Grades 3-5: Eleven, Patricia Reilly Giff

Grades 6-8: The Boy Who Dared: a Novel Based on the True Story of Hitler Youth, Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Past Winners


Patricia Reilly Giff book chosen for White Book Award

EMPORIA, KAN. — Add one more award to author Patricia Reilly Giff's resume. Already the winner of two Newbery Honors for her middle-school fiction, Giff now is a William Allen White Book Award winner.

“Eleven,” a 2008 title from Giff, is the WAW winner for Grades 3 through 5. The book tells the story of Sam, whose 11 th birthday is fast approaching. During a search for hidden birthday presents, Sam finds more than he bargains for — newspaper clippings that make him think he might have been a missing child as a toddler.

But Sam has always struggled to read, so he enlists the help of a new girl in school to read the clippings and help him unravel the mystery of his life. “Eleven” explores the meaning of families, overcoming adversity and belonging.

Giff , who lives in Trumbull, Conn., will be honored with Susan Campbell Bartoletti during the awards celebration Saturday, Sept. 24, in Emporia.

Bartoletti's book, “The Boy Who Dared: A Novel Based on the True Story of Hitler Youth,” was chosen by readers in Grades 6 through 8. “The Boy Who Dared” builds on Bartoletti's earlier nonfiction book, “Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow” and creates a thought-provoking novel based on the true story of Helmuth Hübener, who as a teenager dared to stand up against the Nazi regime.

The Sept. 24 festivities are designed to honor the spirit of the William Allen White Children's Book Award program, which was founded in 1952 by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, a specialist in children's literature for Emporia State University. One of the few literary awards that asks young readers to choose the winners, the program is directed by Emporia State University and supported in part by the Trusler Foundation.

Schoolchildren from around Kansas will travel with teachers to Emporia to meet Bartoletti and Giff and honor them with their awards. Those traveling great distances will arrive Friday, Sept. 23, and participate in a sleepover, which will include meeting authors and reading with them.

Activities begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on the second floor of ESU's Memorial Union at 7:30 a.m. and include hands-on art projects, silly science demonstrations, story time and educational theater.

Participants will be able to purchase the award-winning books as well as other titles by Bartoletti and Giff, meet the authors and have their books autographed. Quiet areas will be available for those wishing to read.

At 10:30 a.m., the schoolchildren and their teachers will parade through the Emporia State campus on the way to Albert Taylor Hall in Plumb Hall for the 11 a.m. awards ceremony.

Saturday's activities are open to the public. Admission costs $5. Tickets may be ordered in advance from Denise Britton of ESU University Libraries and Archives. Email dbritton@emporia.edu or call (620) 341-5208. Tickets may also be purchased in the Memorial Union on the day of the event.

Giff's book “Eleven” replaces “Swindle” by author Gordon Korman, who unfortunately had to decline the honor in order to give a keynote address at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.

Additional resources:

•  William Allen White Children's Book Awards: www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/

•  Scholastic Books: www2.scholastic.com

•  Gordon Korman: www.gordonkorman.com

•  Susan Campbell Bartoletti: www.scbartoletti.com