Grades 3-5: “Malcolm at Midnight" by W.H. Beck
Grades 6-8: “Buddy” by M.H. Herlong
EMPORIA, KAN. — Stories that feature animals again take center stage in the books selected by Kansas schoolchildren as the winners of the 2015 William Allen White Children’s Book Awards.
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.
Both authors have been invited to the awards celebration, set for Saturday, Oct. 3 in Emporia.
“Malcolm at Midnight,” selected by voters in Grades 3 through 5, is a class rat — the four-legged kind with a tail. He’s a pet at McKenna School, and he revels in the attention. Other classroom pets are part of the Midnight Academy, a secret society that works to keep the nutters (schoolchildren) safe. When the Academy’s iguana leader is kidnapped, Malcolm is a prime suspect because rats have a horrible reputation
“Buddy,” selected by voters in Grades 6 through 8, uses the relationship between Tyrone “Li’l T” Roberts and his dog, Buddy, as the backdrop to a larger story of surviving Hurricane Katrina and rebuilding. Li’l T finds Buddy when his family accidentally hits the stray dog while driving to church. The family adopts Buddy, but when Hurricane Katrina hits their city of New Orleans, the family flees, Li’l T has to leave Buddy behind, and Buddy goes missing. When they return to their devastated home and city, Li’l T refuses to give up on his quest to find his best friend.
The 63rd annual celebration of the WAW Children’s Book Awards, supported in part by the Trusler Foundation, will be Oct. 3, 2015. During that day, schoolchildren from across the state of Kansas travel to Emporia for special events including lock-ins, author readings and book signings along with a parade through campus to the awards ceremony itself. Many teachers use travel to the book awards as incentives in their school reading programs.
Student representatives present the winning authors with their White Award medals during the awards ceremony that concludes the special day.