Children’s and Young Adult Book Authors

PEN’s Children’s and Young Adult Book Authors support writers and librarians whose books have been banned or challenged. We are eager to receive information about these actions so that we can respond to them promptly.

Our committee also has monthly meetings which include passionate give-and-take conversations about topics that affect writers of children’s literature. Recently, a discussion about what constitutes “truth” in picture books, fiction, nonfiction, and memoir has led to a plan for a mini panel in early spring. Truth, often in the eye of the beholder, takes many forms. We will explore the notion of “truth” as writers for young people and we welcome all to our monthly meetings.

PEN Members Win ALA Awards

Congratulations to PEN members Susan Kuklin, Kekla Magoon, Ann M. Martin, and Emily Arnold McCully for winning awards from the American Library Association.

The awards were announced on February 2 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out (Candlewick Press) won a Stonewall Honor, given for “works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.” Magoon’s How It Went Down (Henry Holt) won a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, awarded to African-American authors and illustrators of children’s and YA books “that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”

Martin’s Rain Reign (Feiwell & Friends) won the Schneider Family Book Award in the middle-school category, given for a book “that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience.” McCully’s Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won! (Clarion Books) was a Finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for young adults.

Congratulations also to PEN member Mac Barnett, whose book Sam & Dave Dig a Hole How I Discovered Poetry (Dial Books).

CYA in New Orleans: Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School

Through the initiative of Committee Co-Chair Fatima Shaik, the Children’s/Young Adult Books Committee helped move an elementary school library from St. Joseph’s School in Greenwich Village, New York City, to the Martin Luther King Jr. More about the program here.