March 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners Unveiled

The tale of a little girl who loves to knit, a story about a Harlem book seller, and a book about the life and work of artist Chuck Close are winners of the 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards.

The Horn Book’s editor in chief Roger Sutton and 2010 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award-winning author Rebecca Stead (W hen You Reach Me, Random House) announced the winners today at BookExpo America in New York.

“The Boston Globe-Horn Book awards are unique for so many reasons-the winners are books that are frequently unusual or under-the-radar choices,” says Sutton. “Because of the small judging panel, there’s always an excellent chance for surprise. Each year, the judges uncover some amazing treasures that I think will delight adult readers as much as the intended audience of children and young adults.”

Celebrating its 45th year, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Winners and two Honor Books are selected in each of three categories: picture book, fiction and poetry, and nonfiction.

Following is a list of this year’s winners and honors:

Picture Book Award Winner:

Extra Yarn (Balzer + Bray, a HarperCollins imprint) by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

When young Annabelle finds a small box containing a never-ending supply of yarn of every color, she does what any self-respecting knitter would do: she knits herself a sweater. Then she knits a sweater for her dog. She continues to knit colorful garments for everyone and everything in her snowy, sooty, colorless town-until an archduke gets greedy.

Picture Book Honor Winners:

And the Soldiers Sang (Creative Editions) by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Gary Kelley

And Then It’s Spring (Roaring Brook Press, a Macmillan imprint) by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Fiction Award Winner:

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller (Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Lerner) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Lewis Michaux opened the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem at the end of the Great Depression with an inventory of five books and a strong faith that black people were hungry for knowledge. For the next 35 years, his store became a central gathering place for African American writers, artists, intellectuals, political figures, and ordinary citizens. In a daring combination of fiction and nonfiction and word and image, 36 narrative voices are interwoven with articles from the New York Amsterdam News, excerpts from Michaux’s FBI file, and family papers and photographs.

Fiction Honor Winners:

Life: An Exploded Diagram (Candlewick) by Mal Peet

Code Name Verity (Hyperion) by Elizabeth Wein

Nonfiction Winner:

Chuck Close: Face Book (Abrams) written and illustrated by Chuck Close

Chuck Close’s art is easy to describe and especially attractive to children because he creates only portraits-in almost every possible medium with an intriguing trompe l’oeil effect. This book explores how his life story and so-called disabilities relate directly to his style. In this Q&A-style narrative, Close himself answers with a clear voice without a hint of famous-artist self-aggrandizement or angst.

Nonfiction Honor Winners:

The Elephant Scientist (Houghton) by Caitlin O’Connell & Donna M. Jackson, photographs by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell

Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keeffe Painted What She Pleased (Houghton) by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Sutton appoints an independent panel of three judges to choose the awards. This year’s judges are: chair Thom Barthelmess, curator and lecturer, Butler Children’s Literature Center, Dominican University in Chicago, IL; Lauren Adams, high school English teacher and former The Horn Book editor; and Megan Lambert, instructor at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College in Boston, MA.

The winning titles can be written or illustrated by citizens of any country, but they must be published in the United States.

Check out a complete list of previous winners.