Center for Children’s Literature

Irma Black Award

The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Irma Black Award) goes to an outstanding book for young children—a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.

2022 Medalists

Irma Black Contender 2022
SILVER MEDALIST
When My Cousins Come to Town
Irma Black Contender 2022
GOLD MEDALIST
It Fell From the Sky
Irma Black Contender 2022
SILVER MEDALIST
From the Tops of the Trees

Irma Black Contender 2022
SILVER MEDALIST
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water
  • When My Cousins Come to Town by Angela Shanté; illustrated by  Keisha Morris (West Margin Press)
  • It Fell From Sky by The Fan Brothers (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang; illustrated by Rachel Wada (Carolrhoda Books)
  • 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson; illustrated by Nikkolas Smith (Kokila)

The 2022 Irma Black Award Ceremony

Thousands of children in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the United Arab Emirates participated in the voting process in 2022. We will be sharing videos from the gold and silver medalists on this page in late May.

To learn more about the 2022 Irma Black Award, read this School Library Journal article

A Comment From a First Grader

Upon announcement, of the award, our room erupted in cheers and applause! One child saying…”It took a long time to figure that out, but I guess it was because there were TOO many good books to choose from. If there was only one good one it would have been easy!

2022 Irma Black Award Winner

It Fell From the Sky
by The Fan Brothers (Simon & Schuster)

Honor Books

  • When My Cousins Come to Town by Angela Shanté; illustrated by  Keisha Morris (West Margin Press)
  • From the Tops of Trees by Kao Kalia Yang; illustrated by Rachel Wada (Carolrhoda Books)
  • 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson; illustrated by Nikkolas Smith (Kokila)