First presented in 1967, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Winners and Honor Books are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction.
Picture Book Winner
When You Can Swim by Jack Wong
A reverent celebration of learning to swim among a diverse cast of children and families who each experience the mysterious joys of water in nature. In this exploration of what it truly means to swim, expansive vignettes introduce sandpipers, tannin-soaked lakes, and the feeling of a small waterfall on sun-soaked shoulders. But what about those who are afraid of the water’s mysterious ways and resist learning to swim? Painting a compelling picture of the many joys and surprises that the water holds, artist and author Jack Wong has delivered an empowering, poetic journey that invites children to discover their confidence within to receive the warmth and wonder of the natural world.
Picture Book Honor
Remember by Joy Harjo and Michaela Goade
Remember the sky you were born under,
Know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn,
That is the strongest point of time.
So begins the picture book adaptation of the renowned poem that encourages young readers to reflect on family, nature, and their heritage. In simple and direct language, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, urges readers to pay close attention to who they are, the world they were born into, and how all inhabitants on earth are connected. Michaela Goade, drawing from her Tlingit culture, has created vivid illustrations that make the words come alive in an engaging and accessible way.
Picture Book Honor
Standing in the Need of Prayer by Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison
Stretching more than four hundred years, this book features pivotal moments in history, such as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619; Nat Turner’s rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.
Fiction and Poetry Winner
Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley
Perry Firekeeper-Birch was ready for her Summer of Slack but instead, after a fender bender that was entirely not her fault, she’s stuck working to pay back her Auntie Daunis for repairs to the Jeep.
Thankfully she has the other outcasts of the summer program, Team Misfit Toys, and even her twin sister Pauline. Together they ace obstacle courses, plan vigils for missing women in the community, and make sure summer doesn’t feel so lost after all.
But when she attends a meeting at a local university, Perry learns about the “Warrior Girl”, an ancestor whose bones and knife are stored in the museum archives, and everything changes. Perry has to return Warrior Girl to her tribe. Determined to help, she learns all she can about NAGPRA, the federal law that allows tribes to request the return of ancestral remains and sacred items. The university has been using legal loopholes to hold onto Warrior Girl and twelve other Anishinaabe ancestors’ remains, and Perry and the Misfits won’t let it go on any longer.
Fiction and Poetry Honor
Promise Boys by Nick Brooks
The prestigious Urban Promise Prep school might look pristine on the outside, but deadly secrets lurk within. When the principal ends up murdered on school premises and the cops come sniffing around, a trio of students―J.B., Ramón, and Trey―emerge as the prime suspects. They had the means, they had the motive . . . and they may have had the murder weapon. But with all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. Or is the true culprit hiding among them?
Fiction and Poetry Honor
When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhhà Lại
Hà and her family have worked hard to make a life for themselves in the US, but it hasn’t come easy. Hà has only just started to feel settled when Mother decides that the family will move to Texas for a new job.
Hà knows how hard starting over is and doesn’t want to have to do it again. But sometimes even an unwanted change can bring opportunity, new friends, and a place to call home.
Sunshine by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
When Jarrett J. Krosoczka was in high school, he was part of a program that sent students to be counselors at a camp for seriously ill kids and their families. Going into, Jarrett was worried: Wouldn’t it be depressing, to be around kids facing such a serious struggle? Wouldn’t it be grim?
But instead of the shadow of death, Jarrett found something else at Camp Sunshine: the hope and determination that gets people through the most troubled of times. Not only was he subject to some of the usual rituals that come with being a camp counselor (wilderness challenges, spooky campfire stories, an extremely stinky mascot costume), but he also got a chance to meet some extraordinary kids facing extraordinary circumstances. He learned about the captivity of illness, for sure . . . but he also learned about the freedom a safe space can bring.
H Is for Harlem by Dinah Johnson and April Harrison
A is for Apollo Theatre
L is for Liberation Bookstore
U is for Uptown
Discover the Harlem icons that have defined generations of American culture. Harlem is full of remarkable treasures, including museums, performance spaces, community centers, and more—all of which come to life in this lavish celebration of Harlem as an epicenter of African American history and a vibrant neighborhood that continues to shape our world. At once a love letter and a rich alphabetical archive, H Is for Harlem highlights communities and traditions that connect our past and present.
Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy and Janelle Washington
Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered while visiting the South in 1955. His death became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but few know that it was his mother who was the catalyst for bringing his name to the forefront of history.