Friday, January 09, 2009

BCCB Blue Ribbons 2008 - Nonfiction

Each year the staff of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books awards Blue Ribbons to the books they believe to be the best of the previous year's literature for youth. Last year they stated that nonfiction titles were "sparse" and that they would "rather sacrifice list length than standards," so the list was very short. They did much better in the nonfiction area this year. Here are the 2008 blue ribbon winners in this category.
Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)
written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by John Hendrix
(finalist for 2008 Cybils fiction picture book)
**I'm not quite sure I understand the placement of this one in nonfiction. Library of Congress categorizes it as juvenile fiction.**

Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln
written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated Kadir Nelson

Face to Face with Frogs
written and photographed by Mark W. Moffett

Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers
edited by Betsy Franco

Nic Bishop Frogs, written and photographed by Nic Bishop
(finalist for 2008 Cybils nonfiction picture book)

Punk Rock Etiquette: The Ultimate How-to Guide for DIY, Punk, Indie, and Underground Bands
written and illustrated by Travis Nichols

This Is Your Life Cycle
written by Heather Lynn Miller and illustrated by Michael Chesworth
(nominee for 2008 Cybils fiction picture book)

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
(finalist for 2008 Cybils nonfiction MG/YA book)

What’s Eating You?: Parasites—The Inside Story
written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton
(nominee for 2007 Cybils nonfiction MG/YA book)
You can read the entire list of winners, which also includes fiction and picture books, at BCCB-2008 Blue Ribbons. If you prefer you can download a brochure with the complete list of winners (annotated).


  1. In the back pages of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, the author describes how the friend told the story during Lincoln's lifetime. There is apparently no written documentation of this particular event, but both Lincoln and the other man referred to each other as childhood friends. So, does this count as ingenious nonfiction?

  2. Deborah Hopkinson will be on blog tour Feb. 22-28, 2009. Please contact me if you are interested in interviewing her.

  3. ABE LINCOLN CROSSES A CREEK walks a fine line between fiction and non-fiction. The author takes an interesting approach to telling this presumably true story: she lets readers know that the recorded details are few, though solid, and then she imagines several ways of filling in the blanks. I am usually a stickler in this department, but I am inclined to let this one be labeled non-fiction.