Grades 3-5: Clementine, Sara Pennypacker

Grades 6-8: Yellow Star, Jennifer Roy

Past Winners

Kansas students pick 2009 William Allen White Children's Book Award winners


EMPORIA, KANSAS—“Clementine,” by Sara Pennypacker and “Yellow Star,” by Jennifer Roy are the choices of Kansas schoolchildren for the 2009 William Allen White Children's Book Awards.

The awards will be presented Oct. 10 in Emporia. The 57th annual ceremony will cap two days of activities ranging from author autographs to story telling, attracting school children from across Kansas.

Each year, approximately 50,000 third- through eighth-graders take part in naming the two White Award-winning books. “Clementine” was the choice of third through fifth graders, while “Yellow Star” won the sixth through eighth grade award. The books were among a list of 24 chosen by a selection committee for the students to consider.

Pennypacker's “Clementine” is the first in a series chronicling the adventures of the eponymous eight-year-old who sorts through difficulties in her friendship with Margaret, her neighbor. Pennypacker has written seven children's books, and lives on Cape Cod, Mass.

“Yellow Star” is Roy's story of a four-year-old girl named Syvia, a Jewish girl who struggles to survive with her family in Poland's Lodz ghetto during the Nazi occupation of World War II. The book is a novelization of the true experiences of the author's aunt. Roy has written more than 30 books for children and young adults. She lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Pennypacker and Roy are first-time William Allen White Children's Book Award winners. They have been invited to participate in the October awards presentation.

The White Awards program is the nation's first statewide reader's choice award. It is directed by Emporia State University and is supported by the Trusler Foundation. The program was founded in 1952 by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, a children's literature specialist, to honor the memory of one of the state's most distinguished citizens by encouraging Kansas schoolchildren to read and enjoy good books.




Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine. New York, Hyperion Books for Children, 2006.

Roy, Jennifer. Yellow Star. Tarrytown, NY. Marshall Cavendish, 2006.


For more information contact:, 620-341-5208