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2007 Winners of the Jane Addams Children's Book Awards

Winners! | Announcement Press Release | PR - Print Version | Announcement Ceremony | Awards Presentation

A Place Where Sunflowers GrowWeedflowerCrossing Bok ChittoNight Boat to FreedomFreedom WalkersCounting on Grace
Congratulations to the 54th Jane Addams Children's Book Awardees
Amy Lee-Tai, Felicia Hoshino, Cynthia Kadohata, Tim Tingle, Jeanne Rorex Bridges,
Margot Theis Raven, E. B. Lewis, Russell Freedman, Elizabeth Winthrop
Photos from the announcement at Hull House can be found at Sara Park's Facebook page.

2007 Book Awards
Calendar of Events

Announcement of Winners
April 27, 2007

Presentation of Awards
October 19, 2007
New York City


What are the Jane Addams Children's Book Awards?

The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.
The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards have been presented annually since 1953 by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the Jane Addams Peace Association. Beginning in 1993, a Picture Book category was created. Honor books may be chosen in each category.
Authors and artists of award-winning and honor books each receive a certificate and a cash award. Seals designating each recognition are available for purchase by publishers, libraries, schools and others wanting them from the Jane Addams Peace Association.
Between 1963 and 2002, announcement of the awards was made each fall on the September anniversary of Jane Addams' birth date. Beginning in 2003, the award winners are announced on April 28, the anniversary of the founding of WILPF. An awards presentation, open to all, is held each year on the third Friday of October.

 

JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS PRESENTATION REMARKS

On October 19, 2007, the 2007 Jane Addams Children's Book Awards
were presented by the Jane Addams Peace Association. 
The following transcript is the opening remarks at the presentation of the awards:

confettiThe Opening Remarks by Susan C. Griffith

Thank you, Ann, and thanks to the Jane Addams Peace Association and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom for sponsoring these awards that, for the 54th year, honor Jane Addams – her principles, her philosophy, and her activism. As Chair of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Committee, I would like to acknowledge Erika Schlenkermann for her music, the special efforts of the JAPA Board in providing books for purchase and signing, and all the members of the award committee.   Here today are Eliza Dresang, a member of the committee since the year 2000, and a new member of the Committee, Sonja Cherry-Paul, who will join our work in 2008. Other members, spread across the country, are listed on your program and are here in spirit.

I welcome all of you gathered in this room.  You come from California, Florida, Texas, New York, Michigan, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to honor the legacy of Jane Addams, the power of stories, and the future of all children. What brings us to this moment?  The journey for all of us begins long before we took a step outside our doors today.  It began with imagination—maybe ten years ago, maybe just two or three, an idea or image surfaced in the minds of the authors and illustrators we see before us.  They paid attention, made a commitment, nurtured the ideas and brought them to friends, colleagues, publishers and editors who listened, supported, reflected and gave time and resources to bring those ideas forward to create the books we honor today.

And where will this moment take us?  For us, the readers of your stories, it will take us back to our own homes and communities.  There, we act as part of a social justice network committed to the power of imagination and stories in shaping a world grounded in peace, social justice and world community.  In doing so, we take inspiration from Jane Addams herself who, in 1902, wrote:

We have learned as common knowledge that much of the insensibility and hardness of the world is due to the lack of imagination which prevents a realization of the experiences of other people (Addams, Democracy and Social Ethics, p. 8).

We use our own imaginations to create the events, exhibits, conversations, reviews, activities and celebrations that draw attention to these stories and place them in the hands of children who have imaginations of their own. Our network grows stronger with each passing year.  Here are highlights of this year’s efforts:

  1. For the first time ever, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award winners and honor books were announced from the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois-Chicago in April. In cooperation with Lisa Lee, Director of the Museum, this now annual press conference was held in the Residents’ Dining Room—the wood-paneled, high-ceilinged room where Addams herself ate, discussed, plotted and planned to change the world with the cadre of woman who lived and worked alongside her.

  2. Accompanied by Jane Addams, the Time Traveler, (who is here with us today), Addams Committee member Jo Montie worked with children in Minnesota schools.  She used the books, the Addams doll and an empathy game to encourage children to make connections with Addams and to ask themselves:  How might I make choices to make a difference while I’m here?

  3. As a direct result of attending last year’s ceremony, Michelle Yang and Sonja Cherry-Paul of the Hastings-on-the-Hudson School District founded the Jane Addams Literature Circle for Girls. They organized and now lead a group of girls who meet once a month to discuss an Addams Award winner or honor book.  The girls, many of whom are here with us today, tell what the group means to them in a handout in your folder.

  4. Pat Wiser, our indefatigable member from Sewanee, Tennessee, continued her work in Appalachia where she carefully and cautiously integrates the Addams books into the curricula of local schools and drives into the mountains to conduct story hours that push school children to realize the experiences of others.

  5. And, members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom staged an impressive multi-faceted celebration of the 2007 Winners and Honor books at San Francisco Public Library. See the San Francisco Public Library Website to catch the excitement of children enjoying Addams books on their own and in organized activities and to see photographs of the exhibit of 54 years of Addams Award winners that anchored the celebration.

And, now, back to this moment.  We want you, the writers and artists whose imaginations have led us here, to know: When you put fingers to the keyboard or a brush or pencil to paper, we are waiting for your work in California, Tennessee, Minnesota, New York and beyond.  We are out there, building a network ready to receive the works of your imaginations. We believe, as Beth McGowan, representative of WILPF, said at the 2007 Award Announcement at Hull-House:

In giving this Award, the Jane Addams Peace Association acknowledges that the work of our minds shapes the world in which we live. The association acknowledges that the remaking of the world must begin with the remaking of the stories we tell our children.

A Place Where Sunflowers GrowRemarks by Susan C. Griffith
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony
October 19, 2007

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, written by Amy Lee-Tai, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino and published by Children’s Book Press, is the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for Younger Children. Set in a U.S. internment camp and told in both Japanese and English, this is the story of preschooler Mari and her family. Subdued by her losses and frightened by living under guard in the harsh desert, Mari barely talks or laughs anymore.

Mari’s parents look to creative expression to urge her fears into the open and to rekindle her spirit. Her mother plants sunflower seeds with her; her father brings her to art classes held in the barracks. At first, Mari is unable to draw and the sunflower seeds refuse to sprout.  But then, lavished with the time, patience and care of her parents and teacher, Mari does begin to draw, and, in words from the text: “It was if, with every drawing she created, Mari found another question to ask and the courage to ask it.”  “Why are we in camp?  Why is almost everyone here Japanese American?  Will I ever see my old friends again?” 

Finally, after three long months, on the day she draws the crowded family barracks with imagined sunflowers so tall they rival the guard towers above them, the sunflowers sprout.

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow blends understatement with telling details in language carefully chosen to appeal to young children. Mixed-media illustrations in the browns, yellows, golds and greens of both sunflowers and the desert foreground the tenderness of conversations between Mari and her parents against the grim background of the armed guards and barbed wire that enclose them.  Writer Amy Lee-Tai and illustrator Felicia Hoshino drew inspiration from the stories and art of Amy Lee-Tai’s grandmother Ibuki Hibi Lee to create a book that demonstrates that, with time, patience, care and the arts, human dignity and human compassion can be nurtured in even the most unjust circumstances.

It is with great pleasure that we present the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award in the Younger Children’s category to author Amy Lee-Tai.

It is with great pleasure that we present the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award to illustrator Felicia Hoshino.

Weedflower

Remarks by Susan C. Griffith
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony
October 19, 2007

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award in the Books for Older Children category. 

It’s early December 1941.  Twelve-year-old Sumiko rushes home to her hardworking family’s flower farm waving a prized invitation to a classmate’s birthday party. In painful foreshadowing of the heartbreak and injustice all Japanese Americans will soon face, Sumiko is turned away from the party. 

Thrown off balance early in life by the death of her parents, Sumiko and her little brother are now firmly rooted in the family of their Uncle, Auntie, grandfather and older cousins.  Life revolves around the routines of the flower farm and the family rituals that nurture growth in everyday life.  All is lost when the United States declares war on Japan:  The government arrests Grandfather and Uncle and ships Auntie, the cousins, Sumiko and her brother to Poston, an internment camp on the Mohave Indian reservation.

At Poston, like thousands of others in the camp, Sumiko faces dust, heat, confinement and boredom. Adrift, she draws on memories of her grandfather’s stories to spur her to purposeful action. She irrigates and cultivates a plot of ground, plants seeds that she has carried from home, and grows weedflowers, the common stock-flower she loves so dearly.  Grown-ups are worried about the loss of discipline among the children. But when the adults talk about her, they just joke, “All Sumiko cares about is dirt.” 

But Sumiko’s life is more than what the grown-ups observe.  In a chance encounter outside the confines of the camp, she meets Frank, a Mohave boy. In secret, Sumiko and Frank form a friendship—one that Sumiko must nurture as carefully as her flowers, one that pushes her to new understandings of herself and of a world that seems not to care about her or her dreams. 

In creating a story of the Japanese Internment through Sumiko’s eyes, Cynthia Kadohata blends fact and fiction to create a novel that portrays the cruel loss of the purposeful and productive lives of Japanese-American citizens and the Mohave people. The author’s thorough research and empathetic imagination give life to Sumiko, herself a weedflower whose beauty springs from her hardy and artful survival in an environment designed to destroy it. She proves that in the human spirit, as in nature, nothing and no one is a weed. 

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Committee is honored to present the Award to the winner in the Books for Older Children category, Cynthia Kadohata. Congratulations.

Two books won honors in the Books for Younger Children Category. 

Crossing Bok ChittoRemarks by Eliza T. Dresang
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony

October 19, 2007

We are bound for the Promise Land!
Oh, who will come and go with me?
We will come and go with you
We are bound for the Promised Land!

This refrain resounds throughout the 2007 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Book, Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom, told in written form by nationally recognized Choctaw storyteller, Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges, an award-winning artist, and published by Cinco Puntos press.

TIm TIngleThis traditional Choctaw story starts when Martha Tom, a young Indian girl, crosses the River Bok Chitto the boundary between free and slave territory in search of blackberries for her mother’s wedding preparations and witnesses the singing of this refrain in a forbidden slave gathering, deep in the Mississippi woods. The refrain rings in Martha’s mind as she steals back across the river many times, using stones hidden beneath the water but seeming to walk on the surface. Over time she becomes a close friend of Little Mo, a black boy her age, whose father leads these welcoming but forbidden worship services.

But the night that Little Mo learns his mother has been sold and enlists Martha and the other Indian women’s help miraculously to lead his seven-member family to safety and freedom on the Choctaw side of Bok Chitto, the very immediate and concrete meaning of the Promised Land becomes clear.  Martha’s singing of the refrain in Choctaw as the family crosses Bok Chitto symbolizes the friendship of the two peoples and how they worked together courageously and non-violently to break a cycle of fear and subjugation.

The lyrical language of the storytelling, the solemn dignity of each individual portrayed in the perfectly-matched compelling acrylic paintings, and the final historical notes and explanation of the tale’s origins in Choctaw culture come together in a uniquely outstanding picture book. 

The Jane Addams Committee is pleased to honor this story of friendship and freedom that can be found nowhere else in the annals of children’s literature and yet records an extremely important partnership between the native peoples and enslaved Africans in their struggle for freedom. Congratulations and thank you to Tim Tingle, Jeanne Rorex Bridges, and Cinco Puntos for bringing to the children of the world this example of a little known but highly significant part of American history authentically told from the oral tradition.

Night Boat to Freedom

Remarks by Susan C. Griffith
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony
October 19, 2007

Night Boat to Freedom, written by Margot Theis Raven with pictures by E. B. Lewis, published by Melanie Kroupa Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux is a compelling work of historical fiction rich with the tones of oral storytelling. Christmas John, an enslaved African-American boy, repeatedly faces danger and darkness to row other slaves across the Ohio River to freedom.  With Granny Judith’s story of her own cruel capture fueling his actions, Christmas John faces his fear with her words to guide him:  “What scares the head is best done with the heart.” 

Expressive watercolors in blues and grays create passionate conversations held in shadowy firelight and intense moonless nights filled with silence and risk.  Red, subdued when it represents the sorrow and blood of slavery, becomes a bright motif of triumph when it stands alongside all the colors Granny Judith sews into a freedom quilt. Drawing key elements from African-American slave narratives, Night Boat to Freedom offers an inspiring story that is exactly as Ms. Raven describes it in her Author’s Note:  “patches of truth stitched together by voices alive with history.”

For Night Boat to Freedom, a story that shows the resilience and courage of a child faced with injustice, I am pleased to present this 2007 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award honor citation for a Book for Younger Children to Melanie Kroupa on behalf of author Margot Theis Raven.

In recognition of evocative, moving illustrations, I am pleased to present a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Citation in the Books for Younger Children Category to E. B. Lewis.  Melanie Kroupa will accept the citation.

 

Two books won honors in the Books for Older Children category.

Freedom Walkers

Remarks by Eliza T. Dresang
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony
October 19, 2007

Russell Freedman, author of the 2007 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor book, Freedom Walkers, published by Holiday House, is a well-known name in the arena of children’s literature; his work has received virtually every major award given to writing for young people.  And yet he continues, as he does in Freedom Walkers, to tackle important historical and social topics in compelling ways so that they capture the attention of youth and surely inspire them, as did Jane Addams herself, to make the world a place more amenable to peace and social justice.

In Freedom Walkers, Freeman takes a novel approach to the story of the 1954 Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott that is often thought of as the event of that spearheaded the Civil Rights movement. The quiet determination of many individuals who fought their own battles against segregation, paving the way for Rosa Parks’s determination not to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus is clearly portrayed. Whole chapters are devoted to such individuals, e.g., Jo Ann Robinson, a recently hired professor of English, who, in 1949, was humiliated because she happened to sit in what was determined the white portion of the bus or teenager Claudette Colvin. Freeman expertly depicts the dignity and intelligence with which Rosa Parks carried out her role as the catalyst for the strike, and the subsequent coming together of the many, many Freedom Walkers for the 382 days during which they walked to work – often at great sacrifice – and  brought the attention of the world to Montgomery. In fact, they brought about the end of segregated transportation forever. Russell Freeman makes these walkers vividly real with the use of both known and unknown personal details and forceful descriptions.

The black and white photographs speak as articulately as the words of the emotions of this event that taught people everywhere how disputes could be settled peacefully when determination to do so is present and how injustice can be confronted in nonviolent yet highly effective ways.  The Jane Addams Committee congratulations you, Mr. Freedman, for this engrossing account of the Montgomery Freedom Walkers and for the clarity with which you portray this example of how to approach problems of great magnitude with courage and determination to solve them in a peaceable manner.

Counting on Grace

Remarks by Susan C. Griffith
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony
October 19, 2007

Counting on Grace, by Elizabeth Winthrop, is published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  In a fit of pique, schoolteacher Miss Lesley dismisses second-best reader Grace Forcier from her mill-owned classroom.  Her best reader, Arthur Trottier, has just been conscripted to work in the mills in his dead father’s stead.  This novel is set in Vermont in the early 1900s, and is told through the voice of twelve-year-old French Canadian Grace Forcier.

No longer a schoolgirl, Grace is eager to join her family in the mills.  She knows that, as a doffer changing bobbins on her mother’s six looms, she will be counted on for the money she brings to her struggling family.   But exuberant Grace is not quick like her older sister Delia who, the morning of Grace’s first day, issues her a stern, heartfelt warning: “Grace, every second.  Pay attention.” Grace’s mind wanders, her body resists, and her spirits sag as the relentless pressure of factory life bears down upon her.

In a story inspired by a photo taken by Lewis Hine, a reformer with a camera, Elizabeth Winthrop gives us Grace—a girl who negotiates the dangerous looms, empathizes with the striving of her friend Arthur, and lovingly cares about and for her family members.  Grace is a courageous individual but she is not alone.  When the letter she secretly writes with Miss Lesley and Arthur brings Lewis Hine to town, his careful activism and respectful approach ground her more firmly in her community while stretching her sense of self beyond its boundaries.

This historical novel emphasizes the importance of literacy, imagination, community and activism in challenging social injustice.  I am pleased to present a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award honor citation in the category of Books for Older Children to Elizabeth Winthrop. 

 

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award annually acknowledges books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books chosen effectively address themes or topics that promote peace, justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literary and artistic excellence.

A national committee chooses winners and honor books for older and younger children.  Members of the 2007 Jane Addams Children's Book Awards Committee are Susan C. Griffith, Chair (Mt. Pleasant, Michigan), Barbara Bair (Washington, D. C.), Ann Bower (Harwich, Massachusetts), Eliza T. Dresang (Tallahassee, Florida), Oralia Garza de Cortes (Pasadena, CA), MJ Grande (Juneau, Alaska), Margaret Jensen (Madison, Wisconsin), Jo Montie (Minneapolis, MN), Sarah Park (Long Beach, California) Deborah Taylor (Baltimore, Maryland), and Pat Wiser (Sewanee, Tennessee). Regional reading and discussion groups participated with many of the committee members throughout the jury’s evaluation and selection process.

The 2007 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards will be presented Friday, October 19th  in New York City. Details about the award event and about securing winner and honor book seals are available from the Jane Addams Peace Association. Contact JAPA Executive Director Linda B. Belle, 777 United Nations Plaza, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017-3521; by phone 212-682-8830; and by e-mail japa@igc.org.

For additional information about the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards and a complete list of books honored since 1953, see www.janeaddamspeace.org.

Founded in 1948, JAPA is the educational arm of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).  In addition to sponsoring the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards and many other educational projects, JAPA houses the U.N. office of WILPF in New York City and owns the Jane Addams House in Philadelphia where the U.S. section of WILPF is located. Organized on April 28th in 1915, WILPF is celebrating its 92nd  year. For information, visit www.wilpf.int.ch/.

 


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Introduction to the 2007 Awards Announcement

by Beth McGowan

Check Against Delivery

My name is Beth McGowan, and I am so honored to be here today. I first joined WILPF nearly thirty years ago as a student in the Goucher college branch of WILPF, outside of Baltimore in the late 1970s. I lived in Philadelphia, national headquarters for US WILPF and kept current with its activities while I did my graduate work in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. I lived in Geneva, Switzerland where WILPF has an international office while I was doing research at University of Geneva.  I am now an associate professor of English at Rockford College, Jane Addams' alma mater, and chair of a WILPF branch on that campus.

WILPF, Jane Addams and I have had a long-term relationship.

But what is the nature of that relationship? WILPF is an activist organization and Jane Addams was an activist. She cautioned that we avoid the “snare of preparation,” by which she meant that we should not spend all of lives studying and learning thinking we needed to know everything before we began to act to change the world. Her work here at Hull House was a model of avoiding this snare. She came here uncertain of precisely what she would do, but she did it. She found her way as she acted.

I fancy myself a scholar. How do I find inspiration in her? It is because Jane Addams’ vision of action never slighted the intellectual. She was emphatically not anti-intellectual. For her, the intellectual was a form of activism. She made Hull House a site for many forms of activities, but central to those activities was cultural work, art, literature, music. And she made this cultural work diverse—not only canonical western materials, but the folk materials of the immigrants who once lived in this neighborhood were honored and shared, so that members of various communities should gain understanding of each other.

Jane Addams’ legacy represents to me model of intellectual seriousness linked to a quest for justice. It is that legacy that the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award honors. Books, children’ books: works of both linguistic and visual art are honored here today.  In giving this award the Jane Addams Peace Association acknowledges that the work of our minds shapes the world in which we live. The association acknowledges that the remaking of the world must begin with the remaking of the stories we tell our children. The books traditionally honored by this award eschew the good/bad, us/them thinking prevalent in so many of the stories we tell our children and in the stories we tell ourselves.

When we and our children cease to think in terms of good guys and bad guys (and I know that is gendered), we can begin to imagine a different world, a world that revels in a vast variety of ways of being within a single world community. It is that world community that we must strive for, because it is that community that is necessary to peace.

 


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      

JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS ANNOUNCED

April 27, 2007….Winners of the 2007 Jane Addams Children's Book Awards were announced today by the Jane Addams Peace Association. 

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, written by Amy Lee-Tai, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino and published by Children’s Book Press is the winner in the Books for Younger Children category. Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is the winner in the Books for Older Children category. Both books draw on personal family history to create stories about Japanese-American girls living in internment camps in the United States during World War II.

A Place Where Sunflowers GrowA Place Where Sunflowers Grow centers on a young child’s quiet confusion in the disorienting surroundings of the desert camp. This bilingual story told in Japanese and English emphasizes the arts, family and friendship as sources of strength in the face of injustice. Mixed-media illustrations rendered in the browns, yellows, and golds of both sunflowers and the desert bolster the story’s overriding message:  Not easily, but with time, patience and care, hope can be fostered in even the harshest circumstances.

WeedflowerWeedflower begins in December 1941. From the moment twelve-year-old Sumiko is turned away from a classmate’s birthday party because she is Japanese-American throughout her family’s subsequent internment, she responds to the injustices with disbelief, ambivalence, energy and hope. At Poston, an internment camp on the Mohave Indian reservation, her passion for growing flowers sustains her and a surprising friendship with a Mohave boy pushes her to face her own uncertain future with confidence.

Two books have won honors in the Books for Younger Children Category. 

Crossing Bok ChittoCrossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom, is written by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges and published by Cinco Puntos Press. The Choctaw people live on one side of the river Bok Chitto; plantation owners and African American slaves live on the other. A secret friendship between a Choctaw girl and an African-American boy is the first link in a chain of humanity that spirits the boy’s family across the river to freedom. The folk tale is a tribute to the Choctaws and Indians of every nation who aided African Americans running from slavery. Earth-tone paintings and striking use of white express the story’s blend of reality and magic perfectly.

Night Boat to FreedomNight Boat to Freedom, is written by Margot Theis Raven, pictures by E. B. Lewis and published by Melanie Kroupa Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  In danger and darkness, an enslaved African-American boy repeatedly risks his life to row others across the river to Ohio and freedom.  Expressive watercolors use blues, grays and patches of red to convey the emotional landscape of this story etched from the oral histories of former slaves

 

Two books have won honors in the Books for Older Children category.

Freedom WalkersFreedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Russell Freedman and published by Holiday House. With inspiring quotes, compelling photos and telling details, Freedman’s well-documented account of the1955-56 Montgomery (AL) bus boycott brings the grass-roots, nonviolent nature of this movement to the fore. This story of ordinary African American citizens who “rose up in protest and united to demand their rights—by walking peacefully” demonstrates the power of passive resistance and collective action in challenging racism and injustice that shape daily life.

Counting on GraceCounting on Grace, by Elizabeth Winthrop, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  Forced to leave school, a French-Canadian girl joins her family working in the mills of Vermont in the early 1900’s.  With the support of a local teacher and incognito child-labor activist and photographer Lewis Hine, she sees the world beyond the boundaries of the mill and realizes the power of literacy to effect change. 

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award annually acknowledges books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books chosen effectively address themes or topics that promote peace, justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literary and artistic excellence.

A national committee chooses winners and honor books for older and younger children.  Members of the 2007 Jane Addams Children's Book Awards Committee are Susan C. Griffith, Chair (Mt. Pleasant, Michigan), Barbara Bair (Washington, D. C.), Ann Bower (Harwich, Massachusetts), Eliza T. Dresang (Tallahassee, Florida), Oralia Garza de Cortes (Pasadena, CA), MJ Grande (Juneau, Alaska), Margaret Jensen (Madison, Wisconsin), Jo Montie (Minneapolis, MN), Sarah Park (Long Beach, California) Deborah Taylor (Baltimore, Maryland), and Pat Wiser (Sewanee, Tennessee). Regional reading and discussion groups participated with many of the committee members throughout the jury’s evaluation and selection process.

The 2007 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards will be presented Friday, October 19th  in New York City. Details about the award event and about securing winner and honor book seals are available from the Jane Addams Peace Association. Contact JAPA Executive Director Linda B. Belle, 777 United Nations Plaza, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017-3521; by phone 212-682-8830; and by e-mail japa@igc.org.

For additional information about the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards and a complete list of books honored since 1953, see www.janeaddamspeace.org.

Founded in 1948, JAPA is the educational arm of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).  In addition to sponsoring the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards and many other educational projects, JAPA houses the U.N. office of WILPF in New York City and owns the Jane Addams House in Philadelphia where the U.S. section of WILPF is located. Organized on April 28th in 1915, WILPF is celebrating its 92nd  year. For information, visit www.wilpf.int.ch/.

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Click here for a list of previous winners of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award.


Honoring children's books since 1953

The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's picture books and longer books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.