2018 Winner: young readers

CROWN by Derrick Barnes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"One of the best reads for young black boys in years, it should be in every library, media center, and, yes, barbershop. (Picture book. 5-12)"
Safe to say, there's nothing like the feeling of the fresh cut. You feel so extra visible with a fresh new cut, and this book built from that experience translates it in a way never before brought to the children's bookshelf. Read full book review >
THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo
YOUNG ADULT
Released: March 6, 2018

"Poignant and real, beautiful and intense, this story of a girl struggling to define herself is as powerful as Xiomara's name: 'one who is ready for war.' (Verse fiction. 14-18)"
Poetry helps first-generation Dominican-American teen Xiomara Batista come into her own. Read full book review >
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 6, 2018

"Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional. (Fantasy. 14-adult)"
Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa. Read full book review >
MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 11, 2018

"Medina delivers another stellar and deeply moving story. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-13)"
Merci navigates the challenges of being a scholarship kid at a posh South Florida private school and the expectations of and responsibilities to her intergenerational family. Read full book review >
DREAMERS by Yuyi Morales
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"A resplendent masterpiece. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)"
Based on her experience of leaving Mexico for the United States, Morales' latest offers an immigrant's tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love. Read full book review >
HARBOR ME by Jacqueline Woodson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 28, 2018

"An extraordinary and timely piece of writing. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Just before she begins seventh grade, Haley tells the story of the previous school year, when she and five other students from an experimental classroom were brought together. Read full book review >

ABOUT THE KIRKUS PRIZE

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 85 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earn the Kirkus Star with publication dates between Nov. 1, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2018 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2018 Kirkus Prize. Six finalists in each of three categories will be announced on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. The Kirkus Prize judges will select three winners on Thursday, October 25, 2018.