Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pura Belpré Awards Winners and Historic Wins in the 2016 Youth Media Awards

REFORMA Announces the 2016 Pura Belpré Awards Winners and Celebrates Historic Wins in the 2016 Youth Media Awards 
Every year, the American Library Association (ALA) awards and honors the most distinguished youth books, audiobooks, and videos published in the United States. 

The Pura Belpré Award was established 20 years ago to acknowledge Latino/Latina authors and illustrators whose works best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in outstanding work for children and youth. We can reiterate the significance of the Belpré Awards through the years, and its role in highlighting and acknowledging Latino/Latino authors and illustrators and setting them in the landscape of the children’s literature world. 
The Pura Belpré 2016 winners and honors were announced amidst an enthusiastic crowd at the Youth Media Awards during ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston, MA. 
Winners of the Belpré Medal are:
“Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music”, illustrated by Rafael López is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Margarita Engle and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
“Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir”, written by Margarita Engle is the Belpré Author Award winner.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were named:
“My Tata’s Remedies/Los remedios de mi tata”, illustrated by Antonio Castro L., written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, and published by Cinco Puntos Press. 
“Mango, Abuela, And Me”, illustrated by Ángela Domínguez, written by Meg Medina, and published by Candlewick Press. 
“Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras”, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Abrams. 

Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named:
“The Smoking Mirror”, written by David Bowles, and published by IFWG Publishing, Inc. 
“Mango, Abuela, and Me”, written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Ángela Domínguez, and published by Candlewick Press. 

In addition to the outstanding Pura Belpré honorees, the rest of the announcements made at the 2016 Youth Media Awards marked a historic and unique moment in Latino children’s literature when Latino authors and illustrators received an unprecedented amount of medals and honors across different awards. 

Matt de la Peña became the first Latino to win the Newbery Medal, which is considered to be the top award given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children, for his picture book, “Last Stop on Market Street”, illustrated by Christian Robinson. In the most distinguished informational book category, Duncan Tonatiuh became the first Latino to win the Sibert Informational Book Medal for “Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras”. 

Other Latino/Latina authors recognized at the 2016 ALA Youth Media Awards were: Pam Muñoz Ryan for “Echo” (Newbery Honor & Odyssey Honor), Ricardo Liniers Siri for “Written and Drawn by Henrietta” (Batchelder Honor), Anna-Marie McLemore for “The Weight of Feathers” (Morris Award finalist), Margarita Engle for “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir” (YALSA Award for Excellence in Non-Fiction for Young Adults finalist), and Dan-el Padilla Peralta for “Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League” (Alex Award). 

“The historic moment was twenty years in the making since the establishment of the Pura Belpré Awards” says Oralia Garza de Cortés, co-founder of the Belpré Award. “The Pura Belpré Awards lay the groundwork for the recognition and inclusion of Latino authors and illustrators for children onto today’s literary stage”, she said. REFORMA is proud of all the Latino authors and illustrators recognized at this year’s Youth Media Awards, whose victories affirmed by their past and present recognition from the Belpré Award continue to demonstrate their important contribution to children’s literature. We are looking forward to celebrate our trajectory with past winners and Latino children’s literature supporters on June 26th during the 20th Anniversary Pura Belpré Celebración at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. 

Established in 1996, the Pura Belpré Award is named after a pioneer in Latino librarianship, Pura Belpré, who revolutionized the role of Latinos and people of color in the library field as well as empowering the Puerto Rican community through her work. 

For more information on the Pura Belpré award: 
Established in 1971, REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos. For more information on REFORMA, visit 


luischaparro said...

Great news!
Thank you for sharing

Lupe Ruiz-Flores said...

Wonderful, wonderful news! Congratulations to all!