The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Here are the winners for 2016.
Winner for Younger Readers – Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Leslea Newman, ill by Amy June Bates
Enjoying life in a noisy city where everything he hears is music, composer Moshe Cotel adopts a stray tuxedo kitten who walks across his piano keys, inspiring a celebrated one-minute composition. Based on a true story.
Winner for Older Readers – Adam & Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld
Adam and Thomas, two nine-year-old Jewish boys who survive World War II, take refuge in the forest where they learn to forage and survive, soon meeting and helping other fugitives fleeing for their lives.
Winner for Teen Readers – The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself.