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.

Children’s Book Committee Awards 2020

When the Ground is Hard
Josette Frank 2020

Flora Stieglitz Straus
(co-recipient) 2020

Flora Stieglitz Straus
(co-recipient) 2020

Claudia Lewis 2020

Josette Frank
When the Ground is Hard
by Malla Nunn (G.P. Putnam & Sons)

Flora Stieglitz Straus
Infinite Hope:  A Black Artists Journey from World War II to Peace
by Ashley Bryan (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, A Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese Internment Camp During World War II
by Andrea Warren (Margaret Ferguson Books)

Claudia Lewis
Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc
by David Elliott (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Past Award Winners 1943-2019

  • 2010s

    Children’s Book Committee Awards 2010 – 2019

    A Heart in a Body in the World
    Josette Frank 2019
    Just Mercy
    Flora Stieglitz Straus
    (older readers) 2019
    Flora Stieglitz Straus
    (younger readers) 2019
    They Call Me Güero
    Claudia Lewis 2019

    Piecing me together
    Josette Frank 2018
    Hawk Mother
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2018
    One last word
    Claudia Lewis 2018

    The secret life of Lincoln JOnes
    Josette Frank 2017
    March: Book three
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2017
    (older readers)
    Sachiko: A Nagasaki bomb survivor story
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2017
    (older readers)
    Ada's violin
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2017
    (younger readers)
    When green becomes tomatoes
    Claudia Lewis 2017

    The war that saved my life
    Josette Frank 2016
    voice of freedom: Fannie Lou Hammer
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2016
    My Seneca village
    Claudia Lewis 2016

    I'll give you the sun
    Josette Frank 2015
    (older readers)
    Rain reign
    Josette Frank 2015
    (younger readers)
    Beyond Magenta transgender teens speak out
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2015
    Brown girl dreaming
    Claudia Lewis 2015
    (older readers)
    Winter bees and other poems of the cold
    Claudia Lewis 2015
    (younger readers)

    Rose under fire
    Josette Frank 2014
    Brave girl: Clara and the shirtwaist makers's strike
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2014
    What the heart knows: chants, charms, blessings
    Claudia Lewis 2014

    Wonder (R.J. Palacio)
    Josette Frank 2013
    Beyond Courage
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2013
    National Geographic book of animal poetry
    Claudia Lewis 2013

    Josette Frank 2012
    Flesh and blood so cheap
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2012
    (older readers)
    Balloons over Broadway
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2012
    (younger readers)
    The watch that ends the night
    Claudia Lewis 2012
    (older readers)
    Emma dilemma: big sister poems
    Claudia Lewis 2012
    (younger readers)

    Out of my mind
    Josette Frank 2011
    Sit in: how four friends stood up by sitting down
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2011
    Guyku: a year of haiku for boys
    Claudia Lewis 2011

    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
    Josette Frank 2010
    Where the mountain meets the moon
    Special Citation 2010
    Almost astronauts 13 women who dared to read
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2010
    Moonshot the flight of apollo 11
    Special Citation 2010
    Red sings from the tree tops
    Claudia Lewis 2010

  • 2000s

    Children’s Book Committee Awards 2000 – 2009

    After Tupac and D Foster
    Josette Frank 2009
    The Lincolns a scrapbook look at Abraham and Mary
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2009
    The Surrender Tree
    Claudia Lewis 2009

    Home of the brave
    Josette Frank 2008
    Ballerina dreams
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2008
    Who was first discovering the Americas
    Special Citation 2008
    Here's a little poem
    Claudia Lewis 2008
    This is just to say
    Special Citation 2008

    Josette Frank 2007
    The Manny files
    Special Citation 2007
    Freedom walkers: the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2007

    Josette Frank 2006
    Gorilla doctors saving endangered apes
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2006
    A kick in the head an everyday guide to poetic forms
    Claudia Lewis 2006

    Ida B: and her plans to maximize fun, avoid disaster...
    Josette Frank 2005
    The Librarian of Basra
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2005
    The race to save the Lord God bird
    Special Citation 2005
    Here in Harlem
    Claudia Lewis 2005
    Hummingbird nest
    Special Citation 2005

    The Goose Girl
    Josette Frank 2004
    Hana's suitcase
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2004
    Moon have you met my mother?
    Lifetime Achievement Award
    The way a door closes
    Claudia Lewis 2004
    Yesterday I had the blues
    Special Citation 2004

    Goddess of yesterday
    Josette Frank 2003
    Jericho walls
    Special Citation 2003
    No more! Stories and songs of slave resistance
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2003
    When Marian sang
    Special Citation 2003
    Little Dog and Duncan
    Claudia Lewis 2003

    Amber was brave, Essie was smart
    Josette Frank 2002
    Love that dog: a novel
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2002
    Carver a life in poems
    Claudia Lewis 2002

    Because of Winn-Dixie
    Josette Frank 2001
    Ida B. Wells: Mother of the civil rights movement
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2001
    Claudia Lewis 2001

    Figuring out Frances
    Josette Frank 2000
    Through my eyes
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 2000
    Stop pretending what happened when my big sister went crazy
    Claudia Lewis 2000

  • 1990s

    Children’s Book Committee Awards 1990 – 1999

    My Louisana Sky
    Josette Frank 1998
    Iqbal Masih and the Crusaders Against Child Slavery
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 1998
    I Too Sing America
    Claudia Lewis 1998
    No Turning Back
    Josette Frank 1997

    Oh, Freedom
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 1997
    The Invisible Ladder
    Claudia Lewis 1997
    The Cuckoo's Child
    Josette Frank 1996
    Music From a Place Called Half Moon
    Josette Frank 1995

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963
    Special Citation 1995
    Parallel Journeys
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 1995
    Josette Frank 1994
    Make Lemonade
    Josette Frank 1993

    Eleanor Roosevelt Life of Discovery
    Flora Stieglitz Straus 1993
    Blue Skin of the Sea
    Josette Frank 1992
    Shadow Boy
    Josette Frank 1991
    Secret City , USA
    Josette Frank 1990

  • 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