The 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Awards announced their 2018 winners. The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Thwaites, took home the gold medal as overall winner.
The Librarian of Auschwitz follows prisoner Dita Kraus who becomes Auschwitz’s librarian after she is asked to oversee eight books prisoners have snuck past the guards. This book is based off real-life experiences of Dita Kraus.
The silver medalists, or the Sydney Taylor Honor Books, are To Look a Nazi in the Eye: A Teen’s Account of a War Criminal Trial by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz; Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin, translated by Rosie Hedger; and The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke.
To Look a Nazi in the Eye is the true story of Jordana Lebowitz, who attended the trial of Oskar Groening, the bookkeeper of Auschwitz, and learned to stand in the survivors’ footsteps.
Almost Autumn follows Lucy Quinn through her harsh days in the 1930s, frustrating adolescence and a surprising marriage.
The Girl with the Red Balloon is about Ellie Baum and her time travel back to 1988 East Berlin via a red balloon. There, she meets an underground guild who helps people escape over the Wall using magic and balloons.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award are presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries and honors the best in Jewish children’s literature. The award, which began in 1968, focuses on authentically portrayed Jewish experiences. For more information about the award, visit the The Sydney Taylor Book Awards site.