Larra Clark/Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
For Immediate Release

January 22, 2007

2007 Batchelder Award honors Delacorte Press

for “The Pull of the Ocean”

SEATTLE - Delacorte Press is the winner of the 2007 Mildred L. 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 Pull of the Ocean.” The award was announced January 22 at the 2007 Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in Seattle.

Originally published in France in 1999 as “L’enfant Océan,” the book was written by Jean-Claude Mourlevat and translated by Y. Maudet. This contemporary version of the Tom Thumb story follows charismatic Yann, youngest and smallest of seven brothers, as he silently leads his siblings across the rain-soaked French countryside. Their harrowing flight from abusive parents is described through the recollections of the boys themselves and through the distinctive voices of those who witness or abet their journey.

“Gritty realism and mystical fantasy are delivered in wisely measured doses in this enigmatic tale that offers more questions than answers. The book simultaneously challenges and entertains the reader,” said Batchelder Chair Carol Ann Wilson.

Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “The Killer’s Tears,” published by Delacorte Press, and “The Last Dragon,” published by Hyperion/Miramax.

“The Killer’s Tears,” by Anne-Laure Bondoux, was translated into English by Y. Maudet. It was originally published in France as “Les Larmes de l’Assassin.” After his parents are murdered by itinerant criminal Angel, young Paolo and the killer haltingly discover their capacity for love and forgiveness. The two tempt an unavoidable fate when they accept a stranger into their lives and then venture beyond their bleak homestead on the southern tip of Chile.

“This brutally honest and unforgettable excursion to a singular place and into the lives of two profoundly memorable individuals is written with spare grace and lyrical imagery. Like the surrounding landscape, nothing is wasted or superfluous,” Wilson said.

“The Last Dragon,” written by Silvana De Mari, was originally published in Italian and translated into English by Shaun Whiteside. A young elf and an irascible dragon, with the help of two bewildered but kindly humans and later a feisty orphan, attempt to fulfill a prophecy that tests their courage and resilience. The tale offers the reader adventure, romance and a wonderfully realized magical world.

“So appropriate for this award, words are the keystones in building understanding in this fast-paced fantasy. The book is brimming with humor tempered by tragedy and action balanced with insight,” Wilson said.

The award honors Mildred L. Batchelder, a former executive director of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA, and is administered by ALSC.

Members of the 2007 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield, N.J.; Roslyn Beitler, Washington, D.C.; Margaret Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, Mass.; Andy Howe, Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy; Gabi Kupitz, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

For more information on the
Batchelder Award and other ALA literary awards, please visit