SEATTLE — Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc is the winner of the 2013 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “My Family for the War.” 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. 25 – 29, in Seattle.
The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book 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.
Originally published in Germany in 2007 as “Liverpool Street,” the book was written by Anne C. Voorhoeve, and translated by Tammi Reichel. The book tells the story of 11-year-old Ziska who is Protestant but because of her Jewish heritage flees Nazi Germany via one of the secret trains called kindertransports. When she joins an Orthodox Jewish household in London, she gains a new family for the war.
“’My Family for the War’ is an outstanding book about terrible choices. It is a story of hope, humor, endurance and even romance,” said Batchelder Award Committee ChairJean Hatfield.
Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return” published by Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group; and “Son of a Gun,” published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Originally published in French in 2007 as “Mourir Partir Revenir: Le Jeu des Hirondelles,” “A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return,” was written and illustrated by Zeina Abirached, and translated by Edward Gauvin. In her graphic novel memoir, Abirached focuses on one night during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) during which she, her brother, and their neighbors huddle in the safest corner of their apartment sharing memories, food and comfort.
“Stark black and white illustrations strikingly depict a caring community formed during the grim reality of war, creating an unforgettable memoir,” said Hatfield.
Originally published in Dutch in 2006 as “Kind Van de Oorlog,” “Son of A Gun,” was written by Anne de Graaf, and translated by the author. Told through the eyes of a young sister and brother caught up in the Liberian Civil War, this story depicts the lives of child soldiers. De Graaf’s research grounds the book in fact, and the character’s voices give a sense of the horror and hope they experience.
“This powerful, straightforward account of the lives of children caught up in the turmoil of war will stay with the reader long after the story ends.” said Hatfield.
Members of the 2013 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Jean Hatfield, Wichita (Kan.) Public Library, Alford Branch; Diane E. Janoff, Queens Library – Poppenhusen, College Point, N.Y.; Sharon Levin, Children’s Literature Reviewer, Redwood City, Calif.; Erin Reilly-Sanders, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; and Judith E. Rodgers, Wayzata Central Middle School, Plymouth, Minn.
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 website 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.