Caucus Race 9.2

The Caucus Race
News, Announcements and Paper Calls

2004 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Announced by Association of Jewish Libraries

Pnina Moed Kass, author of Real Time, is the 2004 winner of the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award. Eric A. Kimmel is the winner of the 2004 Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award for his overall contribution to the genre of Jewish children's literature.

Kass and Kimmel were among the winners announced on January 10 at the Midwinter Meeting of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Manhattan. AJL's Sydney Taylor Book Awards honor new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Oakland, CA this June.

Kass, who lives in Israel, won the 2004 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Real Time, published by Clarion. Hour by hour, the novel chronicles the events surrounding a bus bombing outside of Jerusalem. The story is told by a diverse cast of characters, including kibbutzniks, tourists, soldiers, and the Palestinian teenager who bombs the bus. Remarkably insightful and even-handed, this thoughtful book is a riveting read that, as the publisher says, "could be the backstory behind yesterday's-or tomorrow's-news." The book is recommended for grades 8-12.

"Real Time is a stunning portrait of modern Israeli life," said Heidi Estrin, chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. "It is both frightening and hopeful, drawing readers into the complexity of life in the Middle East without offering easy answers. As one characters says, everyone is part of the story, and 'like a tangled string when you pull it, it gets tighter.' The book will fascinate teen readers, and help them connect to the human side of what they see on the news."

Kimmel, of Portland, Oregon, won the 2004 Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award, which is presented every few years to an author who has made a substantial contribution to the genre of Jewish children's literature. Past winners include Barbara Diamond Goldin, Miriam Chaikin, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. Kimmel, the author of over fifty children's books, has written more than twenty books of Jewish interest during his illustrious career, including the recent book Wonders and Miracles: A Passover Companion, winner of the National Jewish Book Award and a 2004 Sydney Taylor Honor Book. He won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in 2000 for Gershon's Monster and in 1990 for The Chanukah Guest.

"Eric Kimmel's books are loved by children, not just by teachers or librarians," explained Estrin. "He brings a sense of joy to his storytelling. His humor, sense of adventure, inclusion of scary monsters, and pride in his Jewish heritage are all features that help him forge a strong bond with readers."

Six Sydney Taylor Honor Books were named for 2004: five in the Older Readers' Category and one in the Younger Readers' Category. For Older Readers, the Honor Books are: Daniel Half-Human and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz, published by Simon & Schuster; Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Everything by Anne Dublin, published by Second Story Press; The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse and illustrated by Wendy Watson, published by Scholastic; Wonders and Miracles: A Passover Companion by Eric A. Kimmel, published by Scholastic; and My Guardian Angel by Sylvie Weil, published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic. For Younger Readers, the Honor Book is Daniel in the Lions' Den by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by the author, published by Little Brown.

In addition to the medal-winners, the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee designated thirty-one Notable Children's Books of Jewish Content for 2004: twenty in the Older Reader'' Category and eleven in the Younger Readers' Category. Notable titles, and more information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award, may be found online at


The inaugural issue of Sankofa: A Journal of African Children's and Young Adult Literature appeared in November 2002. Published annually, Sankofa is edited by Meena G. Khorana, Professor of English and Adolescent Literature and past editor-in-chief of Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature, with Brenda Randolph, Director of Africa Access, as assistant editor.

Sankofa is a peer-reviewed journal aimed at a diverse audience of teachers, students, librarians, researchers, writers, illustrators, editors, and publishers. The name of the journal is taken from an Akan word meaning "looking back."

Sankofa's primary objective is to disseminate information on African children's and young adult literature; recognize common inaccuracies, stereotypes, and biases in books set in Africa; provide readers with in-depth book reviews and scholarly articles on emerging trends in African and African diaspora literatures; and stimulate a global conversation on the comparative patterns in the representation of children in literature.

Sankofa's three major sections offer a variety of perspectives on African children's and young adult literature.

  • The African Scene features critical and analytical essays on established and new authors and illustrators, trends and developments in book production for children in Africa, and reviews of outstanding books.
  • The Literatures of the Diaspora focuses on children's and young adult books of the African diaspora.
  • The Children's Africana Book Awards provides reviews of all the books submitted for the award each year, essays on the winners, and an analysis of publishing trends. Established in 1991 by the African Studies Association, the annual Children's Africana Book Awards encourage the publication and use of accurate and balanced children's materials on Africa in the United States.

Please submit articles (in English, between 3,000 and 5,000 words) to Dr. Meena Khorana, 202-E Holmes Hall, Morgan State University, 1700 E. Cold Spring Road, Baltimore, MD 21251 USA; email:

Sankofa is housed in the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University, Baltimore (see


Grants-in-Aid for Travel to the Kerlan Collection will be available for research study in 2005. Applicants may request up to $1,500.

Send a letter with the proposed purpose, plan to use specific research materials (manuscripts and art), dates, and budget (including airfare and per diem) to Kerlan Grant-in-Aid, 113 Andersen Library, 222 21st Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55455.

Travel and a written report on the project must be completed and submitted in 2005. This offering is made possible by a generous gift to the Kerlan Collection by Warren and Marilyn Hollinshead through the Hollinshead Family Fund-Ayco Charitable Foundation.

The Looking Glass

The Looking Glass invites submissions to all columns and sections for the following special issues:
Japanese Children's Literature and Culture
Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2005
Publication date: April 2006
Critical, theoretical, and informative articles are welcome on any aspect of Japanese children's literature and culture. Some topics might include the history of children's literature and writing for children in Japan, genre surveys, analyses of modern and contemporary Japanese children's literature, technology and Japanese children's literature, manga and anime, World War II in Japanese children's literature, Japanese children's literature in translation into English and other languages, imported children's literature translated into Japanese, teaching children's literature in Japan, children's literature publishing in Japan, and various aspects of Japanese children's culture. Please see Contribute! for submission guidelines and editorial policies.
Indigenous Peoples
Deadline for Submissions: 1 October 2006
Publication date: April 2007
Critical and informative articles are welcome on indigenous peoples of the world, such as the Aborigine, Ainu, Native Americans, and First Nations. Topics should include indigenous peoples' cultures and literatures, storytelling practices, stories and tales, childrearing practices and coming-of-age rituals, how indigenous peoples are portrayed in dominant cultures' children's literature historically and in contemporary times, and the effects of globalization on indigenous cultures and children. Please see Contribute! for submission guidelines and editorial policies.

The Looking Glass also invites scholarly submissions for the following special topic to be highlighted in Alice's Academy, its scholarly refereed section:

Magic Realism in Children's Literature
Submission deadline: 1 September 2005
Publication date: January 2006
Articles are welcome on any critical or theoretical aspect of magic realism in children's literature. Please see Contribute! for submission guidelines and editorial policies.

Central and South American Children's Literature
Submission deadline: 1 September 2006
Publication date: January 2007
Articles are welcome on any critical or informative aspects of Central and South American children's literature. Topics can include the history of children's literature, historical surveys of children's literature, regional studies, genre studies, urbanization and globalization, colonialism and post-colonialism in Central and South American children's literature, English, Spanish, and native-language children's literature, imported children's literature in Central and South American countries, teaching children's literature in Central and South America, and children's literature publishing. Please see Contribute! for submission guidelines and editorial policies.

The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680