On Monday, 15th March, Barnes & Noble announced nominees for their Children’s and YA Book Awards. The awards will honor the books that have been published from March 2020 to March 2021. The award categories include Best Picture Books, Best Young Reader Books and Best YA Books. The winners of the awards will be announced on May 3.

Barnes & Noble is a chain of bookstores. It is an American bookseller. Barnes & Noble are the booksellers with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States. The company operates over 627 retail stores in all 50 states of United States. Most of the stores sell books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, graphic novels, games, toys and music.

This is the first year for Barnes & Noble Children’s and YA Book Awards. Barnes & Noble buyers and sellers will be able to single out books that they consider to be extraordinary by new authors and authors who are early in their careers. James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble, said on the Children’s and YA Book Awards, “We are very proud as a bookseller to support the careers of authors. 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.”

The categories Children, Young Reader and Young Adult include six titles each. The finalists for Barnes & Noble Children’s and YA Book Awards are:

The finalists in the Barnes & Noble Children Category are:

  • All Because You Matter
  • Every Night Is Pizza Night
  • Fern And Otto
  • Mel Fell
  • The Whatifs
  • What The Road Said

All Because You Matter

All Because You Matter is a book by Tami Charles;  and has art by Bryan Collier. The book is a love letter and reminder to Black and brown children that whatever happens, good or bad, they matter and always will.

Every Night Is Pizza Night

Every Night Is Pizza Night is a book by J. Kenji López-Alt with art by Gianna Ruggiero. The story is about Pipo. The books follows Pipo on a quest to prove pizza is the best, but she realizes best is not what she thinks it means. 

Fern And Otto

Fern and Otto is a book by Stephanie Graegin. The book is about the exciting adventures of two best friends, Fern the bear and Otto the cat, as they go in search of an exciting story. The book has captivating adventures intertwined with some of the most well-known and beloved fairy tales we all love.

Mel Fell

Mel Fell is a book by Corey R. Tabor. The book is about a bird named Mel, who is on her journey from falling down to successful flight.

The Whatifs

The Whatifs is a book by Emily Kilgore with art by Zoe Persico.The book is about Cora who is always worrying about ‘what if?’ The book is for all ages, and is useful for discussing anxiety.

What The Road Said

What The Road Said is a book by Cleo Wade with art by Lucie de Moyencourt. The book will be available from March 23. The book is about how we sometimes walk down the wrong path, its okay to be afraid  and we should live with kindness and curiosity. 

The finalists in the Barnes & Noble Young Readers category are:

  • Amari And The Night Brothers
  • Everything Sad Is Untrue
  • The List Of Things That Will Not Change
  • Twins
  • When Stars Are Scattered 
  • Wink
The finalists in the Barnes & Noble Young Readers category

Amari And The Night Brothers

Amai and the Night Brothers is a book by B.B. Alston. The book is about Amari Peters,who is courageous and clever. She knows her missing brother, Quinton, is alive, and she is ready to do whatever it takes to find him.

Everything Sad Is Untrue

Everything Sad is Untrue is a by Daniel Nayeri. It is an autobiographical novel about a young Iranian refugee who arrives in Oklahoma. The book is mesmerizing and heart-wrenching.

The List Of Things That Will Not Change

The List of Things That will Not Change is a book by Rebecca Stead. The story is about Bea’s life as it changes dramatically when her parents get divorced. The book is honest and pleasant.


Twins is a book by Varian Johnson with art by Shannon Wright. This is a graphical novel about Maureen and Francine Carter, who are twins and best friends. However, when Francine becomes Fran and sets herself apart, everything changes. The book is a coming-of-age story and is about sisterhood.

When Stars Are Scattered 

When Stars are Scattered is a book by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. The book is about Omar and his younger brother, Hassan. They live in a refugee camp in Kenya. When Omar gets an opportunity to go to school, he knows it is a chance to change his and his brother’s future but it also means leaving his brother everyday, who is the only family member Omar has. When Stars are Scattered is a novel about hope.


Wink is a book by Rob Harrell. The book is about twelve year old Ross Maloy, who wants to be a normal seventh grader, but his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer keeps him from being normal. When Ross starts to feel like he’s losing, he discovers how music, art, and true friends can change everything. Wink is a heartfelt and hilarious book.

The finalists in the Barnes & Noble Young Adult category are:

  • The Black Kids
  • Cemetery Boys
  • Felix Ever After
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter
  • Punching The Air
  • These Violent Delights
The finalists in the Barnes & Noble Young Adult category

The Black Kids

The Black Kids is YA book by Christina Hammonds Reed. The book is about Ashley Bennett, whose comfortable life changes when the 1992 Rodney King riots dramatically change her world and suddenly she goes from being one of the girls to one of the Black kids. The book explores issues like systemic racism, classism and police brutality.

Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys is a YA novel by Aiden Thomas. The book is follows Yadriel, when he performs a ritual to help his traditional Latinx family accept his true gender but the things do not go as planned as Yadriel summons a ghost who refuses leave. The book is an enthralling YA novel.

Felix Ever After

Felix Ever After is book by Kacen Callender. The book is about Felix Love. Felix is a Black, queer and transgender teen. He is struggling with his identity and finding love, for himself and from others. Felix Ever After is a poignant coming-of-age story of falling in love with yourself and others.

Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a YA thriller book by Angeline Boulley. The book is about Daunis Fontaine. Her dreams of studying medicine are put on hold when a family tragedy strikes. When Daunis witnesses a murder, she is thrust into the heart of a criminal investigation. Firekeeper’s Daughter, depicts the complexities of Native communities and the trauma and strength of Native women.

Punching The Air

Pushing the Air is a YA novel by author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. Pushing the Air is a story of sixteen year old Amal Shahid who is wrongfully incarcerated. The book gives insights into the American criminal justice system. Pushing the Air is a story about how Amal maintains his humanity and fights for the truth, in a system that is designed to strip him of both.

These Violent Delights

These Violent Delights is a YA novel by Chloe Gong. The book is set in 1926 Shanghai and is about former lovers Juliette Cai and Roma Montagove. They are heirs to respective Shanghai gangs, and must work together to stop the mayhem in the city. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is an imaginative retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai.

Also Read: Free Mini Roadside Libraries Can Change Life Of Many Underprivileged People