2010 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations
312 280-4393/5043
mmorales@ala.org / jpetersen@ala.org

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010                                                       

BOSTON — The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Schneider Family Book Awards, which honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award was announced Jan. 18, 2010, during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Jan. 15 - 19.

Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through grade school (age 0–10), middle school (age 11–13) and teens (age 13–18).  Winners will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque, which will be presented in Chicago during the ALA Annual Conference in July.

“Django” written and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen and published by Neal Porter for Roaring Brook won the award for young children. “Django” is the biography of musician Django Reinhardt, who was in an accident that severely burned his hands and threatened to end his career. Through perseverance he went on to become one of the world’s most recognized and appreciated jazz guitarists

“The book was chosen for its sensitive telling of Reinhardt’s life through the use of colorful oil paintings and lyrical free verse, and it demonstrated the power of one’s inner strength,” said Award Chair Barbara T. Mates.

Nora Raleigh Baskin is the winner of the middle-school award for “Anything But Typical” published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

While Jason Blake who has autism, considers himself to be anything but typical, his life is that of a conventional 12-year-old boy.  He wants a girlfriend, to fit in and to be recognized for his creative writing.

 “‘Anything But Typical’ was chosen for its sensitive portrayal of a pre-teen with autism and speaks to anyone who has ever chased a dream,” said Award Chair Barbara T. Mates.

The teen award winner is “Marcelo in the Real World,” written by Francisco X. Stork and published by Arthur A. Levine, imprint of Scholastic.

“Marcelo in the Real World” tells the story of Marcelo Sandoval who has Asperger Syndrome. Marcelo is pushed beyond his comfort zone when he is forced to take a job in his father’s law firm.  Over the course of a tumultuous summer, Marcelo learns what it is to be a friend, to stand up for what he believes in and that he can create a place for himself in the real world.

“Marcelo In The Real World’ was selected for its accurate portrayal of a young man with Asperger Syndrome and its powerful statement that good could still be found in today’s world,” said Mates.

Members of the 2010 Schneider Family Book Award committee are: Chair Barbara T. Mates, BTM & Associates Library & Information Consultants, Cleveland; Danielle Rae Dreger-Babbitt, Sno-Isle Regional Library-Mill Creek (Wash.) Library; Toni Bissessar, Arlington Public Library, Alexandria, Va.; Joan K. Blaska, professor emerti, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minn.; Elizabeth A. Burns, New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center, Spring Lake, N.J.; Marilyn M. Irwin, associate professor, Indiana University School of Library and Information Science-Indianapolis, Bloomington Ind.; and Patricia M. Steelman, Library of Congress, Alexandria, Va.

For more information on the Schneider Family Book Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.