Author Yuyi Morales and illustrator Margarita Engle received the 2008 Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature during the 16th award presentation, hosted by the Library of Congress, on Oct. 17.
The award is sponsored by the Consortium of the Latin American Studies Program (CLASP) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Library of Congress Hispanic Division and the Library’s Center for the Book hosted the public event.
Morales was honored for her book “Just in Case: A Trickster’s Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book” (Roaring Brook, A Neal Porter Book, 2008). Born and raised in Mexico, Morales has been a radio producer and children’s book creator since coming to the United States. Her books have won numerous accolades, including the Pura Belpre Award for “Los Gators Black on Halloween.”
Engle also received the Pura Belpre Award and was honored for her novel “The Surrender Tree” (Henry Holt, 2008), which follows the story of Rosa, a real character who lived during Cuba’s bloody wars of independence in the 1860s and 1890s.
Both Morales and Engle have previously won Americas Awards 2003 in and 2006, respectively.
The Americas Award recognizes outstanding U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore or selected nonfiction published in the previous year. The work must “authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean or Latinos in the United States.” More information about the Americas Award and CLASP can be found at www.uwm.edu/Dept/CLACS.