Winner 2014 Award

Young Reader Award (Ages 6-8)

Barbed Wire Baseball

Barbed Wire Baseball

Written by Marissa Moss, Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu

Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

As a boy, Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura dreams of playing professional baseball, but everyone tells him he is too small. Yet he grows up to be a successful player, playing with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig! When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni and his family are sent to one of ten internment camps where more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry are imprisoned without trials. Zeni brings the game of baseball to the camp, along with a sense of hope.

This true story, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, introduces children to a little-discussed part of American history through Marissa Moss’s rich text and Yuko Shimizu’s beautiful illustrations. The book includes author and illustrator notes, archival photographs, and a bibliography.

Older Reader Award (Ages 9-12)

Hero on a Bicycle

Written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes

Published by Candlewick Press

Florence, Italy, 1944 and the city is under heavy Nazi occupation. For fourteen-year-old Paolo, the war is a long and boring wait. Too young to fight for what he believes in and desperate for adventure, he sets out each night on secret bike rides. But one night Paolo receives a message that propels his family into a terrifying and impossible situation. Finally at the center of the action, Paolo must work out how to be a true hero.

In her first novel, beloved author Shirley Hughes presents a World War II adventure proving that in extraordinary circumstances, people are capable of doing extraordinary things.


Honor Book: Older Reader Award (Ages 9-12)

Courage Has No Color

Written by Tanya Stone

Published by Candlewick Press

World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, the injustice of discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Enlisted black men are segregated from white soldiers and regularly relegated to service duties. At Fort Benning, Georgia, First Sergeant Walter Morris’s men serve as guards at The Parachute School, while the white soldiers prepare to be paratroopers. Morris knows that for his men to be treated like soldiers, they have to train and act like them, but would the military elite and politicians recognize the potential of these men as well as their passion for serving their country? Tanya Lee Stone examines the role of African Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought in a little-known attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability.".

They became America’s first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War I .


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