Curiouser & Curiouser

Children’s Literature Association Announces 2009 Phoenix Award Winner

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Francesca Lia Block, author of Weetzie Bat (HarperCollins), is the winner of the 1989/2009 Phoenix Award, given to the author of a book for children published originally in English that did not win a major award at the time of its publication twenty years earlier.

The award was announced at Illinois State University at the annual conference of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) , an organization encouraging high standards of criticism, scholarship, research, and teaching in children’s literature. The Phoenix Award is named after the fabled bird that 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.

One Phoenix Honor winner was also announced: Sylvia Cassedy, for her book Lucie Babbidge’s House (Lippincott; Crowell).

The Children’s Literature Association created the Phoenix Award as an outgrowth of its Touchstones Committee. The recipient of the award has been chosen each year since 1985 by an elected committee of Association members who consider nominations made by members and others interested in promoting high critical standards in literature for children. This year’s Award committee included Karen Coats, Illinois State University; Claudia Mills, University of Colorado, Bolder; Marilynn Olson, Texas State University, San Marcos; Priscilla Ord, Chair, McDaniel College; and Donna White, Arkansas Tech University.

More information about the Children’s Literature Association, and a complete list of Phoenix Award winners, can be found on the Association’s web site:

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Volume 12, Issue 2 The Looking Glass, January/February, 2008

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

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