2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature
These were announced at the end of last week. Apologies for missing them at the time. Here is video of the presentation, with Roger Sutton of the Horn Book and novelist Rebecca Stead.
PICTURE BOOK AWARD WINNER:
Building Our House written and illustrated by Jonathan Bean (Farrar Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan)
Drawing on childhood memories from his own family’s house construction, Bean creates an engaging story as well as a glimpse into a warm family setting. A little girl narrates, and her childlike voice provides an immediacy that removes any hint of nostalgia. She relates her contributions not as they are but as she perceives them in all their exaggerated glory; illustrations tell a different tale.
FICTION AWARD WINNER:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of Macmillan)
It’s the start of a new school year in 1986 Omaha when sophomores Eleanor and Park meet for the first time on the bus. They are an unusual pair: she’s the new girl in town, an ostracized, bullied “big girl” with bright red curly hair, freckles, and an odd wardrobe; he’s a skinny half-Korean townie who mostly wears black and tries to stay out of the spotlight. But as they sit together on the school bus every day, an intimacy gradually develops between them.
Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin written and illustrated by Robert Byrd (Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group)
With a jacket showing Benjamin Franklin as a cross between a mad scientist and a superhero standing amid wild lightning bolts and surrounded by all manner of electrical devices, this book shimmers with excitement, begging to be read. Byrd divides Franklin’s life into seventeen often whimsically labeled double-page spreads, highlighting his scientific, literary, and political endeavors in a fresh new way.