2005 Batchelder Award honors Delacorte Press for “The Shadows of Ghadames”

Contacts: Larra Clark/Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

January 17, 2005

2005 Batchelder Award honors Delacorte Press for

“The Shadows of Ghadames”

BOSTON – Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, was named the winner of the 2005 Mildred Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a foreign language and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States for “The Shadows of Ghadames.” The award was announced January 17, 2005, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 14 – 19.

Originally published in French in 1999 as “Les Ombres de Ghadamès,” the book was written by Joëlle Stolz and translated into English by Catherine Temerson.

“The Shadows of Ghadames” paints a vivid picture of a young woman’s coming of age in 19th-century Libya, as 11-year-old Malika questions the restrictions she encounters as she approaches marriageable age. When the women of her family secretly aid a young outcast, Malika gains a new understanding of the strength of the women of Ghadames, whose seclusion from the men’s world of the streets has created a powerful all-female community that extends across the rooftops of the city.

“Readers will sympathize with Malika, the rebellious adolescent, while Stolz’s rich and compelling detail invites them into her world,” said Award Committee Chair Marilyn Hollinshead.

Two Honor Books also were selected. “The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove,” published by Farrar Straus & Giroux, and “Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi,” published by Richard Jackson Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum division.

“The Crow-Girl,” by Bodil Bredsdorff, was translated into English by Faith Ingwersen. The book was originally published in Danish in 1993 as “Krageungen: Børnene i Kragevig 1.” In this spare yet moving novel, the Crow-Girl and her grandmother live in a stone house on a sea cove. After her grandmother dies, the child follows the beckoning cries of two crows and leaves her home. While on her journey, the Crow-Girl encounters people who attempt to break her spirit, as well as those who open their hearts and eventually become her chosen family.

“With its powerful descriptions of the stark coastal setting and its unique characters, this atmospheric book celebrates the quiet strength of a girl determined to survive and thrive on her own terms,” Hollinshead said.

“Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi” by David Chotjewitz, was translated into English by Doris Orgel. The book was originally published in German in 2000 as “Daniel Halber Mensch.” In this story of 1930s’ Germany, a boy who initially enjoys the advantages of an affluent upbringing is forced into a life of deception after discovering that he is half-Jewish. The suspenseful plot revolves around the complicated relationship between Daniel and his friend Armin, who try to remain close even as the rise of Nazism takes them in different directions. Eventually both must make choices that change their own and each other’s lives.

“Chotjewitz depicts with immediacy the changing world of Germany under the Third Reich. His rejection of easy ethical answers will challenge young readers. All three books exemplify the best in international books for children,” Hollinshead said.

Committee members include: Chair Marilyn Hollinshead, West Tisbury, Mass.; Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, Wis.; Marian Creamer, Children’s Literature Alive!, Portland, Ore.; Deborah Stevenson, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Champaign, Ill.; and Deborah Wright, Newport News (Va.) Public Library.

The Batchelder Award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA, and will be presented during the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23 – 29.

The award was established in 1966, and is named for Mildred L. Batchelder, a former executive director of ALSC whose life work was “to eliminate barriers to understanding between people of different cultures, races, nations and languages.” The award’s goal is to encourage American publishers to seek out superior children's books abroad and to promote communication among the peoples of the world.

More information on the Batchelder Award can be found at
http://www.ala.org/alsc/batch.html. For information on other ALA literary awards, please visit