and discussed 123 titles. Collectively, work group members estimate that they spent upwards of 2000 hours reading and reviewing submissions. “The 2019 YouPer Group felt very fortunate to be inundated with spectacular titles this year. We read exceptional literature all year,” said YouPer Work Group Chair Alexa Lalejini. “We loved all of our Top 10 choices this year and it was tough to choose just one winner, but we are excited to share it with libraries across Michigan.”

2019 Work Group:

  • Chair: Alexa Lalejini, Swan Valley High School
  • Vice Chair: Killian Weston, Bloomfield Township Public Library
  • Lisa Boyd, Canton Public Library
  • Lauren Catoni, Bloomfield Township Public Library
  • Heather Draft, Cromaine District Library
  • Whitney Hagen, Paw Paw District Library
  • Rebecca Hermen, Dearborn Public Library
  • Cheryl Lawrence, Branch District Library
  • Nakenya Lewis-Yarbrough, Belleville Area District Library
  • Brittany Wesner, Clinton-Macomb Public Library
  • Liz Wierenga, Kent District Library- Plainfield

Front Desk Book Cover

2019 YouPer Award Winner and Honor Books

The work group reads throughout the year to narrow selections to the top titles and select the winner and honor books. The 2019 YouPer Top Ten were announced at the 2019 Spring Institute Conference. The winning title and honor books were announced at the 2019 MLA Annual Conference, October 16-18, 2019 in Novi.

The winner of the 2019 YouPer award is Front Desk by Kelly Yang, published by Arthur A Levine Books.

Honor Books include Breakout by Kate Messner, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books; Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, published by Nancy Paulsen Books; No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen, published by Tundra Books; and Sweep by Jonathan Auxier, published by Puffin Books.

2019 YouPer Top Ten Titles


Blended by Sharon M. Draper book coverGhost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes book coverFront Desk by Kelly Yang book coverHarbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson book coverSweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier book coverBreakout by Kate Messner book coverIt Wasn’t Me by Dana Alison Levy book coverCity of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab book coverAru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet #1) by Roshani Chokshi book coverNo Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen book cover

2019 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

Past YouPer Award Winners and Honor Books

 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

Past YouPer Award Winners and Honor Books (pdf)


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