2010 Batchelder Award honors Delacorte Press for “A Faraway Island”

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release

January 18, 2010

BOSTON - Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, is the winner of the 2010 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States for “A Faraway Island.” The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 15 – 19 in Boston.

Originally published in Swedish in 1996 as “En ö i havet,” “A Faraway Island” was written by Annika Thor and translated by Linda Schenck. The book tells the story of two Jewish sisters from Vienna, Austria, twelve-year-old Stephie and her younger sister Nellie, who are sent by their parents to Sweden to escape the Nazis. Nellie adapts easily, but Stephie faces painful challenges. This engaging novel explores the importance of family, friendship and personal growth.

“Stephie and Nellie’s everyday hopes and fears personalize the effects of war on children’s lives. This is the first book in a series so popular with readers that it was adapted for Swedish television,” said Batchelder Committee Chair Annette Goldsmith.

Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Eidi,” published by Farrar Straus Giroux, “Big Wolf and Little Wolf,” published by Enchanted Lion Books and “Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness,” published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Originally published in Danish as “Eidi: Børnene i Kragevig 2,” “Eidi” was written by Bodil Bredsdorff and translated by Kathryn Mahaffy. Feeling displaced by the birth of her half-brother, Eidi leaves her beloved family in Crow Cove and sets out on a journey to discover her independence and talents in this sequel to “The Crow-Girl.”

“Eidi’s story has the timeless quality and power of a northern folktale. This is that rarity, a lyrical yet plot-driven book,” said Goldsmith.

Originally published in French as “Grand Loup et Petit Loup,” “Big Wolf and Little Wolf,” was written by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallec and translated by Claudia Bedrick. Big Wolf lives alone under a tree until one day Little Wolf appears. Bit by bit, Big Wolf allows Little Wolf to join him in daily activities. Only when Little Wolf goes away does Big Wolf realize how much he cares for his new friend.

“The committee was completely won over by this poetic and subtle tale of new friendship for all ages. Though brief, this elegant translation communicates a universal story that is very French,” said Goldsmith.

Originally published in Japanese as “Yami no Moribito,” “Moribito II,” was written by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu and translated by Cathy Hirano. Bodyguard-for-hire Balsa returns in this tale of redemption and political intrigue set in a fantasy world reminiscent of medieval Japan.

“This masterful translation features a rich and complex array of characters. Action-packed and soul-searching, “Moribito II” is a narrative of reconciliation with broad appeal,” said Goldsmith.

Members of the 2010 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Annette Goldsmith, Florida State University College of Information, Tallahassee, Fla.; Catharine Bomhold, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss.; Rosemary Chance, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; Gwen Taylor, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho; and Natalie Ziarnik, Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, Ill.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at

For information on the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit
www.ala.org/yma .