Children’s Book Committee


The Josette Frank Award

This award for fiction honors a book or books of outstanding literary merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally. The award has been given annually since 1943. Josette Frank, the editor of anthologies for children, served for many years as the Executive Director of the Child Study Association of America of which this committee was a part.

The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award

Established in 1994 to honor Flora Straus, who led the Children’s Book Committee for many years, is presented annually for a distinguished work of nonfiction that serves as an inspiration to young people. Flora Straus stood for the values of courage, hard work, truth, and beauty while adapting to a changing world. She believed that books about varying cultures enrich and help all children in their growth. She championed diverse opinions and points of view and was a person of high principles, unfailing courtesy, and deep understanding.

The Claudia Lewis Award

The Claudia Lewis Award, given for the first time in 1998, honors the best poetry book of the year. The award commemorates the late Claudia Lewis, distinguished children’s book expert and longtime member of the Bank Street College faculty and Children’s Book Committee. She conveyed her love and understanding of poetry with humor and grace.

2018 Award Winners

  • The Josette Frank Award
    Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Hawk Mother: The Story of a Red-Tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chickens by Kara Hagedorn (Web of Life Children’s Books)
  • The Claudia Lewis Award
    One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Past Award Winners 1943-2017

  • 2010s


    Josette Frank Award
    The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Awards

    • For Younger Readers
      Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood;illus by Sally Wern Comport (Simon and Schuster)
    • For Older Readers
      March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (Top Shelf Books)
      Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson (Carolrhoda)

    The Claudia Lewis Award
    When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Julie Morstad (Roaring Brook Press)


    Josette Frank Award
    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books for Young Readers)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Candlewick Press)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (Namelos)


    Josette Frank Award

    • For Younger Readers
      Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan)
    • For Older Readers
      I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (Candlewick Press)

    Claudia Lewis Award

    • For Younger Readers
      Winter Bees by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
    • For Older Readers
      Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA)


    Josette Frank Award
    Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (Disney/Hyperion)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909  by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


    Josette Frank Award
    Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Knopf/Random House)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport (Candlewick)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar! Selected by J. Patrick Lewis  (National Geographic)


    Josette Frank Award
    Bluefish by Pat Schmatz  (Candlewick)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award

    • For Younger Readers:
      Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet (Houghton Mifflin/HMH)
    • For Older Readers:
      Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin  (Knopf/Random House)

    Claudia Lewis Award

    • For Younger Readers:
      Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O’Connell George, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter  (Clarion/HMH)
    • For Older Readers:
      The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf (Candlewick)


    Josette Frank Award
    Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper (Athenaeum)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Little, Brown)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Houghton Mifflin)

  • 2000s


    Josette Frank Award
    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (Henry Holt)

    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick)

    Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca (Richard Jackson/ S&S)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Red Sings from the Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (Houghton Mifflin)


    Josette Frank Award
    After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt)


    Josette Frank Award
    Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (Fiewel and Friends)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Ballerina Dreams by Lauren Thompson, photos by James Estrin
    (Fiewel and Friends)

    Who Was First?: Discovering the Americas by Russell Freedman (Holiday)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick)

    This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagaenski (Houghton Mifflin)


    Josette Frank Award
    Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Hyperion Books for Children)

    The Manny Files
    by Christian Burch (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman (Holiday House)


    Josette Frank Award
    Each little bird that sings by Deborah Wiles (Gulliver Books, Harcourt)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes by Pamela S. Turner (Houghton Mifflin Company)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    A Kick In The Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms selected by Paul B. Janeczko illustrated by Chris Raschka (Candlewick Press)


    Josette Frank Award
    Ida B: and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan (Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter (Harcourt)

    The Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Phillip Hoose (FSG)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Here in Harlem: poems in many voices by Walter Dean Myers (Holiday House)

    Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems by Kristine O’Connell George
    illustrated by Barry Moser (Tricycle Press)


    Josette Frank Award
    The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
    (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, ill. by Shane W. Evans (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)

    Yesterday I Had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame, ill. by R. Gregory Christie (Tricycle Press)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine (Albert Whitman & Co.)

    A Lifetime Achievement Award
    Karla Kuskin
    as exhibited in a collection of her work,
    Moon, Have You Met My Mother? (Laura Geringer Books, an imprint of HarperCollins)


    Josette Frank Award
    Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney (Delacorte Press)

    Jericho Walls by Kristi Collier (Henry Holt & Co.)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Little Dog and Duncan by Kristine O’Connell George, ill. by June Otani (Clarion Books)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance by Doreen Rappaport, ill. by Shane W. Evans (Candlewick Press)

    When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Muñoz Ryan , ill. by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press)


    Josette Frank Award
    Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart by Vera B. Williams (Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Carver: a life in poems by Marilyn Nelson (Front Street Books)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Love That Dog by Sharon Creech (Joanna Cotler Books, HarperCollins Publishers)

    Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart by Vera B. Williams (Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers)


    Josette Frank Award
    Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)

    Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin (Clarion)

    Claudia Lewis Award
    Mammalabilia by Douglas Florian (Harcourt)

  • 1990s


    • Josette Frank Award
      Figuring Out Frances (Gina Willner-Pardo-Clarion Books)
    • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
      Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (Scholastic Books)
    • Claudia Lewis Award
      Stop Pretending by Sonya Sones (HarperCollins)


    • Josette Frank Award
      My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt (Henry Holt & Co.)
    • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
      Iqbal Masih and the Crusaders Against Child Slavery by Susan Kuklin (Henry Holt & Co.)
    • Claudia Lewis Award
      I, Too, Sing America by Catherine Clinton (Houghton Mifflin)


    • Josette Frank Award
      No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa by Beverley Naidoo (HarperCollins) & Wringer by Jerry Spinelli (HarperCollins)
    • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
      Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement With the People Who Made It Happen by Casey King & Linda Barrett Osborne (Knopf)
    • Claudia Lewis Award
      The Invisible Ladder: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poems for Young Readers edited by Liz Rosenberg (Henry Holt & Co.)


    The Cuckoo’s Child by Suzanne Freeman (Greenwillow Books)


    • Music from a Place Called Half Moon by Jerrie Oughton (Houghton Mifflin)
    • The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)
    • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
      Parallel Journeys by Eleanor Ayer (Atheneum)


    Earthshine by Theresa Nelson (Orchard)


    • Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff (Henry Holt & Co.)
    • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
      Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman (Clarion Books)


    Blue Skin of the Sea by Graham Salisbury (Delacorte)


    Shadow Boy by Susan E. Kirby (Orchard)


    Secret City, USA by Felice Holman (Scribner’s)

  • 1980s


    Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder (Macmillan)


    The Most Beautiful Place in the World by Ann Cameron (Knopf)

    December Stillness by Mary Downing Hahn (Clarion)


    Rabble Starkey by Lois Lowry (Houghton Mifflin)


    Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo (Lippincott)


    With Westie and the Tin Man by C.S. Adler (Macmillan)

    Special Citation

    Ain’t Gonna Study War No More by Milton Meltzer (Harper & Row)


    One-Eyed Cat by Paula Fox (Bradbury)


    The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton Mifflin)

    The Solomon System by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum)


    Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz (Putnam)


    A Spirit to Ride the Whirlwind by Athena Lord (Macmillan)


    A Boat to Nowhere by Maureen C. Wartski (Westminster)

  • 1970s


    The Whipman is Watching by T.A. Dyer (Houghton Mifflin)


    The Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel (Dial)


    The Pinballs by Betsy Byars (Harper)


    Somebody Else’s Child by Roberta Silman (Warne)


    The Garden is Doing Fine by Carol Farley (Atheneum)


    Luke Was There by Eleanor Clymer (Holt/Rinehart & Winston)


    A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith (T.Y. Crowell)


    A Sound of Chariots by Mollie Hunter (Harper)


    John Henry McCoy by Lillie D. Chafin (Macmillan)

    Special Citation

    The Pair of Shoes by Aline Glasgow (Dial)


    Rock Star by James Lincoln Collier (Four Winds)

    Migrant Girl by Carli Laklan (McGraw-Hill)

  • 1960s


    The Empty Moat by Margaretha Shemin (Coward-McCann)


    What It’s All About by Vadim Frolov (Doubleday)

    Special Citation

    Where Is Daddy? The Story About Divorce by Beth Goff (Beacon)


    The Contender by Robert Lipsyte (Harper)


    Queenie Peavy by Robert Burch (Viking)

    Special Citation

    Curious George Goes to the Hospital by Margaret and H.A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin)


    The Empty Schoolhouse by Natalie Savage Carlson (Harper)


    The High Pasture by Ruth Harnden (Houghton Mifflin)


    The Peaceable Revolution by Betty Schechter (Houghton Mifflin)

    The Rock and the Willow by Mildred Lee (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard)


    The Trouble With Terry by John Lexau (Dial)


    The Road to Agra by Aimee Sommerfelt (Criterion)

    The Girl From Puerto Rico by Hila Colman (Morrow)


    Janine by Robin McKown (Messner)

  • 1950s


    Jennifer by Zoa Sherburne (Morrow)


    South Town by Lorenz Graham (Follett)


    Shadow Across the Campus by Helen R Sattler (Dodd Mead)


    The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert de Jong (Harper)


    Plain Girl by Virginia Sorenson (Harcourt Brace & World)

    Crow Boy by Taro Yashima (Viking)


    The Ordeal of the Young Hunter by Jonreed Lauritzen
    (Little Brown)

    High Road Home by William Corbin (Coward-McCann)


    In a Mirror by Mary Stolz (Harper)


    Jareb by Miriam Powell (T.Y. Crowell)

    Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop (Viking)


    No Award


    Partners: The United Nations and Youth by Eleanor Roosevelt & Helen Ferris (Doubleday)

  • 1940s


    Paul Tiber: Forester by Maria Gleit (Scribner)


    The Big Wave by Pearl Buck (John Day)


    Judy’s Journey by Lois Lenski (Lippincott)


    Heart of Danger by Howard Pease (Doubleday)


    The Moved-Outers by Florence Cranell Means (Houghton Mifflin)


    The House by Margorie Hill Alee (Houghton Mifflin)


    Keystone Kids by John R Tunis (Harcourt, Brace & World)