Acclaimed Children's Writer Sarah Stewart Wins 2007 Michigan Author Award
ACCLAIMED CHILDREN'S WRITER SARAH STEWART WINS 2007 MICHIGAN AUTHOR AWARD The Michigan Center for the Book today announced Sarah Stewart, author of such beloved children's books as The Gardener and The Library, as the winner of the 2007 Michigan Author Award. Sponsored jointly by the Michigan Center for the Book (a program of the Library of Michigan) and the Michigan Library Association, this annual award honors a Michigan writer for his or her contributions to literature, based on an outstanding published body of work. Sarah Stewart has written five children's books - The Money Tree, The Library, The Gardener, The Journey, and The Friend - all illustrated by her husband David Small. Her books, especially The Gardener, have been recognized with many honors, including a Christopher Award, a First Place Juvenile Literary Award from the Friends of American Writers and selection as a Caldecott Honor Book, American Booksellers Book of the Year (ABBY) Award Honor Book, New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year, Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and American Library Association Notable Children's Book. "Sarah Stewart's books have earned national acclaim and a place in the hearts of countless children and parents, so we're very proud that she calls Michigan home," said Karren Reish, Michigan Center for the Book coordinator. "In paying tribute to this gifted Michigan author, the award also shines a spotlight on the wealth of literary talent thriving in the Great Lakes State." Stewart, born in Texas and now a resident of Mendon, Mich., said that she has always been fascinated by books and that her favorite childhood havens included her local library and a large closet in her parents' house where she would read and write poetry. "I am still the same day-dreamy, shy child who, more than anything else wanted to write some sequence of elegant language that would, upon being read, change the world," she said. The Michigan Author Award will be presented at the Michigan Library Association "READ Between the Lines" conference in Lansing on Friday, Nov. 9. Tickets are available to hear Sarah Stewart speak at the award presentation luncheon; for more information, visit the Michigan Library Association Web site at www.mla.lib.mi.us/. To learn more about the Michigan Author Award, visit www.mla.lib.mi.us/maac. Previous winners of the Michigan Author Award include Steve Hamilton (2006), Christopher Paul Curtis (2005), Patricia Polacco (2004), Diane Wakoski (2003), Nicholas Delbanco (2002), Thomas Lynch (2001), Janie Lynn Panagopoulos (2000), Jerry Dennis (1999), Gloria Whelan (1998), Loren Estleman (1997), Elmore Leonard (1996), Janet Kauffman (1995), Nancy Willard (1994), Charles Baxter (1993) and Dan Gerber (1992). The Michigan Center for the Book, a program of the Library of Michigan and the center's affiliates, aims to promote an awareness of books, reading, literacy, authors and Michigan's rich literary heritage. New affiliates are welcome. For more information about the Michigan Center for the Book and its programs, visit www.michigan.gov/mcfb. The Library of Michigan is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). Dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Historical Center. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/hal.