‘Hello, Universe’ wins Newbery for best children’s book

This cover image released by Greenwillow Books shows "Hello, Universe," by Erin Entrada Kelly, which won the John Newbery Medal for the outstanding children’s book of 2017. (Greenwillow Books via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Erin Entrada Kelly’s “Hello, Universe,” a nuanced account of a diverse group of middle school students and their unexpected encounters, has won the John Newbery Medal for the outstanding children’s book of 2017. The Randolph Caldecott Medal for best illustration went to Matthew Cordell and his near-wordless story of a girl and the wolf pup she saves, “Wolf in the Snow.”

The awards were announced Monday by the American Library Association, which has gathered in Denver for its annual mid-winter meeting. Both the Newbery and Caldecott medals are more than 80 years old, with previous winners including Jacqueline Woodson’s “Brown Girl Dreaming” and Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

On Monday, Woodson who received the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for lifetime achievement and Nina LaCour’s “We Are Okay” was given the Michael L. Printz Award for best young adult literature. Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give,” one of last year’s top-selling young adult novels, was cited twice. It won a William C. Morris Award for best debut book for teens and an Odyssey Award for best audiobook.

Renee Watson’s “Piecing Me Together” won the Coretta Scott King Award for outstanding book by an African-American. The King award for best illustrator went to Ekua Holmes for “Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets.” Eloise Greenfield, whose dozens of books include “Honey, I Love” and “In the Land of Words,” won the King award for lifetime achievement.

The Pura Belpre Award for best Latino book was given to “Lucky Broken Girl,” by Ruth Behar. The Pura Belpre illustrator prize went to Juana Martinez-Neal and “La Princesa and the Pea.”