Phoenix Award

NOMINATIONS FORM

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The Children's Literature Association, an organization of teachers, scholars, librarians, editors, writers, illustrators, and parents interested in encouraging the serious study of children's literature, created the Phoenix Award as an outgrowth of the Association's Touchstones Committee. The award, given to a book originally published in the English language, is intended to recognize books of high literary merit, which never won award at the time publication, and which is still worthy of recognition. The Phoenix Award is named after the fabled bird who rose from its ashes with renewed life and beauty. Phoenix books also rise from the ashes of neglect and obscurity and once again touch the imaginations and enrich the lives of those who read them.

The recipient of the Phoenix Award has been chosen each year since 1985 by an elected committee of ChLA members that considers nominations made by members and others interested in promoting high critical standards in literature for children. Honor books were instituted in 1989 but have not been named every year.

The Phoenix Award was designed by Caldecott-winning illustrator Trina Schart Hyman. The magical Phoenix on the award statue was specifically drawn for ChLA. The design was sculpted by Diane Davis, who was trained at the Johnson Atelier and Technical Institute of Sculpture, Princeton. Each brass statue is individually cast and inscribed with the year's winner.

In 2003, the ChLA launched an electronic journal, The Phoenix Award Papers. Each issue includes conference papers on the year's Phoenix Award book and Honor book, and the acceptance speech (when available) by the award winner. The Phoenix Papers from 2000 through 2010 are available exclusively online through the Phoenix Papers page.

We are now taking nominations for book that were published in 2001 and after.

The Children's Literature Association Proudly Announces the 2019 Phoenix Award Recipient:

 

The Birchbark HouseThe Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Hyperion, 1999

Taking young Omakayas through one year of shifting seasons, Louise Erdrich’s beautifully written The Birchbark House offers memorable characters; rich, vivid settings and experiences; and authentic historical detail. The rhythm of Omakayas’s daily life—the chores she hates, her relationships with her siblings, her friendship with Andeg the crow—provides insight into the Ojibwa experience in the mid-nineteenth century. The author populates her novel with complex, larger-than-life figures like Old Tallow, a powerful and isolated old woman who plays an important role in Omakayas’s life. Erdrich’s illustrations heighten the sense of place and reinforce the book’s gentle humor. By offering young readers an opportunity to explore how Native Americans viewed the white man’s tyranny, the novel serves as a counterpoint to prevailing narratives of the “frontier.” Combining realism and mysticism to create a layered but cohesive story, The Birchbark House captures the importance of storytelling as a means to preserve cultural memory.

 

2019 Phoenix Honor Book: 

Imani All MineImani All Mine by Connie Porter
Houghton Mifflin/Mariner, 1999

The emotional intensity of Imani All Mine comes from the pitch-perfect voice of teen mother Tasha from inner-city Buffalo. This fifteen-year-old’s African-American vernacular never flags in its raw power to shock and compel belief. Her baby girl Imani, or faith, becomes the abiding source of Tasha’s will to surmount rape, racism, and drug-dealing violence. Tasha’s love for her daughter and her anguished attempts to be a good mother, despite her youth and ignorance, endure without support from her own single mother and many teachers. Her terror that she might have harmed Imani by shaking her in a moment of frustration is as palpable as her horror of contact with the boy who preyed upon her. The book is heart-rending and hilarious, hurtful and healing in its surprising turns of phrase and truthfulness to Tasha’s lived experience. Connie Porter’s rendering of sexuality, maternity, and spirituality reveals Tasha’s inimitable being with daring originality.

  

Past Phoenix Award Winners
(please click on the year for more details about the winning books)

2018 Winner: Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking, 1998)
2017 Winner: Wish Me Luck by James Henneghan (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1997)
Honor Book: Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman (HarperCollins, 1997)
Honor Book: Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye (Simon & Schuster, 1997)
2016       Winner: Frindle by Andrew Clements (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1996) - 2016 ChLA Conference Speech
2015     Winner: One Bird by Kyoko Mori (Henry Holt & Company, 1995)
2014     Winner: Jesse by Gary Soto (Scholastic, 1994)     
Honor Book: Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury (Yearling, 1994)
2013     Winner: The Frozen Waterfall by Gaye Hiçyilmaz (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1993)
Honor Book: Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic, 1993)
2012     Winner: Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (Henry Holt and Company, 1992) - Karen Hesse (2012) video
Honor Book: Morning Girl by Michael Dorris (Hyperion Books, 1992)
Honor Book: Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti by Frances Temple (Orchard, 1992)
2011     Winner: The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff (Henry Holt and Company, 1991) - Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011) video
Honor Book: Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn (Clarion/Houghton, 1991)
Honor Book: The Striped Ships by Eloise McGraw (McElderderry, 1991)
2010   Winner: The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff (Farrar/Straus/Giroux and Bodley Head, 1990)
2009     Winner: Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block (HarperCollins, 1989)
Honor Book: Lucie Babbidge’s House by Sylvia Cassedy (Crowell, 1989)
2008  Winner: Eva by Peter Dickinson (Delacorte, 1988) - Peter Dickinson (2008) video
Honor Book: The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (Viking, 1998)
2007 Winner: Memory by Margaret Mahy (Dent, 1987; McElderry, 1988)
Honor Book:Waiting for the Rain by Sheila Gordon (Orchard, 1987)
2006      Winner: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow, 1986)
Honor Book: The Shadow in the Plate/The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman (Oxford, 1986; Knopf, 1988)
2005  Winner: The Catalogue of the Universe by Margaret Mahy (Dent, 1985; Atheneum, 1986)
Honor Book: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow, 1985)
2004  Winner: White Peak Farm by Berlie Doherty (Methuen, 1984; Orchard, 1984) - Berlie Doherty (2004) video
Honor Book: Angel Square by Brian Doyle (Douglas & McIntyre, 1984)
2003   Winner: The Long Night Watch by Ivan Southall (Methuen, 1983)                            
Honor Book: A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum, 1983)
2002  Winner: A Formal Feeling by Zibby Oneal (Viking, 1982) - Zibby Oneal (2002) Video
Honor Book: Story for a Black Night by Clayton Bess (Parnassus, 1982; Houghton Mifflin, 1982)
2001  Winner: The Seventh Raven by Peter Dickinson (Gollancz, 1981; Dutton, 1981) - Peter Dickinson (2001) video
Honor Book: The Night Journey by Kathryn Lasky (Frederick Warne, 1981)
2000  Winner: Keeper of the Isis Light by Monica Hughes (Atheneum, 1980; Aladdin, 2000) - Monica Hughes (2000) video
Honor Book: The Fledgling by Jane Langton (HarperCollins, 1980)
1999   Winner: Throwing Shadows by E. L. Konigsburg (Atheneum, 1979)
Honor Book: The Disappearance by Rosa Guy (Delacorte, 1979)
Honor Book: Words by Heart by Ouida Sebestyen (Little, Brown, 1979)
1998    Winner: A Chance Child by Jill Paton Walsh (Macmillan, 1978; Farrar, 1978)
Honor Book: The Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel (Dial, 1978)
Honor Book: Beauty by Robin McKinley (HarperCollins, 1978)
1997    Winner: I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (Pantheon, 1977; Dell, 1978)
1996    Winner: The Stone Book by Alan Garner (Collins, 1976, 1978, 1983; Dell, 1988)
Honor Book: Abel’s Island by William Steig (Farrar, 1976)
1995 Winner: Dragonwings by Laurence Yep (HarperCollins, 1975; Harper Trophy, 1975; Scholastic, 1990)
Honor Book: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (Farrar, 1975; Bantam, 1975)
1994   Winner: Of Nightingales That Weep by Katherine Paterson (Crowell, 1974; Kestrel, 1976; Avon, 1980; Harper Collins, 1989)
Honor Book: Listen for the Fig Tree by Sharon Bell Mathis (Viking, 1974)
Honor Book: My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier (Four Winds, 1974)
1993 Winner: Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden (Gollancz, 1973; Lippincott, 1973; Puffin, 1974; Dell, 1989)
Honor Book: A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E. L. Konigsburg (Atheneum, 1973; Dell, 1985)
1992   Winner: A Sound of Chariots by Mollie Hunter (H. Hamiton, 1972; Harper, 1972, 1988)
1991   Winner: A Long Way from Verona by Jane Gardam (H. Hamilton, 1971; Macmillan, 1971, 1988)
Honor Book: A Game of Dark by William Mayne (H. Hamilton, 1971; Dutton, 1971)
Honor Book: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula LeGuin (Atheneum, 1971)
1990 Winner: Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (Atheneum, 1970; Aladdin, 1989; Walker, 2001; Firebird, 2003)
Honor Book: Ravensgill by William Mayne (H. Hamilton, 1970; Dutton, 1970)
Honor Book: Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell (Houghton Mifflin, 1970)
1989   Winner: The Night Watchmen by Helen Cresswell (Faber, 1969; Macmillan, 1969; Aladdin, 1989)
Honor Book: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? by Milton Meltzer (Knopf, 1969)
Honor Book: Pistol by Adrienne Richard (Little, Brown, 1969, 1989)
1988     Winner: The Rider and His Horse by Erik Christian Haugaard (Houghton Mifflin, 1968)
1987 Winner: Smith by Leon Garfield (Constable, 1967; Pantheonm 1967; Penguin, 1968; Dell Yearling, 1987)
1986  Winner: Queenie Peavy by Robert Burch (Viking, 1966; Dell Yearling, 1975; Puffin, 1987)
1985       Winner: The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff (Oxford, 1965; Walck, 1965; Penguin, 1983)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


            
              
              
            
               
                 
                               
                
                  
                  
               
                
                
               
               
                  
                 
                   











 
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