William Allen White Children's Book Award

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The William Allen White Children's Book Award is a set of two annual awards for books selected by vote of Kansas schoolchildren from lists prepared by committee. As a single award it was established in 1952 by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, a children's literature specialist at Emporia State University, which continues to direct the program.[1] It is named for William Allen White (1868–1944), long-time publisher and editor of The Emporia Gazette. The White Award is the oldest statewide children's choice book award in the United States.

From 2001, two winners have been chosen each year, one by students in grades 3 to 5 and one by students in grades 6 to 8, from separate lists of books.[2][3] The award website at ESU includes an archive of annual Master Lists that is complete back to the list of 18 books for school year 1952–53.[3] Curriculum Guides "designed to be used in teaching or preparing instructional units" are prepared for books on the year's Master List and some past Guides are available.

Currently (2013), the annual celebration at Emporia early in October includes Friday evening "Read-Ins and Sleepovers" with space for 100 people. After Saturday morning activities, student representatives present medals to the winning writers at the Awards Ceremony.[4] Travel to Emporia is an incentive in some classroom reading programs.[5] At least once (2011), a writer declined because of a conflict on the celebration date and was replaced as the White Award winner.[a]

The 2013–2014 Master Lists comprised 8 books for grades 3–5 and 10 books for grades 6–8, all published during 2012.[3]

Recipients 1953–2000[edit]

There were 49 winners of the single William Allen White Book Children's Book Award in its 48 years through 2000, with two winners in 1974.[2]

Year Author Title
1953 Elizabeth Yates Amos Fortune, Free Man
1954 Doris Gates Little Vic
1955 Jean Bailey Cherokee Bill: Oklahoma Pacer
1956 Marguerite Henry Brighty of the Grand Canyon
1957 Phoebe Erickson Daniel 'Coon
1958 Elliott Arnold White Falcon
1959 Fred Gipson Old Yeller
1960 William O. Steele Flaming Arrows
1961 Keith Robertson Henry Reed, Inc.
1962 Catherine Owens Peare The Helen Keller Story
1963 Scott O'Dell Island of the Blue Dolphins
1964 Sheila Burnford The Incredible Journey
1965 Zachary Ball Bristle Face
1966 Sterling North Rascal
1967 Annabel and Edgar Johnson  The Grizzly
1968 Beverly Cleary The Mouse and the Motorcycle
1969 Keith Robertson Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service
1970 E. L. Konigsburg From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler 
1971 Walt Morey Kävik the Wolf Dog
1972 Barbara Corcoran Sasha: My Friend
1973 E. B. White The Trumpet of the Swan
1974 Robert C. O'Brien Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Zilpha Keatley Snyder The Headless Cupid
1975 William Steig Dominic
1976 Beverly Cleary Socks
1977 George Selden Harry Cat's Pet Puppy
1978 Jean Van Leeuwen The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper
1979 Wilson Rawls Summer of the Monkeys
1980 Betsy Byars The Pinballs
1981 Katherine Paterson The Great Gilly Hopkins
1982 C. S. Adler The Magic of the Glits
1983 Barbara Brooks Wallace Peppermints in the Parlor
1984 Shel Silverstein A Light in the Attic
1985 Quang Nhuong Huynh The Land I Lost
1986 Mary Downing Hahn Daphne's Book
1987 Robert Kimmel Smith The War with Grandpa
1988 Betsy Byars Cracker Jackson
1989 Marion Dane Bauer On My Honor
1990 Gary Paulsen Hatchet
1991 Bill Wallace Beauty
1992 Mary Downing Hahn The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story
1993 Jerry Spinelli Maniac Magee
1994 Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Shiloh
1995 June Rae Wood The Man Who Loved Clowns
1996 Lois Lowry The Giver
1997 Mary Downing Hahn Time For Andrew: A Ghost Story
1998 Barbara Park Mick Harte Was Here
1999 Andrew Clements Frindle
2000 P. J. Petersen White Water

Recipients 2001–present[edit]

Year Grades 3–5 Grades 6–8
2001 Cynthia C. DeFelice  The Ghost of Fossil Glen Louis Sachar Holes
2002 Andrew Clements The Landry News Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy
2003 Kate DiCamillo Because of Winn-Dixie Frances O’Roark Dowell Dovey Coe
2004 Peni R. Griffin Ghost Sitter Andrea Warren Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps 
2005 Jerry Spinelli Loser Stephanie S. Tolan Surviving the Applewhites
2006 Sue Stauffacher Donuthead Jeanne DuPrau The City of Ember
2007 Andrew Clements The Report Card Sarah Weeks So B. It
2008 Ann M. Martin A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray L. D. Harkrader Airball: My Life in Briefs
2009 Sara Pennypacker Clementine Jennifer Roy Yellow Star
2010 Barbara O'Connor How to Steal a Dog Cynthia Kadohata Cracker! The Best Dog in Viet Nam
2011[a] Patricia Reilly Giff Eleven Susan Campbell Bartoletti  The Boy Who Dared
2012 Wendy Mass 11 Birthdays Diana López Confetti Girl
2013 Patrick Jennings Guinea Dog Peg Kehret Ghost Dog Secrets
2014[5] Don Brown America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001  Helen Frost Hidden
2015 W. H. Beck Malcolm at Midnight M. H. Herlong Buddy
2016 Sharon Creech The Boy on the Porch Chris Grabenstein Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library


  1. ^ a b The 59th celebration in 2011 conflicted with the National Book Festival in Washington where Gordon Korman was keynote speaker. So he declined and Eleven by Giff replaced Swindle by Korman as WAWCBA grades 3–5 winner.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Winner 2010–2011". WAWCBA. ESU. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  2. ^ a b "Winners". WAWCBA. ESU. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  3. ^ a b c "Master Lists". WAWCBA. ESU. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  4. ^ "Celebration". WAWCBA. ESU. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  5. ^ a b "Home". William Allen White Children's Book Awards (WAWCBA). Emporia State University (emporia.edu). Retrieved 2014-05-05.

External links[edit]