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Children’s book awards traditionally have a medal signifying excellence for publishers to place on award-winning book covers. As there is no universally recognized symbol or sign designating disability, it was difficult to create a medal reflecting the purpose of the Schneider Family Book Award. The original jury worked with a graphic designer and responded to publisher feedback to create a circular seal similar in size to other ALA literary awards. Boys and girls holding hands encircling a small world symbolize the ideal of equal treatment for all children everywhere. The colors silver and blue were selected to differentiate this seal from the usual gold of others. The words at the top of the medal, Schneider Family Book Award, are repeated in Braille at the bottom in homage to Dr. Schneider.
-- History of the Medal from the Award Manual
Current Schneider Family Teen Award Winner
The Words in My Hands by Asphyxia
"Exceptional . . . full of distilled knowledge of a marginalized community and awareness of the Deaf." --Cheyenna Clearbrook, star of Deaf U Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens 2021 A Kirkus Best Book of 2021 Part coming of age, part call to action, this fast-paced #ownvoices novel about a Deaf teenager is a unique and inspiring exploration of what it means to belong. Smart, artistic, and independent, sixteen year old Piper is tired of trying to conform. Her mom wants her to be "normal," to pass as hearing, to get a good job. But in a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption, Piper has other things on her mind--like survival. Piper has always been told that she needs to compensate for her Deafness in a world made for those who can hear. But when she meets Marley, a new world opens up--one where Deafness is something to celebrate, and where resilience means taking action, building a com-munity, and believing in something better. Published to rave reviews as Future Girl in Australia (Allen & Unwin, Sept. 2020), this empowering, unforgettable story is told through a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage, and drawings. Set in an ominously prescient near future, The Words in My Hands is very much a novel for our turbulent times.
Current Schneider Family Children's Award Winner
My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf; Ashley Barron (Illustrator)
A young visually impaired girl and her father spend a day in the city, her city, travelling to the places they go together: the playground, the community garden, the market, an outdoor concert. As they do, the girl describes what she senses in delightfully precise, poetic detail. Her city, she says, 'rushes and stops, and waits and goes.' It 'echoes' and 'trills,' and is both 'smelly' and 'sweet.' Her city also speaks, as it 'dings and dongs, and rattles and roars.' And sometimes, maybe even some of the best times, it just listens.
Current Schneider Family Middle Grade Award Winner
A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers
A heartfelt and hopeful debut about a bird-loving autistic child whose family's special nest is in danger of falling apart. Axel loves everything about birds, especially eagles. No one worries that an eagle will fly too far and not come home-a fact Axel wishes his mother understood. Deep down, Axel knows that his mother is like an osprey-the best of all bird mothers-but it's hard to remember that when she worries and keeps secrets about important things. His dad is more like a wild turkey, coming and going as he pleases. His dad's latest disappearance is the biggest mystery of all.
Despite all this, Axel loves his life-especially the time he spends with his friends observing the eagles' nest in the woods near his home. But when a tornado damages not only Axel's home but the eagles' nest, Axel's life is thrown into chaos. Suddenly his dad is back to help repair the damage, and Axel has to manage his dad's presence and his beloved birds' absence. Plus, his mom seems to be keeping even more secrets.
But Axel knows another important fact- an eagle's instincts let it soar. Axel must trust his own instincts to help heal his family and the nest he loves.
Current Schneider Family Honor Books
Teen Honor Book
A Face for Picasso by Ariel Henley"Raw and unflinching . . . A must-read!" --Marieke Nijkamp, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends"[It] cuts to the heart of our bogus ideas of beauty." -Scott Westerfeld, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Uglies I am ugly. There's a mathematical equation to prove it.At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome -- a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive it.Growing up, Ariel and her sister endured numerous appearance-altering procedures. Surgeons would break the bones in their heads and faces to make room for their growing organs. While the physical aspect of their condition was painful, it was nothing compared to the emotional toll of navigating life with a facial disfigurement.Ariel explores beauty and identity in her young-adult memoir about resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again.
Middle Grade Honor Books
Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds; Raúl the Raúl the Third (Illustrator)A Schneider Family Award Honor Book for Middle Grade From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you've never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third! Portico Reeves's superpower is making sure all the other superheroes--like his parents and two best friends--stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he's actually...Stuntboy! But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he's the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives. All this is swell except for Portico's other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They're trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor "in the meantime." But Portico knows "meantime" means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they're about to get into it, and well, Portico's superhero responsibility is to save them, too--as soon as he figures out how. Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.
A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicollPerfect for readers of Song for a Whale and Counting by 7s, a neurodivergent girl campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different. "A must-read for students and adults alike." -School Library Journal, Starred Review Ever since Ms. Murphy told us about the witch trials that happened centuries ago right here in Juniper, I can't stop thinking about them. Those people weren't magic. They were like me. Different like me. I'm autistic. I see things that others do not. I hear sounds that they can ignore. And sometimes I feel things all at once. I think about the witches, with no one to speak for them. Not everyone in our small town understands. But if I keep trying, maybe someone will. I won't let the witches be forgotten. Because there is more to their story. Just like there is more to mine. Award-winning and neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll delivers an insightful and stirring debut about the European witch trials and a girl who refuses to relent in the fight for what she knows is right.
Children's Honor Books
A Walk in the Words by Hudson Talbott (Illustrator)Winner of a Schneider Family Honor! "A beautifully rendered and deeply inspiring book for everyone who has ever read slowly-myself included! Hudson shows us the beauty and magic that can come from taking our time. Brilliant."-Jacqueline Woodson Hudson Talbott's inspiring story vividly reveals the challenges--and ultimately the rewards--of being a non-mainstream kind of learner. When Hudson Talbott was a little boy, he loved drawing, and it came naturally to him. But reading? No way! One at a time, words weren't a problem, but long sentences were a struggle. As his friends moved on to thicker books, he kept his slow reading a secret. But that got harder every year. He felt alone, lost, and afraid in a world of too many words. Fortunately, his love of stories wouldn't let him give up. He started giving himself permission to read at his own pace, using the words he knew as stepping-stones to help draw him into a story. And he found he wasn't so alone--in fact, lots of brilliant people were slow readers, too. Learning to accept the fact that everyone does things in their own unique way, and that was okay, freed him up and ultimately helped Hudson thrive and become the fabulous storyteller he is today.
A Sky-Blue Bench by Bahram Rahman; Peggy Collins (Illustrator)It's Afghan schoolgirl Aria's first day back at school since her accident. She's excited, but she's also worried about sitting on the hard floor all day with her new prosthetic "helper-leg." Just as Aria feared, sitting on the floor is so uncomfortable that she can't think about learning at all. She knows that before the war changed many things in Afghanistan, schools like hers had benches for students to sit at. If she had a bench, her leg would not hurt so much. The answer is obvious: she will gather materials, talk to Kaka Najar, the carpenter in the old city, and learn to build a bench for herself. In A Sky-Blue Bench, Bahram Rahman, author of The Library Bus, returns again to the setting of his homeland, Afghanistan, to reveal the resilience and resolve of young children--especially young girls--who face barriers to education. Illustrator Peggy Collins imbues Aria with an infectious spunkiness and grit that make her relatable even to readers with a very different school experience. An author's note gently introduces an age-appropriate discussion of landmines and their impact on the lives of children in many nations, especially Afghanistan, which has the highest concentration of landmines of any country in the world. Don't miss The Library Bus, also by Bahram Rahman Winner of the Middle East Book Award Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award Finalist for the Florida Literary Association Children's Book Award Finalist for the OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Winner of the Northern Lights Book Award: Multicultural Category
Previous Schneider Family Award Winners
I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott; Sydney Smith (Illustrator)Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing. A New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me. And I can't say them all . . . When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he'd like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father's ability to reconnect a child with the world around him. Poet Jordan Scott writes movingly in this powerful and ultimately uplifting book, based on his own experience, and masterfully illustrated by Greenaway Medalist Sydney Smith. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in. Finalist for the BC and Yukon Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize A Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book An American Library Association Notable Children's Book ILA Primary Fiction Honoree Named a Best Book of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, Shelf Awareness, Bookpage, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Publishers Lunch, and more! A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection A Bank Street Best Childrens Book of the Year! A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year A CBC Best Picture Book of the Year A Kids' Book Choice Award Finalist
Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotteDon't miss the companion book, Set Me Free CRITICS ARE RAVING ABOUT SHOW ME A SIGN Winner of the 2021 Schneider Family Book Award * NPR Best Books of 2020 * Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2020 * School Library Journal Best Books of 2020 * New York Public Library Best Books of 2020 * Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2020 * 2020 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist * 2020 New England Independent Booksellers Award Finalist Deaf author Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 19th century. This piercing exploration of ableism, racism, and colonialism will inspire readers to examine core beliefs and question what is considered normal. * "A must-read." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "More than just a page-turner. Well researched and spare... sensitive... relevant." -- Newbery Medalist, Meg Medina for the New York Times "A triumph." -- Brian Selznick, creator of Wonderstruck and the Caldecott Award winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret * "Will enthrall readers, but her internal journey...profound." -- The Horn Book, starred review * "Expertly crafted...exceptionally written." -- School Library Journal, starred review * "Engrossing." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review "This book blew me away." -- Alex Gino, Stonewall Award-winning author of George "Spend time in Mary's world. You'll be better for it." -- Erin Entrada Kelly, author of the Newbery Award Winner, Hello, Universe Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. Now, over a hundred years later, many people there -- including Mary -- are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language. Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage. But recent events have delivered winds of change. Mary's brother died, leaving her family shattered. Tensions over land disputes are mounting between English settlers and the Wampanoag people. And a cunning young scientist has arrived, hoping to discover the origin of the island's prevalent deafness. His maniacal drive to find answers soon renders Mary a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment. Her struggle to save herself is at the core of this penetrating and poignant novel that probes our perceptions of ability and disability.
This Is My Brain in Love by I. W. GregorioA Schneider Family Book Award winner! A Bank Street Best BOok of the Year! Told in dual narrative, This Is My Brain in Love is a stunning YA contemporary romance, exploring mental health, race, and, ultimately self-acceptance, for fans of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and Emergency Contact. Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF Priya Venkatram, and to get at least two months into the year without being compared to or confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade. Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship, and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper. Then Jocelyn's father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off. Because her dad has the marketing skills of a dumpling, it's up to Jocelyn and her unlikely new employee, Will, to bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century (or, at least, to Facebook). What starts off as a rocky partnership soon grows into something more. But family prejudices and the uncertain future of A-Plus threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant and their budding romance.