2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winners Announced
Traverse City, MI - Oct. 16, 2012—Can a book change a child’s life? The 145 winners of this year's Moonbeam Children's Book Awards think so, and the medal-winning books prove their authors’, illustrators’ and publishers’ dedication to inspiring young minds and imaginations.
The 2012 Moonbeam Awards medalists represent a wide range of style and content, and the judges were affected by the many encouraging and sometimes challenging messages for children: Author Susan B. Katz' inspiration for her lullaby about our bond with nature and between a mother and child, My Mama Earth, came while working in a Costa Rican rainforest. Jeanne Walker Harvey wrote My Hands Sing the Blues after serving as a docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where Romare Bearden’s collages were on display. Operation Marriage is about the evolving community reaction to Cynthia Chin-Lee’s friends’ wedding and gay marriage.
Sometimes a book takes 50 years to materialize: Little Rock Girl, 1957 began with a 55-year old photograph taken of two teenaged schoolgirls, the black one turned away by National Guard troops, the white one angrily cursing her from behind. The photographer returned to that school in Little Rock forty years later to photograph the same two women embracing, and finally speaking out about a past that haunted them both.
The Moonbeam Awards exist to bring increased recognition to these kinds of exemplary children's books that inspire and delight children of all ages. Judging panels of librarians, teachers, students, and book reviewers chose medalists in 39 categories, and winning books came from a diverse group of long-established publishers, small presses, associations, and self-publishers. This year’s contest attracted over 900 entries from throughout North America and the English-speaking world, and medals will go to books representing 35 U.S. states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 3 countries overseas.