1. Tie in with the curriculum, and/or with excellent fiction (Larry Dane Brimner's Birmingham Sunday, for example, would pair up nicely with The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis). Several titles were recommended for Women's History Month.
2. Innovative, appealing book design and illustration.
3. Unusual take on biography (The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)).
4. Relevant for a range of grade levels.
5. Dramatic narrative (or poetry) was enhanced by factoid sidebars (in one case including photos).
6. Useful, accessible glossary of terms.
7. Subject matter pertinent to their students' cultural background.
8. Inspirational story with kid appeal (Pierre the Penguin).
It was a pleasure to learn what leading educators value in nonfiction, and to hear so much excitement and praise for it. Kudos to the committee for all the time and thought they spent on bestowing these awards.
Michelle Markel's books for children span a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction and creative non-fiction. Her critically acclaimed biographies include BRAVE GIRL: CLARA AND THE SHIRTWAIST MAKERS' STRIKE OF 1909 and THE FANTASTIC JUNGLES OF HENRI ROUSSEAU. Michelle teaches a class in Writing the Picture Book at UCLA Extension's Writers Program and is a founding member of CAN!, the Children’s Authors Network.
BRAVE GIRL: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
My Latest Artist Biography
THE FANTASTIC JUNGLES OF HENRI ROUSSEAU:Illustrated by Amanda Hall
Honors for The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau: 2013 PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing, Junior Library Guild, one of the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading for Sharing, Booklist's Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, top 10 picture books of 2012 by The Guardian UK, a Bank St. College of Education Best Children's Book of 2013, Parents' Choice Gold Award, Red Clover Nominee.
Illustrated by Doug Cushman
For information about school visits and other types of presentations visit my website.