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This year, the Pura Belpré Awards went to the younger sect.

written by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Simon & Schuster
The 2013 Author Award Winner was ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Saénz.  It is the tale of two boys on the edge of manhood.  The Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Charmette S. Kuhn-Kendrick, said the book was chosen because:  “Sáenz demonstrates superb use of language and character development, while gently exploring important aspects of identity without straying into gender or cultural stereotypes.”

The Author Honor Award (honorable mention) went to THE REVOLUTION OF EVELYN SERRANO by Sonia Manzano (Scholastic Press), whom many will remember as “Maria” on Sesame Street.  Set in Spanish Harlem in 1969, this is the story of 14-year old Evelyn caught in the turmoil of the revolutionary Young Lords.

The 2013 Illustrator Awards Winner was MARTIN DE PORRES: THE ROSE IN THE DESERT illustrated by David Diaz.  The book is an illustrated biography of the first African-heritage saint of the Americas.  “The committee was impressed with Diaz’s ability to capture and expand Schmidt’s text, while including references to traditional South American artisan crafts, word carvings and textiles,” said Kuhn-Kendrick.   There was no Illustrator Honor Award this year.

Illustrated by David Diaz
Clarion Books

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate. Visit the awards site by clicking here.


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