Celebrating Youthful Curiosity and Discovery Through Books and Reading

About the Moonbeam Awards

Publishing services company Jenkins Group and IndependentPublisher.com created the Moonbeam contest in 2006 as a way to open up awards in children’s publishing to all types of publishers and genres. By developing a contest that would recognize winners in each of the nuanced categories of children’s publishing, IP hoped to bring attention to the under-sung children’s books and their creators who fell between the cracks in larger, more general contests. Eleven years later, we’ve been lucky enough to award and promote hundreds of incredible children’s books, and the Moonbeam Awards contest is now open for its eleventh cycle!

The Moonbeam Awards So Far

The inaugural Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards drew a total of 862 entries from authors and publishers in 45 U.S. states, 6 Canadian provinces, and 7 countries overseas. An awards presentation was held in conjunction with the 2007 Children's Humanities Festival in Chicago.

The 2nd annual Moonbeam Awards attracted over 1,000 entries, and the awards ceremony was held in Denver, Colorado, during the American Library Association mid-winter conference. Our 3rd annual awards presentation event took place as part of the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, West Virginia.


The fourth Moonbeam Awards were celebrated as part of our Traverse City Children’s Book Festival, launched in 2010 to bring a new literary event to our hometown of Traverse City, Michigan. We have held each Moonbeam Awards ceremony here in the evening after the festival, with many of our award winners attending and displaying their books and meeting the public during the day. Visit the Moonbeam Award Winners page for past results and photos of the events.


All of these contests and book festivals have proved that the cause of promoting childhood literacy knows no boundaries. Our award winners come not only from long-established publishers and university presses, but from small presses, foundations, museums, and self-published entrepreneurs. Creating books that inspire our children to read, to learn, and to dream is an extremely important task, and these awards were conceived to reward those efforts.


Literacy Resources

The Children's Book Council - An association of children's book publishers, dedicated to promoting children's books and reading. The CBC offers a wealth of resources, for children's book publishers but also for educators, librarians, booksellers, and parents. Visit the website

  • Diverse Kids’ and YA LitFront and backlist children’s and young-adult books that reflect the diverse nature of our world.

  • Building a Home Library - Lists of books for parents to utilize in building their home library, organized by age of the reader.


Every Child A Reader - A non-profit dedicated to instilling the love of reading in children. Its national programs are designed around that goal, including Children's Book Week, Children's Book Choice Awards, and the and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Program. Visit the website



International Children's Digital Library - A collection of digital children's books in numerous languages, with the goal of making the riches of children's literature available to children anywhere. Books are searchable by country, date, author and illustrator, and more. The foundation also runs several research programs to explore how children's use books to interact and view the world.  Visit the website.


International Literacy Association - A global advocacy organization that seeks to empower educators and encourage leaders with resources to make literacy accessible to all. The organization has published countless books and journals in addition to enacting several global literacy initiatives. The website features reading lists and numerous resources for parents and educators. Visit the website.


Read Aloud 15 MINUTES - A non-profit organization that is working to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the standard in child care. WIth this in mind, Read Aloud has started a ten year campaign to increase the average amount of reading aloud time in the nation. Their website features downloads and updates on the campaign's progress. Visit the website.


Reading Is Fundamental - A non-profit organization that provides literacy resources as well as running several different programs, such as Books For Ownership which works to get books into children's hands through community centers, clinics, shelters, and so on. The website has a treasure trove of booklists, as well as activities, apps, and more. Visit the website.


Reading Rockets - A literacy initiative that provides resources and guides for parents based on literacy research. The website helpfully breaks down resources into broader categories, such as "Teaching Reading" and "Helping Struggling Readers," etc. They provide literacy tools in a variety of formats, from videos to blogs to fun downloadables. Visit the website.