2018 Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award Winner
The Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C., has selected Phillip Hoose as its 2018 Nonfiction Award Winner. The award, given annually since 1977, honors authors or illustrators whose total work has contributed significantly to the quality of nonfiction for children.
Hoose’s books explore important topics through protagonists whose stories compel readers “to turn to the next page because they want to know what’s going to happen to someone or something they care about,” Hoose told Book Links. His protagonists range from teenagers like Claudette Colvin and Knud Pederson to the tiny red knot bird and the great ivory billed woodpecker. “I like to find stories that have not been told that I think will inspire young readers,” says Hoose.
Hoose has won numerous honors for individual books. Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice, the story of an impassioned teenager who refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, won the National Book Award as well as Newbery and Robert F. Sibert Honor Awards. Hoose won another Robert F. Sibert Honor Award for his most recent title, The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pederson and The Churchill Club, the story of teens who challenged the German occupation of Denmark.
Nonfiction Award Committee member Brenda Randolph was particularly moved by Hoose’s attention to the role of young people as social activists, the focus of We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History. The companion book, It’s Our World, Too, introduces readers to 14 children working for social causes and includes a handbook for modern-day young activists.
“One of the things I most admire in Phillip Hoose’s work is the extent to which he’ll go to leave no stone unturned when conducting the scholarly research that informs his writing,” said Nonfiction Award Committee member Lulu Delacre. Hoose spent six years researching and writing We Were There, Too! After several more years patiently waiting for Claudette Colvin and Knud Pederson to agree, Hoose conducted hours and days of interviews with each one.
“Hoose infuses his narrative nonfiction with the imagination and courage of young people making a difference,” says Nonfiction Award Committee chair Karen Leggett. “He transforms challenging issues like extinction and civil rights into stories that engage young readers.” He meets the highest standards in nonfiction literature for children.
Hoose will be honored at a Children’s Build Guild Award Luncheon on April 7, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Luncheon details will be available online at childrensbookguild.org.