The Results are In…

The Association of Jewish Libraries’ Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee announced its 2011 winners today.

And the Winners are:

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers:

Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz with illustrations by Kristina Swarner. Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. A simple and beautiful story about Tikkun Olam/Repairing the World.

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers:

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch. Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams. A delightful. The tag line says it all,a story about “yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl.”

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers:

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt. Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. An extraordinary novel about the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on a family and especially on the relationship between two brothers.

Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Younger Readers:

Modeh Ani: A Good Morning Book by Sarah Gershman with illustrations by Kristina Swarner. EKS Publishing. A marvelous way to start your day.

Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser with illustrations by Claire A. Nivola. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. Provides a real understanding of the woman behind the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale by Barbara Diamond Goldin with illustrations by Jaime Zollars. Marshall Cavendish Children. The classic Purim story is back with some minor revisions and beautiful new illustrations.

Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Older Readers:

Resistance by Carla Jablonski with illustrations by Leland Purvis. First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. An exceptional graphic novel about a group of young people who help a friend find his family and leave France.


One Is Not a Lonely Number by Evelyn Krieger. YM Books, an imprint of YALDAH Media, Inc. The one book on this list I have not yet read, but as soon as I do, I will report on it.

Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer. Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. A Holocaust story based in France and involving the Resistance, children and a great deal of wit to effect the escape of a family of Jews.

Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Teen Readers:

Hush by Eishes Chayil. Walker & Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing. An incredibly courageous account of incest within the Orthodox Community in Brooklyn, New York.

Once by Morris Glietzman. Henry Holt and Company. A somewhat fairy tale like story of a Jewish child’s experiences during WWII.

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman. Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc. A teenage girl and her family must make a new life in America following terrorist bombings and financial ruin in Argentina.

In addition to these exceptional titles, the Committee designated 27 books as “Notable.” You can find the Notable List by visiting the AJL Blog.

Congratulations, Mazel Tov and Yasher Koach to the Sydney Taylor Award Committee for accomplishing the difficult assignment of reading all the books sent to them, reviewing and rating each one and reaching consensus on the winners. This is no small task. Whether I agree or disagree with their choices will make wonderful material for future articles. However, today belongs to the Committee and all these wonderful authors and illustrators.  They should bask in the glory of being recognized for a job well done. Kol Ha Kovod/ well done and Kol Tuv/best wishes to everyone involved.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.


©2011 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review came from a variety of sources including my local public library, my personal collection and publishers.
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