Two Minnesota authors of children's books and one Minnesota illustrator were honored Monday morning by the American Library Association at its annual Youth Media Awards presentation.
Kao Kalia Yang, St. Paul author of numerous memoirs for adult readers and picture books for children, won the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award for "From the Tops of the Trees."
Published by Minneapolis publisher Carolrhoda Books, the story — illustrated by Rachel Wada — is a tale of beauty and hope set in the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand. The world in the camp is harsh, but little Kalia's father takes the long view. He invites Kalia to climb onto his back as he climbs one of the tall trees of the camp. "Look," he tells her when they get to the top. "The world is bigger than this place."
Minnesota writer Charlotte Sullivan Wild, now living in Italy, won the Stonewall Book Awards Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's Literature Award for her picture book, "Love, Violet," illustrated by Charlene Chua.
The Stonewall Awards are given to books for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. "Love, Violet" is about a little girl who has a crush on another little girl and gives her a Valentine.
And "Still Dreaming/ Seguimos Soñando," a picture book written in both English and Spanish by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez and illustrated by Minneapolis artist Magdalena Mora, was named a Belpré Honor Book for illustration. The Pura Belpré awards honor Latino and Latina writers and illustrators whose work exemplifies the Latino experience. "Still Dreaming" is the story of a Texan family, fearing deportation, forced to move to Mexico.
All of the winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards are online here.
Laurie Hertzel is the senior editor for books at the Star Tribune. email@example.com