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News Release

Levine Querido

  • Donna Barba Higuera wins the John Newbery Medal and Pura Belpré Award for The Last Cuentista
  • Darcie Little Badger wins a Newbery Honor for A Snake Falls to Earth and an American Indian Youth Literature Honor for Elatsoe
  • Eric Gansworth wins the American Indian Youth Literature Award for Apple (Skin to the Core)
  • David Bowles, María García Esperón, and Amanda Mijangos bring Levine Querido a Mildred L. Batchelder Honor for The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas
  • Lee Wind and Paul Zelinsky named a Sydney Taylor Picture Book Notable for Red and Green and Blue and White

Independent children’s book publisher Levine Querido (LQ), received seven awards at American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards Ceremony including the John Newbery Medal for The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. The Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. 2022 marks the 100th Anniversary of this prestigious honor.

The Last Cuentista also received the Pura Belpré Award, which is presented to a Latinx writer whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latinx cultural experience.

Darcie Little Badger’s novel, A Snake Falls to Earth, received a Newbery Honor, making her the first Native author to be recognized by the Newbery Award Committee. A Snake Falls to Earth was longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award. Little Badger was also recognized for her debut novel, Elatsoe, which received an American Indian Youth Literature Honor. Elatsoe was also named one of TIME’s Best 100 Fantasy Books of All Time.

Levine Querido received a Batchelder Honor for The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas, written by María García Esperón, illustrated by Amanda Mijangos, and translated by David Bowles. The Batchelder Award is given for publishing the most outstanding children’s book originating in a language other than English in a country other than the United States and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Eric Gansworth’s memoir in verse, Apple (Skin to the Core) won the American Indian Youth Literature Award. Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. “I felt strongly that any memoir of mine must be broad enough to cover my grandparents' boarding school experiences and the impact of living in a tight community,” Gansworth said upon receiving the news. “I was delighted the American Indian Library Association had the same faith in this expansive approach that everyone at Levine Querido had.”

Author Lee Wind and illustrator Paul Zelinsky’s Red and Green and Blue and White was named a Sydney Taylor Picture Book Notable. The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. 

Led by Arthur A. Levine, LQ launched in 2019 with a mission to spotlight previously underrepresented authors and artists from the United States and abroad. Levine shared his reaction to the Youth Media Awards news:

"A cornerstone of our publishing philosophy is our belief that, historically, a tiny fraction of the amazing talent and brilliant storytelling ‘out there’ was being developed and promoted by publishers. Yet these are the very stories we long to hear, fall in love with, get excited by! Now, to have so many of our books honored is a euphoric validation of our belief in where excellence comes from."

Senior Editor, Nick Thomas, said:

“Donna, Darcie, Eric, David, María, Amanda, Lee, and Paul showed a great deal of faith entrusting their stories with LQ in our first few years. To see that faith rewarded and their extraordinary talents recognized could not feel more special.”

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera (John Newbery Medal, Pura Belpré Award) was named to 11 “Best of the Year” lists, including Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. The Last Cuentista is a literary tour de force that not only takes readers on the adventure of a lifetime but gives us hope in humanity and the stories that make us. Petra Peña and her family are part of a select few chosen to travel to a new planet in hopes of rebuilding humanity after Earth is destroyed. However, when she awakens from stasis a few hundred years later, Petra is horrified to learn that she is the only person who remembers our history. Now Petra alone is the keeper of our memories and she must make a decision - go along with the sinister Collective's plan to eradicate all memories of Earth or bring our past back to life?

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger (John Newbery Honor) was a National Indie Bestseller. Told in alternating points of view, A Snake Falls to Earth draws from traditional Lipan Apache storytelling to follow the story of Nina and Oli. Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries. And there are some who will kill to keep them apart. Featured inTime Magazine and on NPR’s “Weekend Edition”, Publishers Weekly noted that “this story will be long in the minds of readers.”

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (American Indian Youth Literature Honor) was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2020. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe (“Ellie” for short) lives in a slightly stranger America, home to fairy rings and vampires. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect façade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth’s (American Indian Youth Literature Award) recognition comes on the heels of a Printz Honor— the first by a Native author—and National Book Award longlist in 2021. The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga amongTuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking in a masterwork that LitHub called “the kind of book bound to save lives.”

The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas (Mildred L. Batchelder Honor) was named a Booklist Editors’ Choice and received 6 starred reviews. Levine Querido simultaneously published a Spanish edition, with additional stories and research by David Bowles, in the United States. Author María García Esperón, illustrator Amanda Mijangos, and translator David Bowles have gifted us a treasure. Their talents have woven this collection of stories from nations and cultures across the Americas—the Sea-Ringed World, as the Aztecs called it—from the edge of Argentina all the way up to Alaska. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged. The answers lay in their sacred stories, presented here in a rendition The Wall Street Journal called “evocative and stirring.”

Red and Green and Blue and White by Lee Wind and illustrated by Paul Zelinsky (Sydney Taylor Notable), inspired by a true story, is a tale of a community that banded together to spread light. It’s a holiday season that both Isaac, whose family is Jewish, and Teresa, whose family is Christian, have looked forward to for months! They’ve been counting the days, playing in the snow, making cookies, drawing (Teresa) and writing poems (Isaac). They enjoy all the things they share, as well as the things that make them different. But when Isaac’s window is smashed in the middle of the night, it seems like maybe not everyone appreciates “difference.” Red and Green and Blue and White received four starred reviews and glowing praise in the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle and was named a Best Holiday Book of 2021 by the Association of Jewish Libraries

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

OSD: October 13, 2021

Price: $17.99

Hardcover ISBN: 9781646140893

Audio ISBN: 9781705044322

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

OSD: November 23, 2021

Price: $18.99

Hardcover ISBN: 9781646140923

Audio ISBN: 9781705045077

Red and Green and Blue and White written by Lee Wind and illustrated by Paul Zelinsky

OSD: October 19, 2021

Price: $17.99

Hardcover ISBN: 9781646140879

Audio ISBN: 9781705046302

The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas written by María García Esperón and illustrated by Amanda Mijangos, translated by David Bowles

OSD: February 23, 2021

Price: $21.99

Hardcover ISBN: 9781646140152

Audio ISBN: 9781662072901

Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth

OSD: October 6, 2020

Price: $18.99

Hardcover ISBN: 9781646140145

Audio ISBN: 9781662040306

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

OSD: August 25, 2020

Price: $18.99

Hardcover ISBN: ​​9781646140053

Audio ISBN: 9781662040221

About Levine Querido

Arthur A. Levine founded the independent publisher Levine Querido on April 1, 2019. Previously he led an eponymous imprint at Scholastic, and was editor-in-chief of Alfred A. Knopf books for young readers, and G.P.Putnam’s Sons books for young readers. Visit www.levinequerido.com for a full archive of the imprint’s awards, honors, and publications. LQ is distributed by Chronicle Books.

About Chronicle

Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. Recognized as one of the 50 best small companies to work for in the U.S., Chronicle Books’ objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that’s instantly recognizable for its spirit, creativity, and value. www.chroniclebooks.com

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