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777 United Nations Plaza, 6th floor
New York, NY 10017-3521
Phone: (212) 682-8830 E-mail: japa@igc.org www.janeaddamspeace.org
Tura Campanella Cook – President
Linda B. Belle – Executive Director
APRIL 26, 2014… Recipients of the 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards were announced today by the Jane Addams Peace Association.
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, published by Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, is the winner in the Books for Younger Children Category. Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes, published by Little, Brown and Company is the winner in the Books for Older Children category.
Clara Lemlich, the young woman profiled in Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 was barely in her twenties when she helped to lead the largest walkout of women workers in US history. A Jewish immigrant from Ukraine, Clara found work in the New York garment industry, only to discover that the working conditions were abysmal and unjust. When the mostly male union leaders urged caution, Clara stood up and demanded a general strike. Despite threats and brutal retaliation from those in power, Clara helped to create change. 
Sugar is the name of the book, the name of the crop that dominates plantation life, and the name of the spirited young girl who tells us her story. The Civil War is over, but little has changed in Sugar’s life. Most of the former slaves have moved away, leaving only those too elderly to travel and orphaned Sugar. With no other children around, Sugar starts a forbidden friendship with the son of the plantation owner, but the relationship is complicated. When workers from China are hired to work in the sugar fields, tensions erupt among every layer of plantation society.
Two books were named Honor Books in the Books for Younger Children category.
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and published by Jump at the Sun, an imprint of Disney-Hyperion, has been named an Honor Book for Younger Children. “When…people sing out, they can change the world.” Widely known as a Civil Rights anthem, the song has a long history that started well before that period, and continues to inspire around the world today. With lively illustrations and moving prose, the book explores the power of community through the story of one song.
Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education written by Elizabeth Suneby and illustrated by Suana Verelst and published by Kids Can Press has been named an Honor Book for Younger Children. Razia’s village in Afghanistan is building a school for girls, and Razia is determined to attend, despite initial reluctance from her elder brother. Through her own advocacy and spirit, her dream for an education is realized.
Two books were named Honor Books in the Books for Older Children category.
Seeing Red by Katheryn Erskine and published by Scholastic Press is named an Honor Book for Older Children. In the early 1970’s, twelve year old Red struggles with the damage his actions have caused to his friendship with an older African American boy, while at the same time trying to right a centuries-old racial injustice connected to his beloved family. Realistically complicated characters and situations breathe life into this story of a young man creating change in both his community and himself.
Brotherhood by Anne Westrick and published by Viking is named an Honor Book for Older Children. Uneasy in Reconstruction-era Virginia, Shad feels torn between conflicting loyalties when teachers at a controversial school for freed slaves, including an African American girl his own age, are able to help with his dyslexia at the same time that he is reveling in the sense of community and comradeship he feels with his recent induction into the newly formed Ku Klux Klan. Choosing between his new understanding of the African American community and his family and community results in hard choices and no easy answers in this look at a complex period of our history.
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 of 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 literacy and artistic excellence.
A national committee chooses winners and honor books for younger and older children. Members of the 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Committee are Marianne Baker (co-chair, Barboursville, VA), Kathryn Bruce (Monteagle, TN), Ann Carpenter (co-chair,Harwich, MA), Julie Olsen Edwards (Soquel, CA), Susan Freiss (Madison, WI), Lani Gerson (Watertown, MA), Jacqui Kolar (Morton Grove, IL), Lauren Mayer (Seattle, WA), Beth McGowan (Rockford, IL), Mary Napoli (Hummelstown, PA), Heather Palmer (Minnetonka, MN). Regional reading and discussion groups of all ages participated with many of the committee members throughout the jury’s evaluation and selection process.
The 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards will be presented on Friday, October 17, 2014 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, NY, NY 10017-3521; by phone 212.682.8830; and by email japa@igc.org.
Contributions to the Jane Addams Peace Association, Inc. are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.
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