Books

B.C. writers Shari Green, Whitney Gardner win 2018 Schneider Family Book Awards

Shari Green, author of Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, and Whitney Gardner, author of You're Welcome, Universe, were honoured by the American Library Association.
Shari Green (left) and Whitney Gardner have won 2018 Schneider Family Book Awards. (sharigreen.com/heywhitney.com)

B.C. children's authors Shari Green and Whitney Gardner have won 2018 Schneider Family Book Awards, prizes honouring children's literature that explores the experience of being disabled. The winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize.

Green won the middle grade category (books for readers aged 9-13) with Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, which tells the story of Grade 6 student Macy and her elderly neighbour Iris. Through a combination of sign language and cookies, Macy and Iris form a beautiful friendship.

"Green uses the importance of stories and storytelling to highlight our common bonds, despite age, illness or disability," said award jury chair Joanna Tamplin.

Gardner, who is originally from New York and now lives in Victoria, B.C., took home the teen category (books for readers aged 14-18) for You're Welcome, Universe. The book follows Julia, a teen graffiti artist who is booted from her school for the deaf and ends up forming a surprising friendship with a "hearie."

"Gardner's wonderful, messy character, Julia, is full of bluster and drama. Readers will warm up to this prickly teen as she learns to trust friends and find her way with her art," said Tamplin.

Japanese American writer and illustrator Allen Say won the young children's category (books for readers aged 0-8) for the book Silent Days, Silent Dreams. The picture book is a biography of James Castle, a deaf and autistic artist, with an "indomitable spirit." 

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