NEW YORK – Rep. John Lewis is having quite a run in the literary world.
The American Library Association announced Monday that the Georgia Democrat received four prizes for "March: Book Three," the last of a graphic trilogy about his civil-rights activism and winner last fall of the National Book Award. The latest honors for "March," a collaboration among Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, include the Coretta Scott King award for best children's book by an African-American and the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in children's literature. The book also jumped high on best-seller lists recently after a harsh public exchange between Lewis and President Donald Trump, whose legitimacy Lewis has challenged.
Monday's top award, the John Newbery Medal for outstanding children's book overall, was given to Kelly Barnhill for her fairy tale about an abandoned baby with a crescent-shaped birthmark on her forehead, "The Girl Who Drank the Moon." The Randolph Caldecott Medal for best picture book went to "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat," illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe, which also won the Coretta Scott King award for best illustration.
The awards were announced during the library association's midwinter meeting in Atlanta, where Lewis is based. The congressman's late wife, Lillian Miles Lewis, was a librarian at Atlanta University.
One of the world's most popular children's authors, Rick Riordan, won the Stonewall award for "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor." The Stonewall is given for the best book relating to the LGBT experience. Sarah Dessen, known for such favorites as "Dreamland" and "Along for the Ride," and Nikki Grimes, whose books include the prize winners "Bronx Masquerade" and "Words With Wings," each received lifetime achievement awards.
Juana Medina's "Juana & Lucas" won the Pura Belpre award for best book by a Latino writer and "Lowriders to the Center of the Earth," illustrated by Raul Gonzalez, was the Pura Belpre winner for best illustration.