September 24, 2009 Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature to Be Presented At the Library of Congress Oct. 17

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707 7302
Public Contact: Cynthia Acosta (202) 707-2013

Authors Yuyi Morales and illustrator Margarita Engle will receive the 2008 Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature during the 16th award presentation hosted by the Library of Congress, on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C.

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 Center for the Book will host the event, which is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made through the Hispanic Division at (202) 707-2013.

Morales will be 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 will be 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

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website,, and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at

The Center for the Book ( was established by Congress in 1977 “to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries.” With its many educational programs that reach readers of all ages, through its support of the National Book Festival and through its dynamic state centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Center for the Book has developed a nationwide network of organizational partners dedicated to promoting the wonders and benefits of reading.

The Hispanic Division, established in 1939, is the Library’s center for the study of the cultures and societies of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula and other areas with significant Spanish and Portuguese influence. For more information about the division’s resources, programs and about the Hispanic collections visit


PR 09-185
ISSN 0731-3527