YALSA Now Has Its Own Select Group of Best Nonfiction Books — and here it is:
Out of this group of five, one will be selected as the medalist the other four are, thus, honor books. This does not mean Printz = Fiction. NF is just as eligible for the Printz as it ever was — but that is the point. Printz committees have shown an overwhelming preference for novels. Now we can at least be sure that the best YA NF will get noticed.
The middle grade and YA award world thus now looks like this:
Newbery — all books, but generally won by novels; readers through age 14
Sibert — NF readers through age 14
NBA — all books, through age 18, won this year for the first time by NF
Printz all books, always won by novels, readers 12-18
New Yalsa NF, readers 12-18
there are others of course — CSK, Pura Belpre, LA Times YA but we are getting somewhere.
I have to admit a moment of personal pride as I have advocated for many of these awards. The larger point is — we can change the system. If something is wrong, we can speak out, and work to fix it. That’s the message of the new awards. And, of course, of many of the books we write for teenaged readers.