THE Children's book prizes give top honors to stories of young people of color.

The writer and illustrator Jerry Craft won this year's John Newbery Medal for ''New Kid,'' the first graphic novel to receive the prize for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

''New Kid'' is about a 12-year-old boy named Jordan who lives in New York City;s Washington Heights and dreams of going to art school, but his parents instead enroll him in a prestigious private school where he is one of the few students of color.

Published by Harper Collins, ''New Kid'' marks a shift from Craft's previously self-published work and reflects changing attitudes about the literary merits of a graphic novels.

''The Undefeated,'' illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander, won the Randolph Caledescott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

An ode to African-American life and accomplishments, it includes references to slavery, the civil rights movements and black heroes such as Langston Hughes , Gwendolyn Brooks and others.

''New Kid'' and ''The Undefeated'' both received Coretta Scott King awards, which recognize African-American authors and illustrators. ''The Undefeated'' was also named a Newbery Honor Book along with three others :

''Scary Stories for Young Foxes,'' written by Christian McKay Heidicker and illustrated by Junyl Wu; ''Other Words for Home,'' by Jasmine Warga; and ''Genisis Begins Again,'' by Alicia D. Williams.

Alexander had previously won the Newbery Medal for his novel ''The Crossover'' in 2015.

The awards were announced at the American Library Association's midwinter conference in Philadelphia, are some of the top prizes for young people's literature and have great influence over book sales and teacher and librarian recommendations.

Children's books over the past past several years have been at the forefront of shifting conversations around diversity and inclusion in literature and publishing.

The World Students Society thanks author Concepcion De Leon.


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