The polls are closed, the jury has debated, and it’s time to announce that the winner of this year’s Children’s History Book Prize is Fred Korematsu Speaks Up—congratulations to authors Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi!
Laura and Stan’s powerful book was recognized in a special awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 16, where special guest Robert Katzmann, chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, presented the award to our prize winners with members of our jury and New York City school kids in attendance.
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up is the first work of non-fiction to win the Children’s History Book Prize. In their remarkable book, authors Yogi and Atkins tell the true story of Fred Korematsu, a young Japanese American man whose life changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When the U.S. government ordered Fred, his family, and other West Coast Japanese Americans to report to prison camps, Fred refused. In this defiance, Fred and his allies launched one of the United States’ benchmark civil rights campaigns. Through a mix of free verse writing, photographs, and illustrations, Yogi and Atkins explore the life of a lesser-known civil rights hero and show how speaking out against injustice really can make a difference.
Want to meet our winning authors and ask them your own questions about how they wrote this timely, moving book? Join us this Sunday, May 20, for our Reading into History Family Book Club! Yogi and Atkins will be here to discuss their book, answer questions, and accompany us on a special guided trip to the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library to see objects related to incarceration during World War II.
While you’re thinking of the questions you have for this year’s winning authors, check out the images from our ceremony this week.
— Shana Fung and Caitlin O’Keefe