2011 Americas Award winners
Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature
CLASP announces the 2011 Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, along with its annual annotated bibliography of recommended titles.
Clemente! (Holt, 2010) by Willie Perdomo, illustrated by Brian Collier and The Dreamer (Scholastic, 2010) by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sís, were the winners of the Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). Additional titles were recognized as honor or commended titles.
The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere.
The award winners and commended titles are selected for their 1) distinctive literary quality; 2) cultural contextualization; 3) exceptional integration of text, illustration and design; and 4) potential for classroom use. The winning books were honored at a ceremony (September 17, 2011) at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Américas Award Winners
Clemente! by Willie Perdomo. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Holt, 2010 32 pgs. ISBN 978-0-8050-8224-1
A young boy shares the same name as baseball legend Roberto Clemente due to his family’s deep respect for this man of integrity and skill. The boy recounts Clemente’s biography, paying tribute to his great talent, his tenacity to continue on despite racism, as well as his pride in his Puerto Rican heritage. Spanish is woven seamlessly into this text so as to make it accessible and enjoyable for bilingual and monolingual children alike. The perfect match of text with full-page watercolor and collage illustrations evoke powerful images of Clemente’s life as a child with lowered eyes and hunched shoulders, to a confident, successful baseball player and beloved father. A timeline, author and illustrator notes provide helpful background. (Grades K-3)
The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Illustrated by Peter Sís. Scholastic, 2010. 372 pgs. 978-0-439-26970-4
Neftalí is a Chilean boy who is fascinated by the world outside of his bedroom window. He takes every possible moment to enjoy the peculiar people and things that he encounters on his way to school. Yet, Neftalí’s odd appreciation for nature and language does not seem to please his father, who envisions that he will become a businessman. As he ages, the only way for Neftalí to escape his father’s tough expectations is through poetry and literature. The boy that was once timid eventually becomes vocal and rebellious. He starts to express his thoughts in writing, beginning his path to becoming one of Latin America’s most beloved poets. (Grades 4 and up)
2011 Américas Award Review Committee
Hope Crandall (Washington Elementary School, OR)
Ruth E. Quiroa (National-Louis University, IL)
Hollis Rudiger (Madison West High School, WI)
Elena Serapiglia, chairperson (Amity Regional High School, CT)
Denise Woltering (Tulane University, LA)
Julie Kline served as the Américas Award:Coordinator for the CLASP Committee on Teaching and Outreach between 1993-2011.
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201;(414) 229-5986 phone
(414) 229-2879 fax
Beginning with the 2012 competition, the Américas Award Co-Coordinators are Claire Gonzalez (Vanderbilt University) and Denise Woltering Vargas (Tulane University). :
Claire Gonzalez, Latin American Studies,
Vanderbilt University, Station B VU Station B #351806, Nashville, TN 37235; 615-343-1837
Denise Woltering Vargas, Stone Center for Latin American Studies
Tulane University, 100 Jones Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698;
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