We Need Diverse Books announced the winners and honorees of the 2022 Walter Dean Myers Awards, given each year to books for young readers that “feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way.”

The winner in the teen category was Angeline Boulley for Firekeeper’s Daughter, a thriller about a Native American teenager who goes undercover to discover who’s responsible for introducing a new, deadly drug to her community. The novel is being adapted into a Netflix series by Higher Ground, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company.


The teen category honor books were Malinda Lo’s National Book Award–winning Last Night at the Telegraph Club and Kekla Magoon’s Revolution in Our Time, a National Book Award finalist.

The younger readers category winner was Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca. The book follows a 13-year-old Indian American girl dealing with her mother’s cancer diagnosis; a critic for Kirkus called it “an intimate novel that beautifully confronts grief and loss.”

Honorees in the younger readers category were Borders, written by Thomas King and illustrated by Natasha Donovan, and Root Magic by Eden Royce.

The Walter Dean Myers Awards, named after the prolific children’s author, were first awarded in 2016. Past winners include Jason Reynolds for Long Way Down and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.