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Bank Street College of Education Honors Four Top Children’s Books


New York, NY—The Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education will host an awards ceremony to celebrate the winners of the Josette Frank Award, the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Younger and Older Readers, and the Claudia Lewis Award. Presented annually, the four awards recognize outstanding works of children’s literature in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

The event will be held on Thursday, April 4 at 9:30 AM at Bank Street College of Education (610 West 112th Street). Please RSVP to bookcom@bankstreet.edu if you wish to attend. See below for more information about the awards and the winning titles.

The 2019 Winners for Books Published in 2018

The Josette Frank Award honors a fiction book in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally.

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Annabelle, 17, embarks on a cross-country run from Seattle to Washington, D.C. to escape the pain of a tragedy. 

The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award is presented to a nonfiction work that serves as an inspiration to young people.

               Younger Readers

               Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

A celebrated Mexican author and illustrator remembers how the public library helped her make a new home in America. Illustrated with vibrant collage art. Back matter.  Simultaneously released in Spanish.   

               Older Readers

                Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Stevenson’s account of the experiences of those on death row delineates racism and the abuse of power in the American “justice” system. Both horrifying and inspirational.  

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

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles

A Mexican-American 7th grader nicknamed Güerofor his light skin and red hairgrounds himself in family traditions, supportive friends, teachers, and his budding love of poetry.  Glossary of Spanish terms.

In April, the Children’s Book Committee will release its 2019 edition of The Best Children Books of the Year (for books published in 2018), which contains more than 600 annotated titles divided into age ranges and categories. Published every year for more than a century, the list is designed to guide parents, teachers, and librarians in choosing the highest quality literature for children. The Committee is made up of educators, librarians, authors, illustrators, psychologists, and parents and many books are read and reviewed by young children ages 2–18 from across the country.

The complete list of recommended 2018 titles will be available online at bankstreet.edu/best-childrens-books-of-the-year/. Please email bookcom@bankstreet.edu for the print edition.

About Bank Street College of Education

Bank Street College of Education is a recognized leader in early childhood education, teacher and leader preparation, and the development of innovative practice in school systems across the country. For one hundred years, Bank Street’s focus has been improving the education of children and their teachers by applying to the education process all available knowledge about learning and growth, and by connecting teaching and learning meaningfully to the outside world. Learn more about Bank Street’s Children’s Programs, Graduate School of Education, and the Bank Street Education Center at bankstreet.edu.

For more information, contact:

Cynthia Weill, EdD
Director, Center for Children’s Literature
Bank Street College of Education


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