The Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature by will be held Saturday, October 4, 2008 from 10am-noon in the Mumford Room, James Madison Memorial Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.
The 2008 award winners are Pat Mora (author) and Rafael López (illustrator) forYum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings and Laura Resau for Red Glass.
YUM! ¡MMMM! ¡QUE RICO!: AMERICA’S SPROUTINGS by Pat Mora. Pictures by Rafael López. New York: Lee & Low, 2007. 32 pgs. ISBN 978-1-58430-271-1 ―Dad bites green mouth-fire/ laughs when tears fill his eyes, sighs/ ‗¡Mmmm! This heat tastes good.‘‖ A combination of energetic haiku and informational text, this vibrant collection highlights fourteen foods native to countries throughout the Americas. The pairing of dual texts introduces background information about various food origins while providing readers with an opportunity to play with lyrical food descriptions. Blazing images suffused with magical realism create a sensory celebración that encourages readers to taste the foods, feel the heat of the sun, and listen to the popping cranberries. Children of all ages will leave this visual and lyrical feast begging for second helpings. (gr 1-6)
RED GLASS by Laura Resau. New York: Delacorte, 2007. 275 pgs. ISBN 978-0-385-90464-3 The author of What the Moon Saw (2006), Resau works her magic again in this compelling first-person narrative. When Sophie‘s mother and stepfather assume the role of foster parents to Pablo, an orphan from Mexico, Sophie‘s life takes a fresh turn. After Pablo opens up and tells them about his village, Sophie‘s Aunt Dika and her friend, Mr. Lorenzo, offer to take Pablo back to his grandmother in Mexico. Soon, the unlikely group—Sophie, Pablo, Dika, Mr. Lorenzo, and his son, Angel—are off on a one-of-a-kind road trip. But after Mr. Lorenzo and Angel make a side trip to Guatemala and don‘t return as planned, Sophie sets out on her own to retrieve them. Along the way she finds her inherent strength, casting her old fears by the wayside. The vivid characters, the fine imagery, and the satisfying plot make this a rewarding novel of hope and self discovery. (gr 8-12)
The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the National Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).
The award winners and commended titles are selected for their 1) distinctive literary quality; 2) cultural contextualization; 3) exceptional integration of text, illustration and design; and 4) potential for classroom use.