Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy

The Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy is given annually to a person who has played a prominent role in encouraging literacy and reading enjoyment. Their lifetime devotion to literacy is a shining example of the impact an individual can have on this vital issue. The award is presented to the winner at the R. Michelson Gallery's Children's Book Illustration Exhibit opening reception.


Susannah Richards - Literacy Award 2016

2016: Susannah Richards

Susannah Richards is an associate professor of education at Eastern Connecticut State University where she teaches courses in English Language Arts and Children's and Young Adult Literature. She is obsessed with books and is known for her ability to be at many different book events at one time. Some people even think there might be a clone. She helps coordinates and supports book events such as the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books, Bookfest @ Bank Street College, and the CBC/ ABA ABFFE Silent Auction that occurs at BEA. She was a member of the 2013 John Newbery Award Committee, regularly reviews and presents on books and English Language Arts strategies for high able readers and writers at international, national, state and local venues. She is currently a member of the 2017 Geisel Award Committee and tweets about bookish things @SussingOutBooks.
(Photo credit: Seth Kaye Photography)


Nichols B Clark - Literacy Award 2015

2015: H. Nichols B. Clark, Jerry J. Mallett

As the chief curator and founding director at the Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art, H. Nichols B. Clark, was instrumental in
establishing The Carle as an influential national center for picture
books. He has been a tireless champion for the art form, organizing
exhibitions that have traveled all over the U.S. and abroad, and
building a world-class collection for The Carle. Clark first came to
The Carle in January 2001, following a career as the Chair of
Education at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, then as Curator of
American Art at the Chrysler Museum in Virginia. There, he and his
late wife Trinkett Clark organized an exhibition with Michael Patrick
Hearn called Myth, Magic, and Mystery: One Hundred Years of American
Children’s Book Illustration, which ignited his passion for picture

Honored in memoriam: The founder and longtime director of the Mazza
Museum at the University of Findlay, Jerry J. Mallett built an
impressive collection of children’s book artwork that grew from four
original works of art that were displayed in the basement of the
university library to a collection of more than 9,000 pieces from
around the world. The museum now houses one of the world’s largest
collections of original artwork by children’s book illustrators.


Julius Lester- Literacy Award 2014

2014: Julius Lester

Julius Lester has been a powerful force in children's literature since his 1968 "To Be a Slave" won a Newberry Honor and acclaim from Smithsonian Magazine, the New York Times, and the American Library Association for its compelling stories, told through the letters and testimony of slaves themselves. Since then, his works have continued to garner accolades, and as an educator and author, he has been recognized by his peers with numerous awards in both fields.

The University of Massachusetts recognized him as "the only faculty member to have been awarded all three of the university's most prestigious faculty awards: The Distinguished Teacher's Award, the Faculty Fellowship Award for Distinguished Research and Scholarship, and the Chancellor's Medal, the University's highest honor."

(photo credit: Seth Kaye Photography) Read about Julius Lester on his website.


Leonard Marcus- Literacy Award 2013

2013: Leonard Marcus

Is there anyone who knows more about the history of children’s literature? Is there anyone who has done more to legitimize the field of the study of children’s literature? That is a rhetorical question. The answer is no. That is why, when the NY Public Library needed someone to curate their landmark exhibition: The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter (now through March 23, 2014) they chose Leonard for the job.

As the The New York Times says: “The show's nearly 250 books and artifacts are so intelligently woven together by the curator, Leonard S. Marcus, that you make your way through them with a mixture of eager pleasure and focused attentiveness... By the end you won't wonder why children's books matter but how other books can even come close.”

Read more about Leonard Marcus on his website.


Anita Silvey- Literacy Award 2012

2012: Anita Silvey

Anita Silvey has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Horn Book Magazine and as vice-president at Houghton Mifflin. She has also authored a number of critical books about children's literature, including 500 Great Books for Teens and The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators. Silvey’s on-line Children's Book-A-Day Almanac provides a daily essay on classic and contemporary children's books.

Read more about Anita Silvey on her website.




Roger Sutton- Literacy Award 2011

2011: Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been editor-in-chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. Roger Sutton was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. His blog is essential reading for anyone with an interest in children’s literature.

Read more about the Horn Book and Roger Sutton on their site.



Wendell Minor- Literacy Award 2010

2010: Wendell Minor

Wendell Minor is one of our country’s premier historical picture book illustrators, Wendell Minor’s many acclaimed children’s books reflect his love of America’s varied landscape and a deep respect for the environment. He has long inspired children to go out into the fields and woods and mountains to see wildlife in its natural habitat, and he gives children a positive perspective about the beauty that abounds in the world.His cover illustrations have enhanced over 2,000 works, including To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Julie's Wolf Pack by Jean Craighead George.

See Wendell Minor's beautiful illustrations here.

Jane Yolen- Literacy Award 2009

2009: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century and the Mother Goose of our time. She is all that and more. Jane Yolen sets the highest standard for the industry, not only in the meaningful body of work she has created, but also in her support of fellow authors and artists.

Learn more about Jane Yolen on her website.



Norton Juster- Literacy Award 2008

2008: Norton Juster

Author of the classic Phantom Tollbooth and the Caldecott Award winning Hello Goodbye Window, Norton Juster’s service to children’s literacy was the inspiration for the Reader to Reader Awards. Norton says, however, that if he knew he was not going the receive the award personally each year, he might have had second thoughts.