For immediate release | January 28, 2013

2013 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named

SEATTLE — The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 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 Seattle, Jan.25 - 29.

Recipients are selected in three categories: younger children (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 Chicago during the ALA Annual Conference in June.

“Back to Front and Upside Down!,” written and illustrated by Claire Alexanderand published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.,won the award for younger children.

Stan is excited about making a birthday card for his principal, Mr. Slippers, until he discovers that he has to write a message. For him, letters come out back to front and upside down. Stan learns that asking for help, a little coaching, and a lot of practice make for success.

“Ms. Alexander presents a delightful story of promise for young people who may also have difficulty with their letters,”said Award Chair Marilyn M. Irwin.

“A Dog Called Homeless,”written by Sarah Leanand published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, won the award for best middle school title.

A year after her mother’s death, Cally, a fifth grader, has stopped speaking when no one seems to care about what she has to say. When her family moves to a new apartment, Cally meets 11--year-old, Sam who is deaf and blind. Through her friendship with Sam and the mysterious appearance of a dog, Cally finds her voice.

“Through Ms. Lean’s words, Cally and Sam demonstrate that communication can take a number of different formats,” Irwin said.

The teen award winner is Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am,written by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangisand published by Simon & SchusterBFYR, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Ben surprises everyone by enlisting in the army after his high school graduation. When his convoy is caught in an IED explosion, Ben suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in memory loss and other disabilities. His 15-year-old brother Chris, who has autism, becomes a critical catalyst to Ben’s recovery.

“In a time when so many young people are returning from war with TBIs, Chris helps readers see how much the love and support from family can mean,” said Irwin.

Members of the 2013 Schneider Family Book Award committee are: Chair Marilyn M. Irwin, Indiana University-Indianapolis, Bloomington, Ind.; Alyson Beecher, Pasadena Unified School district, Los Angeles; Andrea Erickson, Prince George County Memorial Library, Columbia, Md.; Jill Garcia, National Library Service For The Blind & Physically Handicapped, Beltsville, Md.; Peg Glisson, Penfield, N.Y.; Kathy Kirchoefer, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System New Carrollton Branch, Bowie, Md.; and Susan Person, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library, Broomfield, Colo.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with approximately 58,000 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



Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

Public Information Office (PIO)

800-545-2433 ext.4393