"The One and Only Ivan," a touching story told by a silverback gorilla held captive in a shopping mall, on Monday won the John Newbery Medal, the top award in children's literature.
Katherine Applegate's middle school-level story was honored during the final day of the American Library Association's midwinter conference in Seattle.
More than 30 books and their authors or illustrators received one of the ALA's Youth Media Awards, but the Newbery and the ALA's award for best illustrated children's book, the Randolph Caldecott Medal, are considered the Oscars of the children's publishing world. Winners often are added to school reading lists and seldom go out of print.
The Caldecott this year went to "This Is Not My Hat," written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, a companion to his 2011 picture book "I Want My Hat Back."
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the year's best early-reader book was given to "Up, Tall and High" by Ethan Long.
The Coretta Scott King awards honor an African American author and illustrator. "I, Too, Am America" by Bryan Collier received the illustrator award, while the CSK author award went to Andrea Davis Pinkney's "Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America." Pinkney also was named the May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer for 2014.
"In Darkness" by Nick Lake, set in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, received the Michael L. Printz Award for best young-adult book.
The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Award was presented to "Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World's Most Dangerous Weapon" by Steve Sheinkin, which was a triple winner. It also was named a Newbery Honor book and won the Young Adult Library Services Association's award for excellence in nonfiction for young adults.
Another triple winner was "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It was named a Printz Honor book, plus received the Pura Belpré author award, honoring a Latino writer, and the Stonewall Book Award, relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
The Belpre illustrator award went to "Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert," illustrated by David Diaz and written by Gary D. Schmidt.
Katherine Paterson, author of many children's books including "The Bridge to Terabithia," was presented the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lasting contributions to children's literature.
Author Tamora Pierce, known for her many fantasy series including "Protector of the Small," received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement.
"Anna, Emma and the Condors" by Katja Torneman earned the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video.
"Seraphina" by Rachel Hartman received the William C. Morris Award for debut book written for teens.
Other Newbery Honor books were "Splendors and Glooms" by Laura Amy Schlitz and "Three Times Lucky" by Sheila Turnage.
Five Caldecott Honor books were: "Creepy Carrots!" illustrated by Peter Brown and written by Aaron Reynolds; "Extra Yarn," illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett; "Green," illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; "One Cool Friend," illustrated by David Small and written by Toni Buzzeo; and "Sleep Like a Tiger," illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Mary Logue.
Other Printz Honor books are "Code Name Verity" by Elizabeth Wein; "Dodger" by Terry Pratchett; and "The White Bicycle" by Beverley Brenna.
For a full list of winners, go to www.ala.org/yma.