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Awards Announced for Best Jewish Books for Kids and Teens

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The Jewish book award season is in full swing.

The winners of the 2015 National Jewish Book Awards were announced last week. Today, the Association of Jewish Libraries released the list of laureates of the Sydney Taylor Book Award that honors new books for children and teens about the Jewish experience.

In the Younger Reader category, the gold medal went to Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock, author and illustrator of “My Grandfather’s Coat”, a tale about the recycling of a coat over four generations until it becomes its own story.

In the Older Reader category, authors and illustrators Loic Dauvillier, Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo, will be awarded the gold medal for “Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust”, a graphic novel about survival during the Holocaust with the help of righteous gentiles.

In the Teen category, Donna Jo Napoli, author of “Storm”, won the gold medal. “Storm” retells the Noah story from the perspective of Sebah, a teenage girl who hides on the ark.

The Award Committee further named six Sydney Taylor Honor Books for 2015, which will receive silver medals:

Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers:
“Goldie Takes a Stand” by Barbara Krasner with illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
“Never Say a Mean Word Again” by Jacqueline Jules with illustrations by Durga Yael Bernhard

Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Older Readers:
“Death” by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart
“The Whispering Town” by Jennifer Elvgren, illustrated by Fabio Santomauro

Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Teen Readers:
“Isabel’s War” by Lila Perl
“Like No Other” by Una LaMarche

The Award Committee also named 16 notable books in three categories:

Notable Books for Younger Readers:
“Anna & Solomon” by Elaine Snyder illustrated by Harry Bliss
“Here is the World” by Lesléa Newman illustrated by Susan Gal
“The Mitten String” by Jennifer Rosner illustrated by Kristina Swarner
“Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons” by Alice B. McGinty illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
“Simon and the Bear” by Eric Kimmel illustrated by Matthew Trueman
“The Story of Passover” by David A. Adler illustrated by Jill Weber

Notable Books for Older Readers:
“Fleabrain Loves Franny” by Joanne Rocklin “From Foe to Friend & Other Stories: A Graphic Novel” by S.Y. Agnon and illustrated by Shay Charka
“I Lived on Butterfly Hill” by Marjorie Agosin illustrated by Lee White
“Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Change African American Education” by Norman Finkelstein

Notable Books for Teens:
“Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi” by Susan Goldman Rubin
“Gottika” by Helaine Becker illustrated by Alexander Griggs-Burr
“Playing” for the Commandant by Suzy Zail
“Prisoner of Night & Fog” by Anne Blankman
“Rachel’s Hope” by Shelly Sanders

In addition, the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award will go to Susan Krawetz for her unfinished novel “Viva, Rose,” which is set in 1915 Texas around the Pancho Villa’s revolutionary group and aimed at readers aged 8 to 13.

The laureates will receive their awards, named after Sydney Taylor, the author of the All-of-a-Kind Family series, at the AJL’s Conference in Washington, D.C. in June.


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