Tag Archives: awards

We have a winner (actually, we have 3)!

This morning, the winners of the Monarch, Bluestem, and Rebecca Caudill awards were announced:

Breaking News: Bear Alert “reported by” David Biedrzycki won the Monarch Award.

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths won the Bluestem Award.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans won the Rebecca Caudill Award.

2016 Youth Book Awards

winnersDid you see the display of new award winners in Children’s Services last month?  They were all checked out pretty quickly, but many of them are returned now and some new titles have also arrived.

CNN created a gallery featuring book covers and descriptions of many of the books:


For a more complete list of award winners,


includes all of the honor books, too!


Fountaindale’s Monarch winner

It was a tough election with several tie-breakers, but we have a winner!  The young readers at today’s Monarch Award Pizza Party voted for The Girl Who Heard Colors by Marie Harris as their favorite from this year’s list.  Stay tuned– readers across the state of Illinois will be voting for the Monarch, Bluestem and Caudill awards over the next few weeks and official winners for the state will be announced live at 10:00 a.m. on March 18.

Picture Book Biographies: Women

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
This title won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award this year, as well as being a Caldecott Honor Book and a Sibert Honor Book.

Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers
“Details the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the activist, educator, writer, journalist, suffragette, and pioneering voice against the horrors of lynching who set out to better the lives of African-Americans long before the Civil Rights Movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle; Illustrated by Alix Delinois
Mumbets Declaration of Independence tells the story of a Massachusetts slave from the Revolutionary era–in 1781, she successfully used the new Massachusetts Constitution to make a legal case that she should be free.  This book has been made into a DVD and is also available as an ebook.

My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner; illustrated by James Ransome
“A vibrantly illustrated picture book introduction to the abolitionist and women’s rights activist narrates her rise from former slave to preacher and orator a century before the Civil Rights Movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
“Presents the life of Sojourner Truth, discussing her childhood as a slave, the purchase of her freedom by a Quaker couple, and her subsequent work as an advocate and lecturer for the abolitionist movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

When the Slave Esperança Garcia Wrote a Letter written by Sonia Rosa; illustrated by Luciana Justiniani Hees; translated by Jane Springer
A Brazilian woman sold away from her family wrote a letter to the governor–found hundreds of years later in an archive–to try to improve her situation.

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Picture Book Biographies: Performing Arts

Before John was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Sean Qualls
This lyrical picture-book biography of John Coltrane focuses on his childhood and how he interpreted sounds before he made his music.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant is a 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

The Cosmo-Biography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy is Enlightening by Chris Raschka
A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity’s discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson; illustrated by Christian Robinson
“A tribute to lesser-known Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills includes coverage of her youth as a child of former slaves, her singing and dancing performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the struggles with racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.” – (Baker & Taylor)
This title is also available as an ebook.

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream by Glenda Armand; illustrations by Floyd Cooper
“A biography chronicling the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who is considered to be one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century. Includes afterword and author’s sources”– Provided by publisher.

Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.

Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio; illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Before he became one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jimi Hendrix was a boy who loved to paint and listen to records, and who asked himself an unusual question: could someone paint pictures with sound?

Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Raul Colón
An introduction to the life and career of the African American opera singer.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; illustrations by Frank Morrison
“A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources”– Provided by publisher.
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is a 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan; illustrated by John Holyfield
“A picture book introduction to the early life and achievements of the iconic gospel artist traces young Mahalia Jackson’s disadvantaged youth through her history-shaping performance during the March on Washington.”  – (Baker & Taylor)

My Story My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrated by James E. Ransome; with a foreword by Robert Battle
A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker
“Despite being nearly blind, young Art Tatum’s passion for the piano and incredible memory in learning music kept his dream of becoming a pianist alive, making him a virtuoso at a young age with skills that were highly respected by many others in his field.” – (Baker & Taylor)
Piano Starts Here received a Schneider Family Book Award.

Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio; paintings by Rudy Gutierrez
“Tells the story of the legendary jazz musician, from his deeply religious childhood to his career as a boundary-breaking musician who found inspiration in his own unique approach to both spirituality and music.” – (Baker & Taylor)

Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; pictures by Bryan Collier
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Trombone Shorty received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Caldecott Honor this year.

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Voting now, pizza later

Monarch Award logo
Voting has begun!  Did you read or listen to 5 or more Monarch Award Nominees?  If so, come to the Children’s Services Desk and cast your ballot.  If your school is voting for the Monarch Award, you can still participate in the club to pick the library winner.  After voting, you get to register for the Monarch Pizza Party!

Voting has been extended until Monday, February 22nd.  The Monarch Award Pizza Party will be Friday, February 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Be there when we reveal the library winner!

Picture Book Biographies: Artists

Art from Her Heart: Folk Artist Clementine Hunter by Kathy Whitehead; illustrated by Shane Evans
Clementine Hunter’s paintings went from hanging on her clothesline to hanging in museums, yet because of the color of her skin, a friend had to sneak her in when the gallery was closed.

Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson; illustrated with paintings by Benny Andrews
Looks at the life of the artist Benny Andrews illustrated with his original paintings, from his childhood and youth in rural Georgia, through his studies in Chicago and his activism and artistic success in New York City.

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrations by Jamey Christoph
“Presents the life and accomplishments of the first black director in Hollywood who became the first African American photographer for Life magazine.” – (Baker & Taylor)
This title is also available as an ebook.

In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder; illustrated by JaeMe Bereal
“A biography of African American sculptor Augusta Savage, who overcame many obstacles as a young woman to become a premier female sculptor of the Harlem Renaissance. Includes an afterword about Savage‘s adult life and works, plus photographs”–Provided by publisher.

It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
“A biography of twentieth-century African American folk artist Bill Traylor, a former slave who at the age of eighty-five began to draw pictures based on his memories and observations of rural and urban life in Alabama. Includes an afterword, author’s note, and sources”–Provided by publisher.

A Splash of Red: the life and art of Horace Pippin written by Jen Bryant; illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Presents an illustrated introduction to the life and work of artist Horace Pippin, describing his childhood love for drawing and the World War I injury that challenged his career.  This title is currently nominated for the Monarch Award.  It was also a winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book.

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