Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's Official - 2016 Bank Street Children's Book Committee Awards are here!

Each year, the Bank Street Children's Book Committee reads and reads - picture books, realistic fiction, speculative fiction, nonfiction, poetry, if it's published and it's for young readers, the committee reads it.  And at the end of the year, the committee gives three awards - one for outstanding fiction, one for outstanding poetry and on for outstanding nonfiction.

The Josette Frank Award for Fiction honors a book or books of outstanding merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally. This year the Josette Frank Award was given to

The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Dial BFYR, 2015 320 pages (age 9+)

From the Publisher: Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
 So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

The Claudia Lewis Award is honors the best poetry book of the year for young readers.  This year the Claudia Lewis Award was given to

My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson
namelos, 2015, 112 pages (age 10+)

From the publisher:  This exquisite collection [of poems] takes readers back in time and deep into the mind's eye of Marilyn Nelson.  A girl ponders being free-but-not-free. Orphaned brothers get gold fever. A conjurer sees past his time and into ours. The voices of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial 19th century Manhattan neighborhood are rising again.  One of America's most honored writers - a Newbery Honor medalist, Coretta Scott King Medalist and National Book Award nominee -draws upon history, and her astonishing imagination, to revive the long lost community of Seneca Village. 

The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award honors an information book that serves as an inspiration to young readers.  This year's Flora Stieglitz Straus Award was given to 

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement 
by Carol Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Candlewick, 2015, 56 pages (age 9+)

From the publisher:  Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. Integral to the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that, despite President Johnson’s interference, aired on national TV news and spurred the nation to support the Freedom Democrats. Featuring luminous mixed-media art both vibrant and full of intricate detail, Voice of Freedom celebrates Fannie Lou Hamer’s life and legacy with an inspiring message of hope, determination, and strength.

Congratulations to the winners!

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