2001 New Voices Award Winners
The Award Winner is Patricia Smith of Tarrytown, New York, for her picture book story Janna and the Kings. This moving story focuses on the special relationship a young girl shares with her grandfather. Every Saturday, she feels as if they enter a magical kingdom when they visit the local barbershop. When her grandfather dies, Janna struggles to find her place in the world and keep his memory alive. The story was inspired by Saturday mornings the author spent in the barbershop with her own father.
Of African American decent, Patricia Smith is an award-winning poet, journalist, and performer, as well as a four-time national individual champion of the popular "poetry slam, an energized competition where poets are judged on the content and performance of their work. She also authored the critically acclaimed "Africans in America," the companion book to the groundbreaking PBS documentary. Janna and the Kings is her first book for children.
We are also proud to announce our Honor Award Winner. Superhombre by Denise Vega of Denver, Colorado, is a lively yet universal story about sibling relationships. Ramón struggles with the impending changes in his relationship with his older sister as she prepares for her quinceañera, a Mexican girl's right of passage into adulthood. As he wonders what this means for their future, Ramón does everything he can think of to try and stop the impending celebration.