White Book Awards winners announced

May 14, 2014

Tragedy on national and personal scales are the topics of books selected by Kansas schoolchildren as the winners of the 2014  William Allen White Children’s Book Awards.

“America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell,” by Don Brown was selected by voters in Grades 3 through 5.

"Hidden," by Helen Frost, was selected by voters in Grades 6 through 8.

Brown's book tells the events of Sept. 11, 2001. In the fourth installment of the Actual Times series, Brown narrates the events of the day in an accessible and understandable way for young readers. Straightforward and honest, this account moves chronologically through the morning, from the plane hijackings to the crashes at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania; from the rescue operations at the WTC site to the collapse of the buildings.

Hidden leads readers through a world of contradictions, told by two characters alternating points of view about the one experience they have in common. In a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth if they are willing to trust each other. This novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of friendship.

 The William Allen White Children’s Book Award program 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.

The 61st annual celebration of the WAW Children’s Book Awards  will be Oct. 5, 2014. 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 downtown Emporia to the awards ceremony itself. Many teachers use travel to the book awards as incentives in their school reading programs.

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