We envision a future where people actively work to dismantle injustices and build a more peaceful, equitable world.

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award 2020 Finalists

(Announced November 16, 2020)

The Jane Addams Peace Association is delighted to announce that for the first time in the history of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, we are publicly sharing the finalist titles under consideration for the award. Please find the exemplary 2020 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalists for Younger and Older Children listed at the conclusion of this release.

The Peace Association will announce winning and honor books from among these finalists on January 15, 2021, and will hold a virtual ceremony on April 28, 2021, featuring winning and honor authors and illustrators. All are invited, whether they be in classrooms, libraries or at home.

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award has annually recognized children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people. A national committee of members with passion for and expertise in children’s literature and social justice is responsible for making the choices each year. 

We believe this year, especially, that these books and others like them can open up conversations between children and their adults–teachers, librarians and caregivers–about what is happening in the world around them and how they can be changemakers in their own families and communities. We hope that promoting our final contenders in this way will serve to highlight a greater number of excellent children’s books that can deepen understanding of peace and justice.

A special thanks to the Hastings Peace and Justice Fund for their generous support in developing this new endeavor.

2020 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist Titles for Younger Children

Black Is a Rainbow Color.  Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes.  Roaring Brook Press.

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon.   Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Laura Freeman.   Lee & Low Books.

Freedom Soup.   Tami Charles, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara.   Candlewick Press.

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea.   Meena Harris, illustrated by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez.   Balzer & Bray. 

Lizzie Demands a Seat.   Beth Anderson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.  Calkins Creek.

Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children.   Jonah Winter, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.  Schwartz & Wade.   

Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed The Ocean’s Biggest Secret. Jess Keating, illustrated by Katie Hickey.   Tundra.

Shirley Chisolm Is a Verb.  Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Rachelle Baker.   Dial Books for Young Readers. 

The Day Saida Arrived.   Susana Gomez Redondo, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer, translated by Lawrence Schimel.   Blue Dot Kids Press. 

The Only Woman in the Photo: Francis Perkins & Her New Deal for America.   Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Alexandra Bye.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 

The Teacher’s March: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History.   Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, illustrated by Charly Palmer.   Calkins Creek.

We Are Water Protectors.   Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade. Roaring Brook Press.

2020 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist Titles for Older Children

A Wish in the Dark.   Christina Soontornvat.   Candlewick Press.

Blackbird Girls.   Anne Blankman.   Viking.   

Brave. Black. First.   Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrations by Erin K. Robinson.   Crown Books for Young Readers. 

Brother’s Keeper.   Julie Lee.   Holiday House. 

Finish the Fight.   Veronica Chambers and the staff of the New York Times.   Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Fighting Words.   Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.   Dial Books for Young Readers.

King and the Dragonflies.   Kacen Callender.  Scholastic.

Land of the Cranes.   Aida Salazar.   Scholastic.

Rick.   Alex Gino.   Scholastic.

Show Me a Sign.   Ann Clare LeZotte.  Scholastic.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.    Jason Reynolds,  Ibram X. Kendi.   Little, Brown & Company.

The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth.   Edited by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson.   Crown Books for Young Readers. 

This Book is Antiracist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work.   Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Aurelia Durand.   Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

When Stars Are Scattered.   Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed.  Dial Books for Young Readers.

Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice.   Mahogany L. Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III.   Roaring Brook Press.

Jane Addams Peace Association