February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

New Bites: American Indian Youth Lit, Gryphon, & CBC Awards Announced

And the Winner Is…

Picture book of Native American girl and Christmas TreeAmerican Indian Lit Awards: The American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association, has announced the winners of the 2013 American Indian Youth Literature Award in three categories—picture book, middle school, and young adult. The books selected “present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts.” The top Picture Book award went to The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood (Holiday House, 2011) written by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve and illustrated by Ellen Beier. The Honor awards in that category were nabbed by Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light (Cinco Puntos, 2010) written by Tim Tingle and illustrated by Karen Clarkson, Kohala Kuamo’o: Nae’ole’s Race to Save a King (2010) written by Kekauleleana’ole Kawai’ae’a and illustrated by Aaron Kawai’ae’a, Mohala Mai ‘O Hau = How Hau Became Hau’ula (2011, both Kamehameha Schools Pr.) by Robert Lono ‘Ikuwa with pictures by Matthew Kawika Ortiz, and I See Me (Theytus Books, 2009) by Margaret Manuel.

In the Middle Grade category, the award went to Free Throw (1999) and Triple Threat (1999, both Lorimer), by Jacqueline Guest, while Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL (Lorimer, 2011) by Melanie Florence, and Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-Gikinoo’amaageng (Wiigwaas Pr., 2010) by Anton Treuer et al. received Honors. Adam Fortunate Eagle’s Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School (Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 2010) won in the Young Adult category, with Native Defenders of the Environment (7th Generation, 2011) by Victor Schilling (and others in the series) taking the Honor award.

Established in 2006 and given in even years, the award was created to honor the best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Be sure to check out the evaluation criteria and previous winners of the award.

Turtles from Galapagos island2013 Gryphon Awards: Jason Chin’s Island: A Story of the Galapagos (Roaring Brook, 2012) has received the 2013 Gryphon Award, sponsored by the Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The book presents the story of the evolution of an island and its plant and animal life over six million years. The $1,000 award, given annually, recognizes “an English-language work of fiction or nonfiction for which the primary audience is children in kindergarten through grade 4. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practical readers.” Two Honor books were also announced: Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Dog Named Baltic (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks., 2012), written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi, and Kate DeCamillo and Alison McGhee’s Bink and Gollie: Two for One (Candlewick, 2012), illustrated by Tony Fucile.

Blue book cover of Boy with one eyeChildren’s Book Committee Awards: The Bank Street College of Education announced the winners of the 2013 Children’s Book Committee Awards. Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Knopf, 2012) was received the Josette Frank Award. Palacio’s memorable story about ten-year-old Auggie, a boy with facial abnormalities, who attends public school for the first time, shows how the experience changes him as well as all of those he encounters. The Award, given annually since 1943 (originally called the Children’s Book Award) honors an outstanding fiction title “in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally.”

The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for a nonfiction title was given to Doreen Rappaport’s Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust (Candlewick, 2012), a chronicle of 21 courageous acts of defiance. National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 2000 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar! by J. Patrick Lewis, “an exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom and a beautiful introduction to this genre of literature,” won the Claudia Lewis Award. Established in 1998, the award is given for the best poetry book of the year.

The Children’s Book Committee is a nonprofit affiliate of Bank Street College of Education. The Committee was founded 75 years ago to “guide librarians, educators and parents to the best books for children published each year.”


bound to Stay Bound logoThe Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) is offering two scholarships to students pursuing a master’s or advanced degree in children’s librarianship. The ALSC Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship, funded by Bound-to-Stay Bound Books, is an award of $7,000 that will be given to four candidates. The ALSC Frederic G.Melcher Scholarship, funded by contributions from librarians and others in the book world as a tribute to Melcher, consists of two $6,000 awards. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and leadership, be enrolled at an ALA accredited library school (U.S. or Canada) that offers a full range of courses in children’s materials and library services to children, must not have earned more than 12 semester hours towards an MLS/MLIS, and must take a position in the field of library service to children for at least one year after graduation. The deadline for applying for these two scholarships is March 1. Be sure to check out requirements and complete an application. The recipients will be announced at the ALA Annual conference in June.

Rare Books

Original illustration from Alice and WonderlandFirst editions: The J.Willard Marriott Library’s Rare Book Division, Special Collections at the University of Utah has received first editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1872) from an anonymous donor. The books are valued at $30,000. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson first made up the story of Alice’s adventures for Alice Liddell and her sisters and gave her the manuscript in 1864. His friend and novelist, Henry Kingsley, encouraged the author to publish the book. He expanded the manuscript from 18,000 words to 35,000 words and published it under the Lewis Carroll pseudonym. Four thousand copies were printed.




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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

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



  1. Thanks, Phyllis, for pointing your readers to the American Indian Library Association’s awards!

    For critical reviews of books by American Indian/First Nations authors, or about American Indians/First Nations people, please visit my site, American Indians in Children’s Literature, located at americanindiansinchildrensliterature.net