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>2011 Scott O’Dell Award


The winner of the 2011 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction is One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The summer Delphine is “eleven going on twelve,” she and her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, are sent from Brooklyn to Oakland to visit their mother, Cecile, who left the family soon after Fern was born. Beginning with the girls’ first scary but exhilarating plane ride, their summer of 1968 is a microcosm of the new directions in which the nation found itself traveling. Their mother, distrustful and secretive, has renamed herself Nzila; she sends the girls off every morning for breakfast and summer school at the Black Panthers’ People’s Center. Why does she have a printing press in her kitchen, and why does she refuse to call Fern anything but “Little Girl”? As expressed through the candid, questioning, and take-no-prisoners voice of the spirited Delphine, Williams-Garcia’s exploration of the nascent Black Power movement is always rooted in the particulars of the girls’ experience. In her sturdy self-reliance, Delphine recalls the heroine of a book she has brought along for the summer—Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins. Readers won’t be able to forget her.

Established in 1982 by the great historical fiction writer Scott O’Dell, the annual $5000 Award is given for a distinguished work of historical fiction for young people, published by a U. S. publisher; the setting must be South, Central, or North America, and the author must be a U.S. citizen. Since O’Dell’s death, the Award has been administered by his wife, Elizabeth Hall.
Roger Sutton, Editor in Chief of the Horn Book Inc., is the Committee Chair. He succeeds Hazel Rochman and the late Zena Sutherland, who served as chair from the inception of the Award. The other members of the committee are Ann Carlson, History and Fine Arts Librarian, Oak
Park and River Forest High School; and Laura Tillotson, Books for Youth Editorial Director of Booklist magazine.


Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Literaticat says:

    >OH YAY! I love this book SO, SO MUCH.

  2. >Hooray!

  3. fourth musketeer says:

    >It's a great choice!

  4. >Great choice. And it's the forerunner…though not quite yet winner…over at Heavy Medal. We'll be voting again tonight/tomorrow.

  5. >Oh, hooray. My love for this book knows no end.

  6. >Love love LOVE this book. Yeah!

  7. >Oh yessss!!!! such a great book!!! Bravo, bravo!

  8. >Well deserved!

  9. Stephanie Blake says:

    >I love this book!

  10. Kathryn Erskine says:

    >Awesome choice!! I love ONE CRAZY SUMMER!

  11. >Yipee! This was my favorite book of a really great reading year. I hope to be cheering again on Monday morning!

  12. olugbemisola says:

    >Hooray, Hooray, and Huzzah! Such a fantastic book.

  13. >Groovy. This is the best book of the year.

  14. Kristin McIlhagga says:

    >I just finished reading this last night. I love the way that Williams wove historical facts & elements into Delphine's voice. It was seamless, at times I forgot it was historical, then she would share just enough to remind me.
    Such a lovely story, I can't wait to use it in the children's literature courses that I teach.

  15. Wild About Words says:

    >Fantastic! Congratulations!!!

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