Friday, February 19, 2021

The 2021 Golden Kite Award and Sid Fleischman Award winners are...

For best illustrated book for older readers, the nominees were:

the honoree is Mike Curato for "Flamer"!

As part of his award, Mike has donated to the nonprofit Trevor Project.

And the winner is Uri Shilevitz, for "Chance"!

Uri Shilevitz (lower) accepting the Golden Kite Award for best illustrated book for older readers.

As part of his award, Uri has donated to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Uri has a message for the writers who didn't win...

One: don't give up. Two: Keep Writing. Three: You will be the next winner.

Lisa Yee introduces the five finalists for Middle Grade/Young Reader Fiction:

The honor winner is Kimberly Brubaker Bradley for "Fighting Words"

And the winner of the Golden Kite award for best middle grade/young reader fiction is Renée Watson, winner for Ways to Make Sunshine! 

Renee addresses her god-daughter Ryan (and all of us), saying

"I wrote this book for you and girls like you, because you deserve to see Black girls on the cover of books... Your story matters."

Renée has selected World Stage Theater for the charitable contribution connected with her award.

Next is the picture book text category. Meg Medina (lower right) introduces the finalists:

The honor winner is Carole Lindstrom, for "We Are Water Protectors."

And the winner of the Golden Kite Award for best picture book text is Tami Charles, "All Because You Matter."

Tami remember "stars in my eyes" at last year's Golden Kite Awards... Never imagining she'd be accepting this award this year - in her basement! Telling her illustrator Bryan Collier, "your art is a gift I will pass onto my family for generations."

next is the Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction text for Younger Readers, and Lesa Cline-Ransome introduces the five finalists:

The honor award goes to Meeg Pincus for "Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery"

The winner of the Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction text for younger readers is Don Tate for "William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad"!

Don shares in his acceptance speech about being part of SCBWI from the late 1980s! He appreciates especially being recognized for the book's text, admitting "I have not always been confident in my words" and saying how much this means for him.

Speaking as a Black creator of works for children, in an industry where he's often felt invisible, Don tells us, "please know that tonight... I feel seen. Thank you for seeing me and recognizing me."

Don Tate (lower) accepts his Golden Kite Award

And Don's nonprofit donation attached to the award will be shared by We Need Diverse Books and the Brown Bookshelf's Black creators fund, and the Highlights Foundation's Amplify Black Voices Program. Both work to make more Black creators published

Next is the award for picture book illustration. Pat Cummings presents the five finalists...

The honor winner is Cindy Derby for "Outside In," written by Deborah Underwood

And the winner is Catia Chien for "The Bear and the Moon" written by Matthew Burgess 

Catia tells us about her first SCBWI conference ten years ago, "for me, to win this Golden Kite award today, is just icing on the SCBWI cake." 

Catia's charity is Heart of Dinner.

Now there's the category Nonfiction Text for Older Readers. The finalists are presented by Linda Sue Park...

The honor winner is Paul Fleischman, for "Alphamaniacs: Builders of 26 Wonders of the Word"!

And the winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for best nonfiction text for older readers is Christina Soontornvat for "All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team"!

Christina says, "All Thirteen" is, at its heart about community and being there for each other. She thanks the SCBWI Austin community especially. She tells us about visiting Thailand to do research and interviews. She speaks of not finding any books that reflected her Thai heritage when she was a child, not to mention any by Thai creators. And she tells us, "One of my most essential tools in writing... was my Thai heritage." She calls for more support of #ownvoices creators and nonfiction work for kids and teens.

The donation made possible by Christina's winning the Golden Kite award is going to the Mirror foundation.

The last Golden Kite Award category is for young adult fiction, and the finalists are presented by Stacey Lee... 

The honor winner is Darcie Little Badger for "Elatsoe"!

The Golden Kite Award for Young Adult fiction goes to Sherri L. Smith for "The Blossom and the Firefly"!

Sherri L. Smith (at right) accepting the SCBWI Golden Kite Award

Sherri tells us writing her book "was an attempt to understand both sides of the conflict." And of visiting Japan and the research and kindness and help she experienced there. She calls SCBWI "my first literary home." and says, "The Blossom and the Firefly is dedicated to peace..."

The Los Angeles regional food bank is the recipient of the donation in honor of Sherri's Golden Kite win. 

Next is the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. The five finalists are presented by Arthur A. Levine...

The honor winner is Kristin O’Donnell Tubb for "Zeus, Dog of Chaos"!

And the winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor is Donna Barba Higuera for "Lupe Wong Won’t Dance"!

Donna Barba Higuera (lower) accepts the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor

Donna thanks her family, and then her writing family, her new family of Latinx writers, her agency family, and the family at Levine Querido, and SCBWI. "you've given me so much since I joined ten years ago.... Her husband "Yes, you provided a dating service" and her editor she connected with both at SCBWI conferences.

Donna's nonprofits who will receive a donation on behalf of her win are ¡Colorín colorado! and Young Inklings.

Lin thanks the 25 judges, and the coordinator of the Golden Kite Awards, Bonnie Bader.

SCBWI member and author illustrator Jim Averbeck has done interviews with each winning and honor recipients - a virtual gold carpet. You can watch them next, or posted on SCBWI's archive 24 hours from now...

There's a final toast:

And that's the awards gala highlights!

(Now we all have more books to read!)

All the finalists, honor, and winning books are available at

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