Bank Street Bookstore

Blog posts about the bookstore

Bank Street Children's Book Committee Award Winners 2014

The Children’s Book Committee is a proud tradition at Bank Street College of Education and the Bank Street School for Children. It supports the commitment to seek and cite outstanding literature for young readers. Committee members read newly published titles each year, and select three books to honor as shining examples of new works for children. This year’s winners are:

Josette Frank Award for a work of fiction in which a young character deals positively and realistically with difficulties and grows both emotionally and morally

“Rose Under Fire” by Elizabeth Wein – This World War II thriller introduces readers to Rose Justice, a pilot who is captured by the Nazis and sent to a women’s concentration camp. Allie Bruce, interim children’s librarian at the Bank Street Library, calls Rose "a character who meets unusually difficult life challenges and is able to respond positively.”

Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for a work of nonfiction that inspires readers through examples of courage, hard work, truth, and beauty within a changing world

 


“Brave Girl” by Michelle Markel (author) and Melissa Sweet (illustrator) – This is a true story of Clara Lemlich, a young immigrant seamstress who leads the largest strike of women workers in U. S. history. It proves the importance of standing strong and standing together to improve conditions for all. Allie Bruce, interim children’s librarian at the Bank Street Library, calls this book “universally inspiring.”

 

Claudia Lewis Award for a work of poetry that conveys love, understanding, humor, grace, feeling, and meaning through poetic words and images

 


“What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings” by Joyce Sidman (author) and Pamela Zagarenski (illustrator) – This collection of poems provides encouragement to help readers bravely face a continually changing world with comfort, courage, and humor. Allie Bruce, interim children’s librarian at the Bank Street Library, loves the combination of author and illustrator, calling them a “perfect duo to capture many feelings – and many fans.”

 

Why Bank Street Bookstore?


Adorning the front entry of the Bank Street College of Education is a brass plaque honoring Margaret Wise Brown, author of the bedtime classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. In the 1930s, as a member of the Bank Street Writers Lab, Brown was a driving force behind the “Here And Now” movement in children’s books conceived ten years prior by Bank Street College founder Lucy Sprague Mitchell.

Mitchell and Brown oversaw the creation of hundreds of innovative works of literature that -- unlike that era’s conventional children’s books, laden with moral instruction – reflected back children’s intimate daily experiences and inner lives.

Working with legendary colleagues Ruth Krauss (A Hole Is to Dig), Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) and Edith Thacher Hurd (Ellen’s Lion), Brown’s work paved the way for the Little Golden Books publishing phenomenon, and ultimately, via Krauss and Johnson’s disciple Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), to the entire modern era in children’s literature.

The Bank Street Writers Lab still flourishes, as a component of the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature, along with Bank Street’s various awards programs, among them the Irma Black Award (outstanding picture book, as judged by child voters) and the Cook Prize (outstanding book about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.) In addition there are awards given annually by the Bank Street Children's Book Committee, such as the Claudia Lewis Award (outstanding poetry book).

It’s this pivotal place that Bank Street College occupies in contemporary children’s literature that explains why forty years of nurturing and maintaining one of the world’s best children’s bookstores has been a mission-driven activity for the Bank Street College of Education.

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