Another year of kids’ books has passed. The ALA Youth Media Awards committees have awarded the books they thought most distinguished and deserving. As always, there were some really good books that got left out. Completely blanked of any ALA awards. Sometimes there are some good reasons for this. The committees found something in the book problematic or less distinguished. Sometimes it’s just a matter of opinion. Someone on a particular committee didn’t like a certain book, and was very vocal about it.

It’s a shame, but they honestly can’t award every good book. I thought it would be fun to have a post recognizing recent books that I thought were great, but didn’t bring home anything from the Youth Media Awards.


As you can see from the cover, Ghost, was a National Book Award finalist, but somehow didn’t get any recognition at the 2017 YMA’s, which is a shame. I’ve had three fifth graders tell me this year, that this is the best book they’ve ever read. The whole quartet  is phenomenal. I’m sad to see it end. Ghost did get on the 2017 ALSC notable children’s books list. I am 100% certain of that 🙂


So many people thought this was going to take home the Caldecott. It didn’t. It didn’t even get on the notables list, despite my best efforts. I received quite a few Twitter dms and Facebook messages after the list was revealed asking me why it was left out. I didn’t really have a good answer. I think it should have been on there. It just goes to show that someone on a committee can really love a book, and it can still get left out.


This is one that I loved and hoped would be recognized more than it was. I was happy to see it on the 2019 notables list, though.


Sigh. Pax was my failed 2017 Newbery prediction. It was also a National Book Award nominee and was also on the notables list. I can tell you that the committee loved it.

potato pants

I knew this one probably wouldn’t be bringing home anything, because there wasn’t really an award whose criteria it fit perfectly. It’s a shame, though. It’s a great picture book.


Since I first read this one, I felt like it is destined to be one of those picture books that will be a classic. It’s brilliant. It got on plenty of lists, including notables, but didn’t win anything at the YMA’s


I thought for sure this one would at least get a 2014 Caldecott honor. Nope. Nothing. It made the notables list, though.


There was a collective gasp from Children’s librarians across the world when this one didn’t get at least a Newbery honor. Maybe not really, but that’s how it felt to me. It was also a National Book Award Finalist and an ALSC notable children’s book.


This one was on a lot of mock Newbery lists, and rightfully so. It’s a great book. My friends on the 2019 notables committee didn’t let me down with this one.

faithful spy

This book is good. It pretty much got left out of everything. I love it even more for that.

we don't eat out classmates

This was another one that I didn’t really see winning anything, but I know Betsy Bird had it as a Caldecott hopeful. It might be my favorite book of 2018. It’s definitely one of my favorites. It will be a back- to-school read aloud for years and years to come.


There were so many people upset when Wonder didn’t get even get a Newbery honor in 2013.  I was firmly on team Ivan, so I was happy with the choice, but yeah, this book is remarkable and could have been an honor. It was a notable book, though, and trust me, after the movie, Wonder is doing just fine, and will be circulating for a loooong time.


Another National Book Award finalist and notable children’s book that was left out at the YMA’s. You can group the followup,  Louisiana’s Way Home in with this one.

a perfect day

A beautiful, funny picture book that didn’t win a thing.

little charlie

ANOTHER National Book Award finalist that didn’t win anything. It didn’t even get on the 2019 notables list, which I admit that I don’t understand.


That’s it for now. I’m sure there are so many books that should be on this list, but I made it in like five minutes. It is by no means comprehensive.

Go check out or buy one of these books. They are good, and they need a hug.