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2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Acceptance Speeches Roundup

We've compiled all of the wonderful acceptance speeches from our 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners, along with reviews of the winning books and some extras (interviews! articles! previous speeches!) on the winners and their work. See the January/February 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine and the tag BGHB20...
      

Saturday: Oge Mora's 2020 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

As I worked on Saturday, it was important to me that every visual decision embodied joy. Throughout the book, there is a steady stream of fluorescent pinks, bold yellows, and electric blues. I designed each page with broad diagonal lines in mind in the hope that they would feel dynamic...
      

Pokko and the Drum: Matthew Forsythe's 2020 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

A great author — whose name I can’t recall — once said, “All happy frog families are alike. But each unhappy frog family is unhappy in its own way.” When I made Pokko and the Drum, I wanted to make a book about a flawed family. For this reason, the...
      

Birdsong: Julie Flett's 2020 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

I am so very grateful to everyone who is a part of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. Kinanâskomitin, Roger Sutton. Kamâciwisimow, committee members Julie Danielson, Leo Landry, and Sujei Lugo. And a big, warm congratulations to Matthew Forsythe and Oge Mora — I am humbled to have received recognition alongside...
      

Infinite Hope: Ashley Bryan's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Award Speech

Dear Awards Committee, Staff, Family and Friends of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, I would like to humbly express my gratitude to you for selecting me as the 2020 recipient of this prestigious award for Infinite Hope. As I held up my award, which is a replica of the “Liberty...
      

It Began with a Page: Author Kyo Maclear's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

     A few years ago, Julie Morstad and I met with the family of Gyo Fujikawa in Los Angeles. I had an uncanny sense, as we sat with them over lunch, that Gyo was there among us, threading her way into our conversation. Why did we want to tell her...
      

It Began with a Page: Illustrator Julie Morstad's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

Gyo Fujikawa has long meant much to me as an artist and bookmaker, but this project allowed me to learn so much more about not only the vital role she played in bringing diversity to children’s books but also many details of her little-known life story, including her personal journey...
      

Ordinary Hazards: Nikki Grimes's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

I’ve always believed that my coming-­of-age story is the single most important story I had to tell. I didn’t imagine that it would take me quite so long to tell it, though I shouldn’t have been surprised. Ordinary Hazards is easily the most difficult work I’ve ever written. Memoir is...
      

King and the Dragonflies: Kacen Callender's 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Award Speech

Dreams have always fascinated me. When I was a child, I’d beg my mom to buy every “dreamology” and dream interpretation book I could find. I felt that dreams were, at the very least, my subconscious trying to communicate: reveal feelings I might not have realized I had, or help...
      

Clap When You Land: Elizabeth Acevedo's 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

I am delighted to be an honoree of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. From years of following this award [ed. note: and winning it in 2018 for The Poet X], I know that the judges tend to be readers who are thoughtful and with a high standard of excellence. It...

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