2017 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/24/2017


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



ATLANTA–The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 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 in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 20- 24.

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 during the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in June.

“Six Dots” written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, won the award for young children.

Becoming blind at a young age, Louis Braille didn’t allow his disability to prevent him from learning about the world around him.  Unsatisfied with the options available, Louis tinkered with French military code to invent an alphabet system that revolutionized communication for people with visual impairments

“Bryant & Kulikov combine text and art to transport readers back in time to marvel at young Braille’s genius and tenacity at inventing an alphabet system that has continued through the centuries,” said Award Chair Joanna Tamplin.

“as brave as you,” written by Jason Reynolds and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, won the award for best middle school title.

Uprooted from Brooklyn, brothers Genie and Ernie spend the summer with their grandparents in rural Virginia. While getting to know each other, Genie discovers the true meaning of bravery as he observes his grandfather navigating the world without sight. Life lessons sprinkled with humor demonstrate the power of family bonds.

“Like any good archaeologist, Jason Reynolds studied the bones of his own family history to create unique characters you will swear you have met, including Grandpop, who is blind but never limited,” (referenced from a presentation by Reynolds at a national book conference.) said Tamplin.

The teen award winner is “When We Collided,” written by Emery Lord and published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

Vivi brings an unprecedented vibrancy to Jonah’s life--which has been a struggle since his dad died  --but her riveting highs are followed by devastating lows.  Managing her bipolar disorder can feel like a compromise, but Vivi opts to take the path toward recovery, even if it’s not the easiest way forward.

“With spectacuclarity and burstsomeness, Emory Lord pulls us, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the world of bipolar disorder.” said Tamplin.

Members of the 2017 Chair, Joanna Tamplin, Hawks Rise Elementary, Tallahassee, Fla.; Alyson Beecher, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, Calif.; Mary Burkey, Independent Library Consultant, Columbus, Ohio; Jill Garcia, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Washington D.C.; Beth McGuire, Wendover Middle School, Greensburg, Pa.;  Jennifer Kelley Reed, Newton Public Schools, Newton, Mass.; Elsworth Rockefeller Carman, Marion Public Library, Marion, Iowa; and Ed Spicer, Independent Curriculum Consultant, Allegan, Mich.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 57,000 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 www.ala.org/yma.