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Bank Street College Honors Three Top Children’s Books

New York, NY – February  8, 2016 – The Bank Street Children’s Book Committee will present awards to its choices for the best children’s books of the year in fiction, nonfiction and poetry on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. at the Bank Street College of Education, 610 West 112th Street, NYC 10025-1898.

The 2016 Winners

FICTION: The Josette Frank Award honors a book of outstanding literary merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally.

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Set before the outbreak of WWII London, nine-year old Ada with a clubfoot is prohibited from leaving her family’s home by a mother ashamed of her disability. When her younger brother is evacuated to escape the upcoming blitz, Ada seizes her chance and escapes with him.  Ada flourishes in the care of her guardian, Susan Smith and learns to trust for the first time. (10-14)

NONFICTION: The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award is presented for a work which serves as an inspiration to young people.

Voice of Freedom, Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Candlewick Press)

Stirring poems and stunning collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of equal voting rights. (9-12)

POETRY:  The Claudia Lewis Award is given for the best poetry book of the year for young readers.

My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (Namelos)

The little-known story of the settlement that preceded Central Park, the author recreates Seneca Village, a path-breaking 19th-century Manhattan community that included an assemblage of African-American property owners living alongside Irish and German immigrants. In a series of poems, Nelson constructs the lives of more than 30 characters based on names found in census records. (10-13)

In March, the Children’s Book Committee will also make available its Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2016 edition, which contains more than 600 annotated titles, divided into age ranges and categories.

The complete list of recommended 2015 titles will be available online at : https://www.bankstreet.edu/center-childrens-literature/childrens-book-committee/best-books-year/

Please contact bookcom[@]bankstreet.edu  for a print edition. Price $10.00 and $3.00 for shipping and handling.

The list, published annually for more than 100 years, is designed to guide parents, teachers and librarians in choosing the very best books for children.  The nonprofit Bank Street College Children’s Book Committee has reviewed all of the listed books.  The Committee includes educators, librarians, authors, illustrators and parents. Many of the books are read and evaluated by young reviewers, ages 2-18, from across the United States.

About Bank Street College of Education

For one hundred years, Bank Street’s focus has been children: how they learn, what they need, what teachers need to help children learn, and what kind of schools and communities learners of every age need in order to reach their full potential. Learn more about Bank Street’s Children’s Programs, Graduate School of Education, and Division of Innovation, Policy and Research at bankstreet.edu.


For more information, contact:
Cynthia Weill, Ed.D.
Director, Center for Children’s Literature
Bank Street College of Education

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