2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners Announced

I Talk Like a River, A Sitting in St. James, and From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry won this year's Boston Globe-Horn Book awards for excellence in children's and YA literature.

The Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton announced the winners of the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, which honor excellence in children’s and YA literature. 

The award is given in three categories: Picture Book; Fiction and Poetry; and Nonfiction. The winning titles must be the first U.S. editions of books published between June 2020 and May 2021 but may be written or illustrated by citizens of any country.

The 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners are:

Picture Book: I Talk like a River by Jordan Scott, illus. by Sydney Smith. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books.

Fiction and Poetry: A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia. HarperCollins/ Quill Tree Books.

Nonfiction: From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo. Norton.

Two honor books were selected in each category.

Picture Book honor titles: I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illus. by Gordon C. James. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen; Watercress by Andrea Wang, illus. by Jason Chin. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books.

Fiction and Poetry honor books: Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Dial; Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi with Yusef Salaam, illus. by Omar T. Pasha. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray.

Nonfiction honors: All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat. Candlewick; Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Floyd Cooper. Lerner/Carolrhoda.

The awards were chosen by a panel of three judges: chair Luann Toth, former reviews editor at SLJ, librarian, and reviewer; Shoshana Flax, associate editor, The Horn Book, Inc., Boston, MA; and Nicholl Denice Montgomery, PhD candidate and teaching fellow in the curriculum and instruction department at Boston College.

“I love the way these nine books show us nine ways of seeing the world, and I thank and commend the judges for their embrace of books that show the difficulties as well as the riches of the human experience,” said Sutton, in his announcement.

Winners and honorees will receive their awards at the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony in October.

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