2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winners Announced
Winners of the annual Sydney Taylor Book Award were announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. 2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the Sydney Taylor Awards. The first winner was The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig in 1968, published by the Thomas Y. Crowell Company.
GOLD MEDALISTS: The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Karla Gudeon, published by Charlesbridge, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers category.
Refugee by Alan Gratz, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category.
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Thwaites, published by Godwin Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, a division of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers category.
Harold Grinspoon and PJ Library won the Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award. PJ Library, a project of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, is a family engagement program that sends free books celebrating Jewish values and culture to families with children 6 months through 8 years old. The Body of Work Award has been given twelve times in the 50-year history of the Sydney Taylor Awards. The last recipient was author Eric Kimmel in 2004.
SILVER MEDALISTS: Eight Sydney Taylor Honor Books were also recognized. For Younger Readers, the Honor Books are: Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam adapted by Fawzia GilaniWilliams, illustrated by Chiara Fedele, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group and Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
For Older Readers, the Honor Books are: Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz, published by Holiday House, which was also the recipient of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award; This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic; and The Six Day Hero by Tammar Stein, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group. For Teen Readers, the Honor Books are: To Look a Nazi in the Eye: A Teen’s Account of a War Criminal Trial by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz, published by Second Story Press; Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin, translated by Rosie Hedger, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic; and The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke, published by Albert Whitman & Company. In addition to the medal winners, the Award Committee designated twelve Notable Books of Jewish Content for 2018. More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award and a complete listing of the award winners and notables can be found at www.sydneytaylorbookawards.org
Members of the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award committee are: Chair Susan Kusel, Temple Rodef Shalom Library, Falls Church, VA; Rena Citrin, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Chicago, IL; Elissa Gershowitz, Horn Book Magazine, Boston, MA; Rebecca Levitan, Baltimore County Public Library, Pikesville Branch, Baltimore, MD; Heather Lenson, Joseph & Florence Mandel Jewish Day School, Beachwood, OH; Marjorie Shuster, Congregation Emanuel of the City of New York, New York, NY; and Rivka Yerushalmi, Silver Spring, MD.