Monday, April 28, 2008

Rickshaw Girl Wins Jane Addams Honor!

I'm thrilled to announce that Rickshaw Girl is a Jane Addams Honor Book for 2008. I got a phone call last week from Susan Griffith, chair of the committee, telling me the news. 

Here's the official press 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.

The 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.”

We 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. 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 the world.

One book has won honors in the Books for Younger Children Category. One 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 Naima 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, Naima disguises herself as a boy and sparks surprising events that reveal an expanding world for herself and women in her community.

Elijah 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.

Birmingham, 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 More Birminghams!

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 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 93rd year. For information, visit www.wilpf.int.ch/.

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17 comments:

Lisa Yee said...

What great news -- congratulations!!!

sandhya said...

This is fantastic! I already emailed this post to my colleagues so they can brag about our award-winning author to their consultants :))

Kelly said...

Yay, Mitali!!!!!!! Congratulations. It's well deserved.

Jen Robinson said...

Congratulations, Mitali! That's great news. And as Kelly said, well deserved. Congratulations to you and Naima.

HipWriterMama said...

Congratulations--you totally deserve this honor.

Erin said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I love your layout, btw. :)

Mitali Perkins said...

Thank you all so much -- sharing my joy with you makes it exponentially sweet.

Liz B said...

Yay!

Little Willow said...

Congratulations!

Cloudscome said...

Congratulations!! What great company you are keeping. And Happy Birthday!!

MotherReader said...

Congrats! A book - and a writer - well-deserving of recognition.

Pooja said...

This honor is SO well-deserved. RG is such a beautiful book. Congrats, didi.

Gregory K. said...

Congrats, Mitali! That's wonderful to see.

orb28 said...

Congratulations! I'll always have a special place in my heart for Rickshaw Girl as the piece that introduced me to you!
Lacey

Aline Pereira said...

A wonderful prize for a wonderful book. What a well-deserved honor, Mitali! We are very happy for you and Naima.

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Congratulations, Mitali!

Mitali Perkins said...

Thank you all SO much, and especially Jamie Hogan, who created the gorgeous illustrations, editor Judy O'Malley, who deserves much of the credit, and Charlesbridge, a publisher with whom every author should be fortunate enough to work. And here's to the girls and women of Bangladesh who are changing their own lives with the help of microfinance!