MLA Youth Literary Awards

The MLA Youth Literary Awards promote excellence in literature for youth. Each year work groups made up of library staff in Michigan spend thousands of hours reading, reviewing and discussing hundreds of books to come up with the top titles published in the calendar year.

 

Mitten Award

The Mitten Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in picture book format.

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YouPer Award

The YouPer (Young Person) Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in chapter book format.

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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.

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MLA 2022 Youth Literary Awards Winners and Honor Books

We announced the winners and honor books of the 2022  Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards on Friday, May 27 at the MLA 2022 Youth Literary Awards. The awards selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to determine the top titles published in 2021. Watch the announcement below! Download the full list of winners.

2022 Mitten Award Winner

Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World 
By Matt de la Pena, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

2022 YouPer Award Winner

Ophie's Ghost

Ophie’s Ghosts 
By Justina Ireland

2022 Thumbs Up! Award Winner

In the Wild Light

In the Wild Light
By Jeff Zentner

  

2022 Mitten Award

The Mitten Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in picture book format. 

Winner

Milo Imagines the World 
Author: Matt de la Peña 
Illustrator: Christian Robinson 
Publisher: Putnam Publishers

Top Ten Titles

(Listed in random order) 

Milo Imagines the World 
Author: Matt de la Peña 
Illustrator: Christian Robinson 
Publisher: Putnam Publishers

Out of Nowhere 
Author: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros 
Illustrator: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Time for Bed, Old House 
Author: Janet Costa Bates 
Illustrator: A.G. Ford
Publisher: Candlewick

We All Play 
Author: Julie Flett 
Illustrator: Julie Flett 
Publisher: Greystone Books

Best Day Ever! 
Author: Marilyn Singer 
Illustrator: Leah Nixon 
Publisher: Clarion

Dumplings for Lili 
Author: Melissa Iwai 
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai 
Publisher: Norton Young Readers 

Looking for a Jumbie 
Author: Tracey Baptiste 
Illustrator: Amber Ren 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 

Areli is a Dreamer: A True Story by Areli Morales, a DACA Recipient 
Author: Areli Morales 
Illustrator: Luisa Uribe
Publisher: Random House Studio

The Midnight Fair 
Author: Gideon Sterer 
Illustrator: Mariachiara Di Giorgio 
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Dad Bakes 
Author: Katie Yamasaki 
Illustrator: Katie Yamasaki 
Publisher: Norton Young Readers     

2022 YouPer (Young Person) Award

The YouPer (Young Person) Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in chapter book format.

Winner

Ophie’s Ghosts
Author: Justina Ireland 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Imprint of Harper Collins)

Honor Books

Cece Rios and the Desert of Lost Souls 
Author: Kaela Rivera 
Publisher: Harper an Imprint of Harper Collins

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids 
Author: Edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith 
Publisher: Heartdrum an Imprint of Harper Collins 

Top Ten Titles

(Listed in random order) 

Starfish 
Author: Lisa Fipps 
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books an Imprint of Penguin Random House

Maya and the Robot
Author: Eve L. Ewing 
Illustrator: Christine Almeda 
Publisher: Kokila an Imprint of Penguin Random House 

Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna
Author: Alda P. Dobbs 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Young Readers

The Swag is in the Socks 
Author: Kelly J. Baptist
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers an Imprint of Penguin Random House

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt 
Author: Varian Johnson 
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Ophie’s Ghosts 
Author: Justina Ireland 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray an Imprint of Harper Collins

World In Between
Author: Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro 
Illustrator: Susan Shapiro 
Publisher: Clarion Books an Imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

The Comeback 
Author: E. L. Shen 
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young People an Imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group 

Cece Rios and the Desert of Lost Souls
Author: Kaela Rivera 
Publisher: Harper an Imprint of Harper Collins

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids 
Author: Edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith 
Publisher: Heartdrum an Imprint of Harper Collins

2022 Thumbs Up! Award

The Thumbs Up! Award recognizes outstanding contribution to teen literature with both literary quality and teen appeal, with characters, setting, subject and themes that appeal to teens age 13 to 18 years old.

Winner

In the Wild Light 
Author: Jeff Zenter 
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Reader, part of Penguin Random House

Honor Books

Firekeeper’s Daughter 
Author:  Angeline Boulley 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., an Imprint of Macmillan

Concrete Rose 
Author:  Angie Thomas 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

The Girls I’ve Been
Author: Tess Sharpe 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

All of Us Villains
Author: Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman 
Publisher: Tor Teen, an Imprint of Macmillan Publishers 

Top Ten Titles

(Listed in random order)

In the Wild Light 
Author: Jeff Zenter 
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Reader, part of Penguin Random House

Firekeeper’s Daughter  
Author:  Angeline Boulley  
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., an Imprint of Macmillan

Concrete Rose  
Author:  Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

The Girls I’ve Been 
Author: Tess Sharpe 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

You’d Be Home Now 
Author: Kathleen Glasgow 
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an Imprint of Penguin Random House 

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry 
Author: Joya Goffney 
Publisher: HarperTeen, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers 

Muted
Author: Tami Charles 
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Reads, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

Instructions for Dancing 
Author: Nicola Yoon 
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

All of Us Villains
Author: Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman
Publisher: Tor Teen, an Imprint of Macmillan Publishers

 

 


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