April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

News Bites: Frank Cottrell Boyce Wins the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for ‘The Unforgotten Coat’

And the Winner Is…

Book cover of boy with CoatFiction prize: Frank Cottrell Boyce has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize £1,500 for his novel, The Unforgotten Coat (Candlewick, 2011), published in the UK by Walker Books. Established in 1967, the prize is unique because it is judged by writers. This year’s panel included children’s authors Tony Bradman, Cressida Cowell, and Kevin Crossley-Holland, and was chaired by Guardian Children’s Books editor Julia Eccleshare. The novel is the story of refugee brothers from Mongolia who live in Liverpool and examines the hard-hitting effects that immigration has on children. “With his brilliant depiction of two brothers from Mongolia trying to adapt to school in Liverpool while haunted by a fear from home, Frank Cottrell Boyce never preaches to the reader, and the judges felt that he writes with such credibility and warmth that his readers will be left wiser when they have finished the story,” said Eccleshare. A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, and The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson were shortlisted for the Prize.

Essay Contest

Fancy clockIntergenerational project: Kids can learn about real life from real people. The Listen to a Life Essay Contest gives students the opportunity to discover the past by interviewing a person over 50 years old (grandparent, mentor, neighbor, etc.—but not a parent) about “their hopes and goals through their life, how they achieved goals and overcame obstacles, or how dreams may have changed along the way.” Youngsters between the ages of  8 and 18  are eligible to write a 300-word essay based on the interview. The national contest, now in its 13th year, is run by the Legacy Project and the nonprofit Generations’ United in Washington, DC. Be sure to check out the contest rules, sample interview questions and interview tips. Applicants must fill out the online entry form. All entries should be be received by March 22, and winners will be announced by May 8.

Judging will be based on writing quality, content depth, and appropriateness of theme, particularly the ability to capture a timeless idea, insight, or theme based on real-life experience. The judges will take into account the age of the entrant in evaluating entries. The grand prize winner will receive a Lenovo ThinkCenter All-in-One Computer, an autographed copy of Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes (Communication Project, 2004) by Susan Bosak, and a timepiece from Expressions of Time. Ten runners-up will receive an autographed copy of Dream, a framed award certificate, and a timepiece from Expressions of Time. All award-winning essays will be posted as part of the permanent Legacy Library.

“Generations are a living perspective, says Susan Bosak, Legacy Project Chair. “When you bring young and old together, you complete the circle. This contest gives young people and older adults the motivation to talk. As more people live longer, they can be a tremendous resource to enrich young lives and create a legacy to change the future.”

You Have to Be in It…

Alexe's Lemonade Stand logoMake Lemonade: To coincide with the release of Jacqueline Davies’s The Candy Smash (Houghton Harcourt, 2013), the fourth title in “The Lemonade War” series, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is teaming up with the book’s publisher and author to challenge students in elementary and middle schools to take part in a lemonade war of their own to help fight kids’ cancer. Schools will compete to see who can raise the most money through a lemonade stand project or other event. Participants can register until April 1. Fundraising may not begin before February 14, and all money must be received no later than April 26. Winners will be contacted on May 3. Be sure to check out all the entry rules.

Davies will visit the school that raises the most money by May 17. The winner will also receive up to 100 autographed copies of The Candy Smash. Three runner-up schools will be awarded Skype sessions with Jacqueline Davies and audiobooks of The Lemonade War and The Lemonade Crime (both Recorded Books). To date, the Foundation, a registered 501 (c)3 charity, has raised more than $55 million.


Virginia Hamilton author photoAfrican American literature advocate: Nominations for the 2013 Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement are being accepted through December 15, 2012 by the American Library Association (ALA). Librarians in public, academic, or schools; preK–12 educators; college or university faculty; and youth literature advocates are eligible for the award. Named in memory of children’s author Virginia Hamilton, the award is presented to a practitioner “for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs.” Be sure to check out the selection criteria and complete the nomination form.

The recipient will be selected by five members of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Committee of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). A medal and a check for $1,500 is presented to the winner during the Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast at the ALA Annual Conference. Named in memory of children’s author Virginia Hamilton, the award is presented to a practitioner “for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs.”

Calling All Publishers

Ezra JAck Keats Award New Artist logoNew Writer/Illustrator Book Awards: The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi is requesting submissions from publishers for the 13th Annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards. Publishers have until December 30 to submit works by an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children “who are committed to celebrating diversity through their writing and art.” Eligible books have to be copyrighted in 2012 and authors and illustrators must have published no more than three books. The selection committee includes early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators, and experts in children’s literature. The winners will each receive a $1,000 honorarium and a gold seal with a picture of Peter, the protagonist in Keats’s The Snowy Day, for the publisher to affix to the book. Be sure to read the submission guidelines for new authors and new illustrators.

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.



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