From ALJ: Ten award-winning authors and illustrators who create books for children and teens will appear at the 42nd Annual Convention of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), scheduled for June 17 to June 20. All ten received recognition this year from AJL’s Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, which awards the best in Jewish children’s literature. The convention usually brings in only three or four such author/illustrators, making 2007 a bonanza year for lovers of Judaic literature for young people.
“Authors and illustrators who win the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s gold medal are always invited to the convention to accept their awards,” explains Rachel Kamin, chair of the award committee. “Those who receive honor awards are always welcome too, but this year our invitation received an overwhelming response! We are very excited to be able to meet so many talented, creative people during the convention.”
2007 is the first year AJL presented a book award for teen readers, and convention organizers are particularly pleased to welcome Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief (Knopf, 2006), the Teen Book Award Winner. Zusak will travel all the way from his home in Australia to receive the award. Other award-winning authors and illustrators who will be present include:
Author Stephen Krensky and illustrator Greg Harlin, creators of the picture book Hanukkah at Valley Forge (Dutton, 2006), the Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers;
Brenda A. Ferber, author of the novel Julia’s Kitchen (FSG, 2006), the Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers;
Ann Redisch Stampler, author of the picture book Shlemazel and the Remarkable Spoon of Pohost (Clarion, 2006), a Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Younger Readers;
Brynn Olenberg Sugarman, author of the picture book Rebecca’s Journey Home (Kar-Ben, 2006), a Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Younger Readers;
Esme Raji Codell, author of the novel Vive La Paris (Hyperion, 2006), a Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Older Readers;
Jennifer Roy, author of the novel Yellow Star (Marshall Cavendish, 2006), a Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Older Readers;
Linda Press Wulf, author of the novel Night of the Burning: Devorah’s Story (FSG, 2006), a Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Older Readers;
Dana Reinhardt, author of the teen novel A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life (Wendy Lamb, 2006), an AJL Honor Award Winner for Teens (this award will take on the Sydney Taylor name beginning in 2008).
All ten authors/illustrators will be presenting sessions during the convention on either Monday, June 18 or Tuesday, June 19. A reception and book signing will take place on Tuesday, June 19 followed by an evening awards banquet. The convention will be held at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort & Villas; information on attending the convention is available at www.jewishlibraries.org.
Read interviews with Brenda A. Ferber and Esme Raji Codell.