Young Reader Award (Ages 6-8)

A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis

Written by Matt de la Pena, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Published by Penguin Books for Young Readers

On the eve of World War II, African American boxer Joe Louis fought German Max Schmeling in a bout that had more at stake than just the world heavyweight title; for much of America their fight came to represent America’s war with Germany. This elegant and powerful picture book biography centers around the historic fight in which Black and White America were able to put aside prejudice and come together to celebrate our nation’s ideals.

Older Reader Award (Ages 9-12)

The Blood Lie: A Novel

Written by Shirley Reva Vernick

Published by Cinco Puntos Press

Latent hostility against the Jews erupts in a blood lie when Daisy, a young Gentile girl, disappears in the woods. It’s September 22, 1928, Jack Pool’s 16th birthday. It's the Sabbath. In the synagogue that morning, he feels restless, stuck in a remote little whistle-stop town in upstate New York. But he doesn’t realize exactly how stuck he is until his little sister’s Gentile friend Daisy gets lost in the woods and he's accused of killing her.

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