Teen Librarians Pick 2021 Mock Book Award Winners

Every January, our teen services librarians gather to try to predict the winners of the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards. Of course, this year we talked over Zoom instead of meeting in person. Despite it being the weirdest year ever, the mock awards discussions were awesome and I'm so happy to share the results.

Mock Printz

The Printz Award is given to the most literary book written for teens. 

This year, the Mock Printz winner is Punching the Air, the story of Amal, a Black teen who is wrongly convicted of a crime and incarcerated because of circumstantial evidence. He ultimately finds hope through art.

Two honor books were chosen:  

Tigers, Not Daughters deals with the aftermath of the death of Ana, the oldest Torres girl, and how grief affects the remaining three sisters who are haunted by her ghost.

Told from multiple perspectives, Kent State describes the tragic events on the Ohio college campus during the student protests in May 1970.

Mock Morris

The Morris Award is given to the best book for teens written by a debut author.

The Mock Morris winner this year is Raybearer, the mesmerizing fantasy tale about Tarisai, a girl sent by her mother, The Lady, to kill the Crown Prince, but destined to find her own path to power.

Two honor books were chosen:  

In Cemetery Boys, trans teen Yadriel just wants to be accepted by his family as a brujo, but he gets sidetracked during his initiation ceremony by the ghost of a guy named Julian.

Every Body Looking follows Ada, a Nigerian-American teen, as she goes off to college, pursues her love of dance and reflects on her troubled relationship with her addict mom.

Mock Nonfiction

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults is given to the best nonfiction book written for teens.
This year, CPL librarians chose Stamped, Jason Reynolds' "remix" of the adult book Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. It covers the history of racism and antiracism in America in the down-to-earth, sarcastic tone that makes Reynolds such a popular author.

Two honor books were chosen: 

All Boys Aren't Blue is an excellent memoir by George M. Johnson about growing up Black and queer in New Jersey. 

Atomic Women reveals how many brilliant women scientists helped to create the atomic bomb during World War II but never got the credit they deserved. 

Mock Graphic Novel and Manga

The Mock Graphic Novel and Manga Award, loosely based on the Eisner Award, is given to the best graphic novel or manga written for teens.

The winner this year is Dancing at the Pity Party, a heart-wrenching graphic memoir about the author's mom dying of cancer when she was 19 and how she used humor to process her grief.

Two honor books were chosen: 

Spy X Family starts a hilarious manga series about a secret agent named Twilight who must create a fake family to take down a corrupt political leader.

Not your average superhero comic, You Brought Me the Ocean shows how Jake Hyde discovers his ability to control water and finds love at the same time.

What 2020 teen books do you think deserved to win all the awards?