CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 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 today during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, Jan. 30 – February 3.
Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through grade school (ages 0–8), middle school (ages 9–13) and teens (ages 14–18). Winners will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque, which will be presented in San Francisco during the ALA Annual Conference in June.
“A BOY AND A JAGUAR,” written by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, won the award for young children.
As a young boy, Alan Rabinowitz felt alienated due to his uncontrollable stutter. Relief comes when speaking to animals: he vows to be their voice and keep them from harm. Making good on that promise, Rabinowitz advocates on behalf of the jaguars of Belize.
“Rabinowitz eloquently describes his journey from believing that his stuttering made him broken to finding his own voice to speak for animals who cannot speak for themselves.” said Schneider Family Book Award Chair Alyson Beecher.
“RAIN REIGN,” written by Ann M. Martin and published by A FEIWEL AND FRIENDS BOOK, An Imprint of Macmillan, won the award for best middle school title.
Rose’s (Rows) life is regulated by rules, her love for her dog Rain (Rein, Reign), prime numbers, and homonyms, in almost equal measure. When a superstorm causes a tumult to Rose’s life and that of her community, she is faced with needing to make a courageous choice.
“Martin creates an authentic portrayal of a young girl on the autism spectrum. In getting to know this resilient character, readers’ misconceptions about this disability will be altered,” said Beecher.
The teen award winner is “Girls Like Us” written by Gail Giles and published by Candlewick Press.
After completing their high school’s special education program, Biddy and Quincy are placed as roommates – to Biddy’s delight and Quincy’s horror. Through unflinching dual points of view, these young women discover that they have much to gain and learn about life from each other including a sense of family.
“In this surprisingly gripping novel, readers gain insight into the challenges of young adults with intellectual disabilities. Through an unlikely friendship, two young women gain empowerment, independence and family,” said Beecher.
Members of the 2015 Schneider Family Book Award committee are: Chair Alyson Beecher, Pasadena (Calif.) Unified School District; Nancy L. Baumann, retired school librarian and author, Columbia, Mo.; Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Alberta, Canada; Jill Garcia, National Library Service For The Blind & Physically Handicapped, Beltsville, Md.; Judy T. Nelson, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Joanna Tamplin, Hawks Rise Elementary, Tallahassee, Fla.; and Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 55,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
For more information on the Schneider Family Book Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ilovelibraries.org/yma.
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