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YA Novel "Bluefish" by Pat Schmatz Wins 2012 Burr/Worzalla Award

Posted by on Monday, July 16, 2012 in Awards

Young Adult novel, “Bluefish,” written by Wisconsin native Pat Schmatz and published by Candlewick Press, has won the 2012 Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award. The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually awards the Burr/Worzalla to the most distinguished work in literature for children written and/or illustrated by a Wisconsin book creator.

In “Bluefish” we meet Travis, a middle school student dealing with relocating to a new town, his alcoholic grandfather at home, and being an outsider at school. Travis befriends Velveeta, an outsider herself who has her own secrets. Travis finds guidance and direction through his friendship with Velveeta and through the kindness of his teacher Mr. McQueen who teaches Travis how to read. Pat Schmatz weaves a wonderfully written story, full of charming characters and a strong theme of friendship.

The Children’s Book Award Committee also named Tom Lichtenheld Notable Wisconsin Author/Illustrator for his contribution to the world of children’s literature.

Seven noteworthy titles have also been selected for Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Literature, written and/or illustrated by Wisconsin book creators:

•    “Ashes” by Ilsa J. Bick

•    “Ten Little Caterpillars” illustrated by Lois Ehlert

•    “Stupid Fast” by Geoff Herbach

•    “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

•    “Big Turtle” by David McLimans

•    “The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True” by Gerald Morris

•    “The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families” by Susan L. Roth

The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award is made possible by the Worzalla Publishing Company, Stevens Point, through a grant to the WLA Foundation.

The 2011 Children’s Book Award Committee members consist of Ruhama Kordatzky Bahr, Chair; Barbara Huntington, retired, DPI-DLTCL; Jennifer McNaughton, Greendale Public Library; Jeni Schomber, Beloit Public Library; Elizabeth Timmins, Muehl Public Library; Dawn Wacek, Rice Lake Public Library; Arin Wilken, Mondovi Public Library.

For more information about the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, go to


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