Cleveland, OH–The Sydney Taylor Book Award, established in 1968 by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), commemorates its fortieth anniversary this year. Authors, publishers, and librarians will gather to celebrate Taylor’s legacy during the Association’s annual convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Named in memory of Sydney Taylor (PDF), author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the Sydney Taylor Book Award recognizes the best in Judaic literature for children and teens. Medals are awarded annually for outstanding books that authentically portray the Jewish experience.
The celebration will kick off on the evening of Tuesday, June 24 with the presentation of the 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Awards during the convention’s annual banquet. Winners Sonia Levitin (Strange Relations), Sid Fleischman (The Entertainer and the Dybbuk), and Sarah Gershman and Kristina Swarner (The Bedtime Sh’ma) will be honored at the banquet. Honor Award winners will also be recognized. See the winners’ list (PDF file).
A full-day program on Wednesday, June 25 includes panels on the history of Jewish children’s literature, teen fiction, picture books, illustrated non-fiction, trends in publishing, and a keynote address by Sid Fleischman. A book signing and dessert reception will conclude the festivities.
Organizer Rachel Kamin says “Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family books changed the way American readers viewed Jewish literature. Readers of all backgrounds embraced these characters, and continue to connect with the Jewish characters in our award-winning books. It’s so exciting to have reached the forty year milestone, and we look forward to another forty years of top quality Jewish literature!”