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Local authors M.T. Anderson, Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes and artist Ekua Holmes win American Library Association awards

Boston, MA - 12/5/2016 - Artist Ekua Holmes posed for a portrait in her studio in the Piano Factory in Boston, MA on December 5, 2016. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff) Topic: Reporter:
Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/file 2016
Ekua Holmes

Meg Medina’s “Merci Suarez Changes Gears” has won the prestigious John Newbery Medal for “the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.” Sophie Blackall’s “Hello Lighthouse” received the Randolph Caldecott Medal for “the most distinguished American picture book for children.” The awards were announced Monday in Seattle by the American Library Association.

The ALA also selected writer M.T. Anderson of Cambridge, artist Ekua Holmes of Boston, and Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes of Cambridge for awards.

Anderson won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for “lifetime achievement in writing for young adults” and Holmes won the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award for “The Stuff of Stars,” written by Marion Dane Bauer. Kensky and Downes, along with illustrator Scott Magoon, received the Schneider Family Book Award for “Rescue & Jessica A Life-Changing Friendship.”

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Claire Hartfield’s “A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919” won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award “recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.” Elizabeth Acevedo’s “The Poet X” won the Michael L. Printz Award for “excellence in literature written for young adults” and the Pura Belpré Author Award for Latino literature.

Neil Gaiman received the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and the late Walter Dean Myers won the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.ASSOCIATED PRESS