Saturday, February 4, 2017

2017 Bank Street Children's Book Committee Awards are here!

I seem to have lots of news from Bank Street this week. First, it was to announce the finalists for the 2017 Cook Prize and to let teacher, librarians and school administrators know how to register their 3rd and 4th grade class to vote for their favorite.

Now, it is to announce the winning books awarded by the Bank Street Children's Book Committee. As I've said before, we read and read and really, it is always a tough decision.

First up, the Josette Frank Award. This award honors a book or books of outstanding merit in which young people deal in a positive and realistic way with the difficulties in the and grow emotionally and morally. The 2017 Josette Frank Award was given to
The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen
Alfred A. Knopf BFYR, 2016, 272 pages
From the publisher: My secret life is filled with psychic vampires, wheelchair zombies, chain-rattlin' ghosts, and a one-eyed cat. But they're nothing compared to my real-life stalker: a sixth-grade girl named Kandi Kain...
Lincoln Jones is always working on the latest story he's got going in his notebook. Those stories are his refuge. A place where the hero always prevails and the bad guy goes to jail. Real life is messy and complicated, so Lincoln sticks to fiction and keeps to himself. Which works fine until a nosy girl at his new school starts prying into his private business. She wants to know what he's writing, where he disappears to after school, and why he never talks to anybody...
The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones is a terrifically funny and poignant story about a boy finding the courage to get to know the real characters all around him - and to let them know him.

Next, is the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award. This award given to a distinguished work of nonfiction which serves as an inspiration to young people. This year we honored two books. The 2017 Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Younger Readers was given to 
Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2016, 40 pages
From the publisher: [this is] the extraordinary true tale of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, an orchestra made up of children playing instruments built from recycled trash.
Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option...until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada - and her town - forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.

The 2017 Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Older Readers was given to two books this year. They are
March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin,
illustrated by Nate Powell
Top Shelf Productions, 2016, 256 pages
From the publisher: Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning...March trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson
Carolrhoda Books, 2016, 144 pages
From the publisher: This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Have conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko's trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Claudia Lewis Award. This award is given to the best poetry book of the year and the 2017 Claudia Lewis Award was given to
When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons
by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Roaring Brook Press, 2016, 56 pages
From the publisher: december 29
                                   and i woke to a morning
                                   that was quiet and white
                                   the first snow
                                   (just like magic0 came on tip toes
Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims mover over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano's skill hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad's charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.
Congratulations to all the winners!

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