SAN DIEGO- Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., is the winner of the 2011 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “A Time of Miracles.” The Mildred L. Batchelder Award honors an American publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 7 – 11 in San Diego.
Originally published in French in 2009 as “Le Temps des Miracles,”the book was written by Anne-Laure Bondoux and translated by Y. Maudet. This sweeping novel tells about a young refugee as he searches for identity, safe haven and truth, from the war-torn Caucasus to the freedom of France, over five arduous years. Both people and places are rendered fully with telling detail. Love and hope run deep through this layered examination of the human spirit.
“The committee was moved by this sweeping saga about a boy’s determined quest, and inspired by his capacity to turn despair toward new horizons,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Susan W. Faust.
Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Departure Time,” published by Namelos, and “Nothing,” published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Originally published in Dutch in 2009as “Vertrektijd,” “Departure Time”waswritten by Truus Matti and translated by Nancy Forest-Flier. An eleven-year-old mourns the death of her father in chapters set alternately in the real world and a dreamlike hotel staffed by odd creatures. She struggles to escape the snares of grief and regret, growing toward wholeness and acceptance.
“It is impressive how rich symbols, including Bach’s music, help move a grieving girl through a psychological journey from anger to forgiveness,” said Faust.
Originally published in Danish in 2000 as “Intet,” “Nothing,” was written by Janne Teller and translated by Martin Aitken. Fourteen-year-old Pierre Anthon declares that “Nothing matters….so nothing’s worth doing.” He thereby incites an intense philosophical struggle among his classmates that moves from innocent to insidious. As they force each other to prove and provide meaning, the consequences are deep, dark and disastrous.
“In its raw examination of human nature, this taut novel builds to an agonizing crescendo that left us pondering weighty existential questions,” said Faust.
Members of the 2011 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Susan W. Faust, Katherine Delmar Burke School, San Francisco; Sheila Anne Cody, Chicago; Adrienne Leah Furness, Rochester, N.Y.; Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Upper San Juan Library District, Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, Pagosa Springs, Colo.; and Kristy L. Sutorius, Lakes Regional Library, Fort Myers, Fla.
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc
For information on the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma