Barnes & Noble Announces the Inaugural Barnes & Noble Children’s & Young Adult Book Awards

Press Release

Barnes & Noble Announces the Inaugural Barnes & Noble Children’s & Young Adult Book Awards

The New Awards Celebrate Outstanding Talent in Children’s Publishing

New York, NY – (March 15, 2021) – Barnes & Noble, with bookstores in every state across the United States, today announced the inaugural Barnes & Noble Children’s & YA Book Awards.  The awards give a national platform to outstanding new and emerging talent in children’s publishing in three categories of Picture Books, Young Readers and Young Adult. 

The Shortlists in each category have been nominated by the bookseller’s team of book buyers and the children’s booksellers in stores across the country. The booksellers have set out specifically to highlight outstanding books from new talent and by authors early in their careers.

Barnes & Noble plays a unique role in helping authors find a wide audience, especially in recent years. The bookseller launched its Book of the Year in 2019 which propelled the unknown The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy into the bestseller lists where it has remained ever since. In 2020, it was the turn of World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil from Milwaukee based nonprofit publisher Milkweed.

The Barnes & Noble Children’s and YA Book Awards will now play a similar role in children’s publishing. “We are very proud as a bookseller to support the careers of authors,” said James Daunt, CEO, Barnes & Noble. “It is especially exciting to bring truly outstanding talent to everyone’s attention. Our booksellers have assembled a shortlist of stunning quality and these Awards will launch hitherto lesser-known authors on long and glittering careers.”  

“We are delighted to introduce the Barnes & Noble Children’s & YA Book Awards,” said Jackie De Leo, Vice President, Bookstore, Barnes & Noble. “These awards were born out of the desire to recognize the children’s and YA books that rise above a crowded and competitive field to become favorites that we recommend in stores from coast to coast. The six titles in each category are all fantastic and narrowing it down to the winner will be a challenge for our judges.”

Barnes & Noble Children’s & YA Book Awards Finalists will be displayed in stores and on starting today, with the winner chosen in each category announced on May 3rd.  

Picture Books

“Our Picture Book finalists are sure to spark the imaginations of our very youngest readers by combining exciting visual storytelling with fun ways to learn and develop, as pictures are key to bringing stories to life,” said Scott Berkowitz, Manager, Children’s Books, Barnes & Noble. “These six titles range from the silly and sweet to the poignant and emotional. They truly offer something for everyone.”

The Picture Book Shortlist titles are:

Young Readers

With so much great publishing in the last year our Young Reader finalist selection was nearly impossible to narrow down,” said Stephanie Pinheiro, Manager, Young Reader and Young Adult Books, Barnes & Noble. “These six fantastic books feature diverse characters and engaging storylines with magic, myth, adventure and real-life choices that appeal to Young Readers.”

The Young Reader Shortlist titles are:

Young Adult

“The Young Adult genre continues to grow, and our finalists reflect the increasingly mature and intelligent publishing in this space,” said Stephanie Pinheiro. “From fantasy to thrillers to realistic fiction this list of titles boasts hard-hitting plotlines and complex characterization that Young Adult readers are drawn to.”

The Young Adult Shortlist titles are:

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About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest retail bookseller in the United States, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company has over 600 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, as well as the Nook Digital business and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be found on the Company's website at