Each year, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee reads all books published for young readers, and grants three awards, one in fiction, one in nonfiction, one in poetry. Here they are!
Best in Fiction: The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial)
During World War II in the city of London, nine-year-old Ada, crippled because of a twisted foot and abused by her mother, escapes their “prison apartment” to join her brother as trains loaded with children leave the city and head for the country, hopefully, to protect the children from bombs. Ada grows in spirit and strength, realizes her dream of riding fast and free on horseback, and trusting that someone could really love her. “The Josette Frank Award for Fiction honors a book or books of outstanding merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally.”
Best in Nonfiction:Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carol Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Candlewick)
Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from childhood until her death in 1977. Her speech at the Democratic National Convention and heard across the country on television motivated many to vote Freedom! “The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award honors an information book that serves as an inspiration to young readers.”
Best in Poetry: My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (namelos)
Marilyn Nelson,a Newbery Honor medalist, Coretta Scott King Medalist and National Book Award nominee, brings alive the long lost community of Seneca Village, now an area known in New York City, Manhattan, as Central Park. “The Claudia Lewis Award is honors the best poetry book of the year for young readers.”