Posted on January 28, 2020 at 4:30 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The week may have begun with music awards, but the past few days have been all about books.

On Monday, we met the winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals.

The former, which honors an outstanding contribution to children's literature, went to Jerry Craft’s New Kid.

The latter, which honors the most distinguished picture book for children, went to The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander.

New Kid became the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal; it stars a student of color who has been sent to a prestigious private school with little diversity.

The Undefeated celebrates the accomplishments of great black Americans.

You can read more about these two books and the other competitors for the accolades they received on NPR.

Today’s literary award, meanwhile, went to a decidedly different age group.

The Costa Book of the Year award, chosen from the five category winners, was revealed as The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather.

The Guardian reports that Fairweather dedicated the victory to the two children of the subject of his book.

Witold Pilecki was a Polish resistance fighter who volunteered to infiltrate Auschwitz so that the world would learn of — and hopefully fight to stop — the Nazi atrocities committed there.

Pilecki survived that, only to be executed as a traitor in 1948 by Poland’s Communist regime; for the next fifty years, his two children had no idea just what their father had truly done.

You can read more about The Volunteer in the Guardian.

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