Children’s literature, authors celebrated at William Allen White Children’s Book Awards

September 22, 2015

Students and educators from across Kansas will celebrate children’s literature during the 63rd annual William Allen White Children’s Book Awards on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Emporia State University. The events are open to the public.

Authors W.H. Beck and M.H. Herlong will be the guests of honor during a day that culminates in receiving their awards. Beck wrote “Malcolm at Midnight,” and Herlong wrote “Buddy.”

“Malcolm at Midnight,” selected by voters in Grades 3 through 5, tells the tale of Malcolm, 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.

In "Buddy," selected by voters in Grades 6 through 8, the relationship between Tyrone “Li’l T” Roberts and his dog, Buddy, is 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.

Free events on Saturday, Oct. 3, kick off bright and early at 7:30 a.m. in Emporia State University’s Memorial Union. From 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., copies of the books and souvenirs of the celebration will be sold by the Memorial Union Bookstore, and both authors will be available to sign the books. From 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., children’s activities will be available including a storyteller, writing letters to authors and craft projects. At 10:45 a.m., the Emporia High School cheerleaders and band will lead a pep rally.

The awards ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. in Webb Hall on the second floor of the Memorial Union. Tickets cost $5 and are available at the door.

All participants should enter the east side of the Memorial Union. Ambassadors will direct everyone to activities from there.