This past Saturday, on April 25, we announced the winners and honors for the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards. These awards
are given annually to the children’s books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.
For the third consecutive year, the announcement ceremony took place at the Hull House, the settlement house where Jane Addams did much of her activist work. I had attended the first time we had such an announcement ceremony in 2007, but missed last year, and was very happy to return this year, and also very happy to see that the size of the audience had grown considerably. The winners are:
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai. By Claiore A. Nivola. Published by Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Younger)
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. By Margarita Engle. Henry Holt. (Older)
Our honor books are:
The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos. Story by Lucia Gonzalez. Illustrations by Lulu Delacre. Published by Children’s Book Press. (Younger)
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad. By James Rumford. Neal Published by Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press. (Younger)
The Shepherd’s Granddaughter by Anne Laurel Carter. Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press. (Older)
Ain’t Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry. By Scott Reynolds Nelson with Marc Aronson. National Geographic. (Older)
I also took some photos and videos at the event:
Videos of Susan announcing and describing some of the books:
We also had the opportunity to hear from two school teachers how they use JACBA books in the classroom. They created a chart based on the JACBA criteria along one axis, and put the books along the other axis. Their students were then asked to fill in the boxes in the chart on how the books fulfilled JACBA criteria. The teachers also showed us videos of the children discussing the books and growing in consciousness of the book’s characteristics, appropriate age levels, and so on. Making these activities an important part of the curriculum turns young people into lifelong readers and learners and peace-seekers. It was powerful.