2019 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/28/2019


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



SEATTLE – The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 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 from January 25 – 29, in Seattle, Washington.   

Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through young child (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 Washington, D.C., during the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in June. This year marks the introduction of Schneider Family Award honor titles.  

“The Remember Balloons,” by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division is the Schneider Family Book Award young children honor title.   

“Rescue & Jessica A Life-Changing Friendship,” written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes illustrated by Scott Magoon and published by Candlewick Press, won the award for young children.  

Rescue & Jessica is the story of loving, supportive friendship between a service dog and a girl adapting to her new life as a double amputee. Together they find possibility and purpose. Inspired by the true story of Rescue and Jessica Kensky, who was injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.  “The committee was impressed by the warmth and strength of the bond that Jessica and Rescue formed that empowered them both,” said Award Chair Ed A. Spicer.  

“The Collectors,” by Jacqueline West, and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers is the Schneider Family Book Award best middle grades honor title.   

“The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle,” written by Leslie Connor and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers won the award for best middle grades title.  

Targeted by bullies, prime murder suspect Mason Buttle accepts help from the school social worker and uses voice recognition technology to tell his story in his own way. In his journey, he learns to believe in himself and uncovers the truth about his best friend’s death. 

“Readers will be mesmerized by this authentic depiction of Mason Buttle, a boy with a learning disability who discovers “knowing what you love is smart,” said Spicer. 

“(Don’t ) Call Me Crazy 33: Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health,” edited by Kelly Jensen and published by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing is the first ever Schneider Family Book Award teen honor title.   

The teen award winner is “Anger is a Gift,” written by Mark Oshiro, and published by A Tor Teen Book, Tom Doherty Associates.   

Despite suffering from severe panic attacks due to the murder of his father, high school junior Moss, with help from a loving support system of family and friends, continues to fight for justice in his Oakland community that now threatens to take so much more from him.  

“The committee was impressed with Moss’s support system--his mother and friends--for dealing with his anxiety and panic attacks. Moss’s perseverance in the face of his anxiety is inspiring!,” said Spicer. 

Members of the 2019 committee include Chair Ed Spicer, Curriculum Consultant, Allegan, Mich.; Alyson Beecher, Glendale Unified School District, Glendale, Calif.; Jill Garcia, Library of Congress/NLSBPH Washington, D.C.; Dora T. Ho, Los Angeles Public Library; Pamela Jo Renfrow, Memphis, Tenn.; Ellen Hunter Ruffin, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss.; Marney Welmers, Retired Librarian, Tucson, Ariz.; and Susan Hess, Retired Librarian, Sarasota, Fla.  

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. To contribute to support ALA’s work, visit ala.org/donate. 

For more information on the Schneider Family Book Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma