Announcing the 2019 Children's Book Award Winners

Posted by Brigitte Rupp Vacha on Thursday, June 27, 2019 in Awards

Children’s graphic novel The Cardboard Kingdom, created by Chad Sell and published by Penguin Random House, has won the coveted Burr/Worzalla Award for 2019. The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually presents the Burr/Worzalla Award to the most distinguished work in literature written and/or illustrated by a Wisconsin book creator. The Cardboard Kingdom is an impressive debut from Sell, who grew up in Wisconsin and currently lives in Chicago. 

In a society where the lines that divide people have only seemed to deepen, there’s one thing that can bring an entire neighborhood of kids together: cardboard. With enough cardboard, you can make anything. A noble knight’s sword. The headdress of an evil enchantress. A robot. A mad scientist’s lab. What starts as a game between brother and sister soon grows into a sprawling kingdom, where imagination is only limited by how much cardboard you can get your hands on. 

A neighborhood of refreshingly diverse characters each has their own personal quest to fulfill. A young boy who is drawn to the glamor of dressing up as an evil sorceress. A girl who uses her big voice to transform into a gentle but powerful monster. A bully who makes fun of the game he desperately wants to be a part of. As more kids are invited to play in the cardboard kingdom, unique and genuine characters begin to emerge as kids find courage in their fantasy world to truly be themselves. 

Through the refreshingly diverse cast of characters, this compassionate gem of a graphic novel rejects stereotypes and teaches lessons about acceptance, understanding and identity without being heavy-handed. Readers will love the bold, colorful illustrations and imaginative, character-driven story that will no doubt have kids asking adults for spare cardboard boxes this summer.

 For her amazing body of work in children’s literature, former Wisconsin resident Peg Kehret was selected as this year’s Wisconsin Notable Children’s Author. Best known for her inspiring biography, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, Kehret is a prolific, respected author of children’s literature, with her books spanning multiple genres. Many of Kehret’s novels have been selected as “children’s choice” award winners by young readers across the country. The Children’s Book Award Committee is very pleased to bestow yet another award upon this master storyteller. 

Five noteworthy honor titles have also been selected for Outstanding Achievement in children’s literature, written and/or illustrated by Wisconsin book creators: 

  • The Button War by Avi
  • Lowriders Blast from the Past by Cathy Camper
  • Hooper by Geoff Herbach
  • Margot and Mateo Save the World by Darcy Miller
  • Capsized!: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster by Patricia Sutton 

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

For more information about the Children’s Book Awards Committee, visit http://wla.wisconsinlibraries.org/yss/childrens-book-awards-committee

WLA represents over 1500 members employed by public, academic and special libraries. WLA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and stability of libraries throughout the state. WLA engages, inspires and advocates for library workers and supporters to improve and promote library services for the people of Wisconsin. For more information, go to http://wla.wisconsinlibraries.org

 

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