2016 White Award Book Winners Announced
Solving puzzles and finding a new family are the themes for the winning titles in the 2016 William Allen White Children’s Book Awards.
“The Boy on the Porch,” by Sharon Creech was selected by voters in Grades 3 through 5.
"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library," by Chris Grabenstein, was selected by voters in Grades 6 through 8.
The William Allen White Children’s Book Award program began after the famed journalist’s death on Jan. 29, 1944 — Kansas Day — when two memorial foundations were created in his name. Emporia State University launched the William Allen White Children’s Book Award, which was guided by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, who was hired by White to write for The Emporia Gazette.
Passionate about books, Gagliardo wrote a regular column that commented on books, music and art, and often concentrated on books for children. She was one of the first to review children’s books for a newspaper, which gave parents,
Gagliardo’s column led to “The Children’s Bookshelf,” a book review column in the Kansas Teacher magazine. She also started the Children’s Traveling Book Exhibit, which helped introduce children all over Kansas to good books for 23 years.
The 64th annual celebration of the WAW Children’s Book Awards program, directed by Emporia State University and supported in part by the Trusler Foundation, will be Oct. 1, 2016. During that day, schoolchildren from across the state of Kansas travel to Emporia for special events including lock-ins, author
Student representatives present the winning authors with their White Award medals during the awards ceremony that concludes the special day.
Meet the Authors
Creech’s book tells the story of a new family after john and Marta find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy Jacob can't explain his history. All John and Marta know is that they have been chosen to care for him.
And, as their connection and friendship with Jacob grow, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family and begin to see the world in brand-new ways.
“Three mornings in a row, I woke
“I discovered that the boy, who does not speak, is like all characters that do not have a voice until a writer is ready to listen to them; and he is like so many children who do not have a ‘voice’ in this world; and he is like all children who come into our lives: when they arrive — at any age — we wonder who they are and what they think and fear and feel and who they will become.”
Before beginning her writing career, Sharon Creech taught English for fifteen years in England and Switzerland. She and her husband now live in Maine.
All Cover images used by permission of publisher HarperCollins
Puzzles take center stage in Grabenstein’s book, the first of two featuring Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, described as an action-packed cross between “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Night at the Museum.”
Hero Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative
“I wanted to make young readers excited about reading and doing research,” Grabenstein explained. “I tried to turn a trip to the library into an incredibly fun scavenger hunt, filled with puzzles and surprises.
“In my perpetually 12-years-old mind, that’s what doing research actually is.”
He lives in New York City with his wife, two
All Cover images used by permission of publisher Penguin Random House