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

    The Josette Frank Award 1980 – 1989

    Shades of Gray
    The Most Beautiful Place in the World
    December Stillness
    Special Citation 1988
    Rabble Starkey

    Journey to Jo'burg
    Ain't Gonna Study War No More
    Special Citation 1985
    One-Eyed Cat
    Sign of the Beaver

    The Solomon System
    Special Citation 1983
    Homesick: My Own Story
    A Spirit to Ride the Whirlwind
    A Boat to Nowhere


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

  • 1970s

    The Josette Frank Award 1970 – 1979

    The Whipman is Watching
    The Devil in Vienna
    The Pinballs
    Somebody Else's Child

    The Garden is Doing Fine
    luke Was there
    A Taste of Blackberries
    A Sound of Chariots

    John Henry McCoy
    The Pair of Shoes
    Special Citation 1971
    Rock Star
    Migrant Girl
    Special Citation 1970

  • 1960s

    The Josette Frank Award 1961 – 1969

    What's It All About
    Where Is Daddy? The Story of a Divorce
    Special Citation 1968
    The Contender
    Queenie Peavy

    CuriousGeorge Goes to Hospital
    Special Citation 1966
    The Empty Schoolhouse
    The High Pasture
    The Peaceful Revolution

    The Rock and the Willow
    Special Citation 1963
    The Trouble With Terry
    The Road to Agra
    The Girl From Puerto Rico
    Special Citation 1961


    The Empty Moat by Margaretha Shemin (Coward-McCann)


    Janine by Robin McKown (Messner)

  • 1950s

    The Josette Frank Award 1950 – 1959

    South Town
    The House of Sixty Fathers

    Plain Girl

    In a Mirror

    Twenty and Ten
    Partners: United Nations and Youth


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


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

    High Road Home by William Corbin (Coward-McCann)


    No Award

  • 1940s

    The Josette Frank Award 1943 – 1949

    Paul Tiber: Forester

    Judy's Journey
    Heart of Danger

    The Moved Outers
    The House
    Keystone Kids