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The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Announces the Spark Award Winners

The SPARK award recognizes excellence in an independently-published children’s book in the previous calendar year.

The SCBWI is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Spark Award, an annual award that recognizes excellence in children’s books published through non-traditional publishing platforms.

The 2017 illustrated book winner is Soldier by Kara Van Kirk Levin.

Soldier tells the story of a lonely young porcupine who feels isolated from his community, and the friends that band together to help him feel valued. The rich illustrations were created by Vlada Soshkina and Polina Doroshenko. Drawing on themes of compassion and inclusivity, Soldier is Levin’s debut book. Find out more about Kara at www.littlewoodenflute.com and on Twitter @SoldierBook1.

The 2017 book for older readers winner is Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan.

Deegan’s romantic young adult novel brings to life turn-of-the-century Dublin, as two teenagers, Maggie and Daniel, confront issues of class and privilege during the 1913 workers strike. Deegan has also published contemporary YA with Hachette and adult family drama novels under the pen name Aimee Alexander. You can find more of her writing at www.denisedeegan.wordpress.com. Follow Denise @denisedeegan and @ireland this week.

Levin and Deegan will be invited to take part in a book signing at an SCBWI conference this year. The winners will also receive free conference attendance, a Spark seal for their books, a press release and publicity through the SCBWI media networks.

For more information about the Spark Award, visit www.scbwi.org/awards/spark-award/


Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide. It is the only organization specifically for those working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The organization was founded by Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director).

Kayla Heinen
Awards Manager

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