2008 Book Awards
Calendar of Events
Announcement of Winners
April 28, 2008
Presentation of Awards
October 17, 2008
New York City
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.
children's books since 1953
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS ANNOUNCED
April 28, 2008….Winners of the 2008 Jane Addams Children's Book
Awards were announced today by the Jane Addams Peace Association.
Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington’s Slave Finds Freedom,
the winner in the Books for Younger Children Category,
is written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully and published by
Farrar Strauss Giroux. Mrs. Washington’s declares that young Oney
is just like one of the Washington’s own children, but Oney is
not fooled. On the night Mrs. Washington tells Oney she will not
grant her freedom upon her death, Oney thinks quickly, acts courageously
and flees. Expressive watercolors within this well-researched biography
portray the bravery of Ona Maria Judge, an African-American woman who
claimed, and fought for, the right to have “no mistress but herself.”
Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin by Larry Dane Brimner,
published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc., is
the winner in the Books for Older Children Category.
One book has won honors in the Books for Younger Children Category.
Working behind the scenes because of his sexual orientation and unpopular
political stands, African-American pacifist and civil rights activist
Bayard Rustin, a trusted adviser to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Succinct
prose, powerful quotations and fresh historical photographs place the
story of Rustin’s life alongside the story of the March, revealing
the breadth and depth of Rustin’s decades of commitment to confronting
racism and promoting peace in the United States and in countries around
Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II,
written and illustrated by Lita Judge is published by Hyperion Books
for Children. After discovering one thousand yellowed foot tracings
in her grandmother’s attic, Lita Judge wrote this tribute to her
grandmother who had used these newspaper tracings to find appropriately-sized
shoes to send to needy German families in the aftermath of World War
II. A combination of paintings, collages of original photographs and
reproductions of foot tracings underscore the message of compassion
at the heart of this family story.
Three books have won honors in the Books for Older Children category.
Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins,
with illustrations by Jamie Hogan and published by Charlesbridge, is
a contemporary novel set in Bangladesh. In clear prose and detailed
black-and-white drawings, ten-year-old Naimi excels at painting alpanas,
traditional designs created by Bangladeshi women and girls. Her talent,
though valued by her family, cannot buy rice or pay back the loan on
her father’s rickshaw as a son’s contribution would do.
Determined to help financially, Naimi disguises herself as a boy and
sparks surprising events that reveal an expanding world for herself
and women in her community.
of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, published by Scholastic
Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc., is a sensitively-written historical
novel infused with the spirit of youth. Eleven-year-old Elijah
bursts with pride at being the first child born free in Buxton, Canada,
a settlement of runaway slaves just across the border from Detroit.
When a scoundrel steals money saved to buy an enslaved family’s
freedom, Elijah impulsively pursues the thief into Michigan. The journey
brings him face-to-face with the terrors of slavery, pushing him to
act courageously and compassionately in the name of freedom.
1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford is published by Wordsong,
an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc. Deftly-written free verse and
expertly-chosen archival photographs lay open the horror of the 1963
Birmingham church bombing by telling the story in the voice of an imagined
girl in the “year I turned ten.” Four memorial poems,
each a tribute to one of the four girls murdered in the bombing, conclude
this slim, powerful volume and carry its emphatic message: No
Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award annually acknowledges
books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books commended
by the Award address themes or topics that engage children in thinking
about 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),
Sonja Cherry-Paul (Yonkers, New York), Eliza T. Dresang (Tallahassee,
Florida), Oralia Garza de Cortes (Pasadena, California), MJ Grande (Juneau,
Alaska), Daisy Gutierrez (Houston, Texas), Margaret Jensen (Madison,
Wisconsin), Jo Montie (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Sarah Park (Long Beach,
California), Pat Wiser (Sewanee,Tennessee) and Junko Yokota (Skokie,
Illinois). Regional reading and discussion groups participated with
many of the committee members throughout the jury’s evaluation
and selection process.
The 2008 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards will be presented
Friday, October 17th 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 (JAPA). 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 email@example.com.
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 93rd year. For information, visit www.wilpf.int.ch/.
- End -
2008 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Ceremony
Friday, October 17, 2008
Susan C. Griffith, Chair,
Jane Addams Children's Book Award Committee
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 55th 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, (please stand)
- the work of the editors, book designers and publishers whose bring the books we honor into being,
- the girls of the Jane Addams Literature Circle for Girls
And, of course, all the members of the award committee. Six of whom are here with us today:
- from Massachusetts, Ann Carpenter,
- from New York, Sonja Cherry-Paul,
- from Florida, Eliza Dresang,
- from Texas, Daisy Gutierrez,
- from Tenessee, Pat Wiser and
- from Illinois, Junko Yokota.
Other members—from Alaska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, D.C. and California—are listed on your program and are here in spirit.
Thirty five years ago, I was 21, fresh out of college and ready to take on the world as a school librarian. I returned to my home town and began working for a then-rural school system outside a Midwestern city. I was in charge of five elementary school libraries and reported to four principals.
My feminist lens was clear, my vision in sharp focus as I evaluated the five collections of books. I ordered every picture book with a strong female character, I ordered books like What Can She Be? A Lawyer (Goldreich & Goldreich, 1973) and I ordered biographies of the only women allowed to surface regularly in children's books at the time, women like Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Addams.
My heartfelt efforts met with a surprising range of responses: One of the principals addressed my actions with humor and derision. Another never spoke to me once all year. The third wrote a letter of complaint and had it placed in my personnel file. And the fourth—six-foot-three, Mr. Cook—took me out into the hall, looked down into my eyes, and said, “Who was this Jane Addams anyway?”
Before Mr. Cook ever called me into the hall, I knew that . . .
Jane Addams was a white, middle class single woman who, along with Ellen Gates Starr, founded Hull-House, one of the first settlement houses in this country. Hull House, like its inspiration Toynbee Hall in London and its counterparts across the United States, was a center of culture, advocacy and education located in the heart of a city. Hull House opened in September 1889 in the nineteenth ward of Chicago, a neighborhood of immigrant families living in the unsanitary, inhumane conditions that result from industrialized poverty.
And I knew that . . .
Jane Addams was a pacifist.
What I didn't know about Jane Addams then, and have learned since, includes . . .
First . . .
She spent the last twenty-five years of her life working for international peace. As part of this effort, in 1915, she was a founding member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She refused to support World War I even after the United States entered the conflict.
Second . . .
Jane Addams' lived outside the mainstream in her private life just as she chose to do in her public life. In doing so, she complicated and mitigated the privileges of class and race that were a part of her heritage.
In her public life, Jane Addams resisted identification with organized religion and insisted that Hull-House remain unaffiliated. She did her work not out a sense of charity nor as a missionary. She lived and worked with —not for —the people in her neighborhood.
In her private life, Addams enjoyed a life-time partnership with Mary Rozet Smith, a wealthy white Chicago woman who tirelessly supported Addams and her work at Hull-House . Addams' biographer Katherine Joslin chronicles Addams' and Smith's relationship as it developed in letters between the two. Joslin writes: “Jane and Mary called their forty-year relationship, quite simply, a marriage (Joslin, 2004, p. 11).”
And, finally . . .
Jane Addams was a writer and philosopher. She was, according to Victoria Bissell Brown, “the most effective and prolific writer of her generation of reformers.” She wrote and published twelve books and over 500 essays, speeches, editorials and columns. Stories of her own experiences and stories of the experiences she observed in her neighborhood and the world at large lie at the heart of all her writings.
Jane Addams, activist, pacifist, writer and philosopher was a self-determined woman whose astute, persistent, thoughtful action struck at the roots of social injustice during the first decades of the twentieth century-- what an inspiring and appropriate namesake for a book award that honors children's books that ask children to think about social justice and social responsibility in their own lives and the lives of others.
And so, with a deeper appreciation for Addams' life, philosopy and activis, developed over my own lifetime, I invite you to celebrate the books that carry her legacy forward into the twenty-first century--the 2008 Jane Addams Children's Book Award winners and honor books.
Brown, Victoria Bissell. (2001). Jane Addams. In R. L. Schultz & A. Hast (Eds.) Women building Chicago 1790-1990: A biographical dictionary . Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 14-22.
Joslin, Katherine. (2004). Jane Addams: A writer's life . Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
November 6, 2008
Click here for
a list of complete list of winners
Jane Addams Children's Book Award.