The Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy is given annually by Reader to Reader to a person who has played a prominent role in encouraging literacy and reading enjoyment. Their lifetime devotion to literacy is a shining example of the impact an individual can have on this vital issue. The award is presented to the winner at our Children’s Book Illustration Exhibit opening reception.
2019: 12th Annual Award Winner: Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser – SCBWI co-founders
Stephen Mooser, President, and Lin Oliver Executive Director co-founded the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 1971. SCBWI is one of the largest existing organizations in the country for writers and illustrators. Its mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books around the world and support those writing and illustrating for children in the fields of children’s literature across a variety of media.
2018: 11th Annual Award Winner: Jerry Pinkney
Jerry Pinkney is one of America’s most admired children’s book illustrators. A recipient of the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award.
2017: 10th Annual Award Winners: KidLit TV–Julie Gribble and Rocco Staino
Julie Gribble produces works for children and the children’s literature community in both the United States and Great Britain. While a Children’s Literature Fellow at Stony Brook Southampton, she founded KidLit TV to help children’s authors and illustrators connect with their audience by using new technologies to complement and promote their work. Julie has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and is a multi award-winning writer, screenwriter, filmmaker, and producer.
Rocco Staino is the charismatic host of StoryMakers, our interview show. A captivating and important figure in the book community, he is a prominent librarian, a contributing editor at School Library Journal, a contributing writer at The Huffington Post, and the Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, which administers the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Rocco has interviewed such luminaries as Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Mo Willems, Katherine Paterson and Jean Craighead George.
2016: 9th Annual Award Winner: Susannah Richards
Susannah Richards is an associate professor of education atEastern Connecticut State University where she teaches courses in English Language Arts and Children’s and Young Adult Literature. She is obsessed with books and is known for her ability to be at many different book events at one time. Some people even think there might be a clone. She helps coordinates and supports book events such as the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books, Bookfest at Bank Street College, and the CBC/ ABA ABFFE Silent Auction that occurs at BEA. She was a member of the 2013 John Newbery Award Committee, regularly reviews and presents on books and English Language Arts strategies for high able readers and writers at international, national, state and local venues. She is currently a member of the 2017 Geisel Award Committee and tweets about bookish things @SusssingOutBooks.
2015: 8th Annual Award Co-Winners: H. Nichols Clark and Dr. Jerry Mallett
H. Nichols (Nick) Clark- chief curator and founding director of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art was instrumental in establishing The Carle as an influential national center for picture books. He has been a tireless champion for the art form, organizing exhibitions that have traveled all over the U.S. and abroad and building a world-class collection for The Carle. More than half a million guests have visited since the Museum opened its doors in 2002.
Dr. Jerry Mallet, (in Memoriam, award accepted by Benjamin Sapp) was a prolific scholar and education consultant; Editor of The Reading Clinic. In addition to publishing 25 books for children and 29 professional books for teachers and/or librarians, he founded the Mazza Museum at The University of Findlay in 1982 which began with 4 pieces of art and now houses over 10,000 artworks
2014: 7th Annual Award Winner: Julius Lester
Julius Lester is an accomplished photographer, musician, teacher, scholar and civil rights activist. But he is perhaps best known as the award winning writer of many children’s books which blazed a multicultural trail through an often staid and white world of publishing.
He has garnered a Newbery Honor, a Boston-Globe Horn Book Award, and a Coretta Scott King Award. His books have been finalists for the National Book Award finalist, the National Jewish Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle. A whole generation of African-American and minority writers have looked to Julius for inspiration.
2013: 6th Annual Award Winner: Leonard Marcus
Is there anyone who knows more about the history of children’s literature? Is there anyone who has done more to legitimize the field of the study of children’s literature? That is a rhetorical question. The answer is no.
That is why, when the NY Public Library needed someone to curate their landmark exhibition: The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter (now through March 23, 2014) they chose Leonard for the job.
As the The New York Times says: “The show’s nearly 250 books and artifacts are so intelligently woven together by the curator, Leonard S. Marcus, that you make your way through them with a mixture of eager pleasure and focused attentiveness… By the end you won’t wonder why children’s books matter but how other books can even come close.”
2012: 5th Annual Award Winner: Anita Silvey
Anita Silvey has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Horn Book Magazine and as vice-president at Houghton Mifflin. She has also authored a number of critical books about children’s literature, including 500 Great Books for Teens and The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators. Silvey’s on-line Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac provides a daily essay on classic and contemporary children’s books.
Learn more, visit Anita Silvey’s website.
2011: 4th Annual Award Winner: Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton—Editor-in-chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996; Roger Sutton was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and a children’s and young adult librarian. His blog is essential reading for anyone with an interest in children’s literature.
Visit Roger Sutton’s blog here.
2010: 3rd Annual Award Winner: Wendell Minor
Wendell Minor: One of our country’s premier historical picture book illustrators, Wendell Minor’s many acclaimed children’s books reflect his love of America’s varied landscape and a deep respect for the environment. He has long inspired children to go out into the fields and woods and mountains to see wildlife in its natural habitat, and he gives children a positive perspective about the beauty that abounds in the world.
See more illustrations by Wendell Minor here.
2009: 2nd Annual Award Winner: Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century and the Mother Goose of our time. She is all that and more. Jane Yolen sets the highest standard for the industry, not only in the meaningful body of work she has created, but also in her support of fellow authors and artists.
Visit Jane Yolen’s website.
2008: 1st Annual Award Winner: Norton Juster
Author of the classic Phantom Tollbooth and the Caldecott Award winning Hello Goodbye Window Norton Juster’s service to children’s literacy was the inspiration for the Reader to Reader Awards. Norton says, however, that if he knew he was not going the receive the award personally each year, he might have had second thoughts.