2020 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020

Contact:

Macey Morales

Deputy Director, Media Relations

Communications and Marketing Office

312-280-4393

mmorales@ala.org

Philadelphia ––The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 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 & Exhibits from January 24– 28, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through grade school (age 0–8), middle grades (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). Winners will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque, which will be presented in Chicago, Illinois, during the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in June. Starting in 2019, the Schneider Family Book Award introduced honor titles in each category.  

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 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 & Exhibits from January 24– 28, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   

“A Friend for Henry”, by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song and published by Chronicle Book LLC is the Schneider Family Book Award young children honor title.   

“Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You”, written by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López and published by Philomel Books An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, won the award for young children.  

Sonia and her friends invite readers that if they are “curious about other kids, just ask.” Accompanied by colorful and joyful illustrations, the narrative shows us that our differences are what make us stronger. With each kids’ unique contribution, their garden grows.   

“The committee was impressed by the author and illustrator’s inclusive narrative about different children working together that shows it is okay to just ask,” said Award Chair Alyson Beecher.   

“Each Tiny Spark”, by Pablo Cartaya, and published by Kokila, Penguin Young Readers Group, An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC is the Schneider Family Book Award middle grade honor title.   

“A Song for a Whale”, written by Lynne Kelly and published by Delacorte Press, An Imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC won the award for middle grade title.  

Iris and her grandmother, both Deaf, go on an unbelievable quest to find Blue 55, a whale who cannot communicate with other whales. Iris writes a song and uses her skills with radios to create a device to play the song to signal to him that he is not alone. 

“The committee was intrigued by Kelly’s beautifully written parallel of Iris’s deafness within a hearing world with Blue55’s inability to communicate with other whales,” said Beecher. 

“The Silence Between Us”, by Alison Gervais and published by Blink is the Schneider Family Book Award teen honor title.   

The teen award winner is “Cursed”, written by Karol Ruth Silverstein and published by Charlesbridge.   

In this own voices novel, Ricky’s juvenile arthritis is deteriorating, and her frustration with those around her grows leading to irritability, anger, and self-isolation. With the help of a new-found friend, an unwavering teacher, and an understanding doctor, she finds her voice and becomes an advocate for herself. 

 “The committee felt that teens will relate to Ricky’s spunky voice and angst. This own voices book provides an authentic view of juvenile arthritis,” said Beecher. 

Members of the 2020 committee include Chair Alyson Beecher, Los Angeles, Cal., Jill Garcia, Washington, DC; Kellee Moye, Orlando, Fla.; Pamela Jo Renfrow, Memphis, Tenn.; Scot Smith, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Marney Welmers, Tucson, Ariz.; Susan Hess, Osprey, Fla.  

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

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. To contribute to support ALA’s work, visit ala.org/donate.