Book Highlight: part 1

Now for the first installment of our eight part series on the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Tura Campanella Cook.

Opening Remarks & President’s welcome to JACBA ceremony

Good afternoon and welcome to the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award ceremony, honoring the 2015 award-winning authors and illustrators.  Welcome to the guests of honor, their family members, friends and publishers; all friends and supporters of the Award; and students, librarians and teachers.  I also see author and playwright Calvin Alexander Ramsey, winner of our award in 2011 for Ruth and the Green Book, in the audience.  We are happy to have everyone here, and wish we had a larger space to accommodate more students.

I am Tura Campanella Cook, president of the Jane Addams Peace Association board, which sponsors the Award.  The Jane Addams Peace Association was founded in 1948 “to foster a better understanding between the people of the world toward the end that wars may be avoided and a more lasting peace enjoyed.” Since 1953 we have honored the outstanding children’s books promoting peace and justice with the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.

We know that our work has been successful when it is inspires thought and action.  All of the students here have studied the winning books and are prepared with questions and comments!  In addition, a group of students with their librarian, Alla Umanskaya, of PS/IS 30 Mary White Ovington in Brooklyn, developed a project inspired by last year’s presentation on Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Suana Verelst.  They wrote letters to Zabulli Center’s students expressing their admiration. They organized a fundraising campaign to support Ms. Jan’s school and will be having a Skype meeting with Razia Jan later this month.  We want you authors and illustrators present to realize how far-reaching your wonderful books are!

Hidden from the spotlight, a national committee of devoted children’s literature experts selects the Award winners each year.  They work long hours to maintain the excellence for which the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award is known.  Please welcome to the podium the selection committee co-chair, Ann Carpenter.

Click here to read more about the 2015 Awards.

This concludes our first installment of an seven part series which will be posted monthly in this space. Check back for updates!

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