Bank Street Children’s Book Awards
The Children’s Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education honored five children’s book authors and an illustrator for their literary works in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
For more than a century, the committee has helped parents, teachers and librarians select the best quality books for children. Each year, the committee reviews about 6,000 titles and chooses about 600 fiction and non-fiction books. Since the 1940’s, the group has recognized children’s book authors for their contribution to literature.
Albert Marrin won the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for non-fiction. Mr. Marrin is a historian who taught social studies for 9 years in a junior high school in the Bronx. He later became a college professor; soon after writing in four scholarly journals he decided to tap into a younger demographic. “Its more fun writing for children,” he said. Mr. Marrin has written more than 40 books about history for kids. His award winning book “Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy”, gives a historical perspective about the poor working conditions endured by immigrant workers and how the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was the catalyst that infused labor reform in the U.S. Melissa Sweet also received the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for non-fiction in her book “Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade”.
Pat Schmatz received the Josette Frank Award for fiction in Bluefish. During her acceptance speech, she recalled as a young girl reading books in the school bus and during math class. She expressed how humbled she felt to be part of such an elite group of writers.
“We need to remember that we are all in the Titanic right now… we are all sailing towards something,” said Author Allan Wolf, recipient of The Claudia Lewis Award for “The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic”. A performance poet, Mr. Wolf gave an energetic acceptance speech, which he finalized by feverishly reciting a poem. “Poetry finally gained traction and popular culture,” said James Navé. Author Kristine O’Connell George was also recognized for her poetry in “Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems”. Nancy Carpenter was presented with a certificate for her illustrations in the book.
The celebration took place at the Evelyn Rome Tabas and Daniel Tabas Auditorium at Bank Street College and was hosted by the Center’s Director Lisa Von Drasek. The Center is housed in the Bank Street College Library. The Library has a circulating collection of over 68,000 children’s books, the Claudia Lewis reference research collection, as well as curriculum materials for teachers. #