Remember: Michaela Goade's 2023 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

It is a great honor to receive this Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Award. Aatlein gunalchéesh, thank you so much, to the awards committee for bestowing this recognition upon Remember and including it in such fine company.

It was a dream to work alongside the incomparable Joy Harjo in the creation of this picture book. Joy wrote this poem decades ago, and it has certainly lived many lives since then. What an honor to play a part in bringing this beautiful text into picture-book form for a new generation of readers! I remain forever grateful for the trust and confidence Joy placed in me, as well as the opportunities to learn from her. It was a true gift. Gunalchéesh, Joy, and thank you to editor Lee Wade and the rest of the Random House team for supporting us and our vision.

[Read Horn Book reviews of the 2023 BGHB Picture Book winners.]

Remember calls on each of us to think about who and where we come from and encourages us to share these stories with the world. We all have unique, multifaceted tales to tell, and the world is a much richer place as a result. It was Joy’s poem that led me on my own path of self-reflection, a journey through personal memory and ancestral memory, just like the young Lingít girl in the book. And similarly, I came out the other side with a deeper understanding of my connections to family, to community, to place. What a magical adventure! It’s my hope that readers from all backgrounds — both young and old and everything in between — will find inspiration as they flip through the pages of Remember and feel called upon to embark on their own journeys.

Native children, as do all children, deserve to grow up hearing that their voices and stories are important. They deserve to see their cultures celebrated and their identities affirmed. When I was growing up, there weren’t too many books like that, at least not widely available. I’m so grateful for poems and books like Remember that echo this call, and I can’t wait to read and see what the next generation creates. Gunalchéesh, thank you again, to the committee for uplifting Remember and helping it get into the hands of more readers.

From the January/February 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. For more on the 2023 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, click on the tag BGHB23. Read more from The Horn Book by and about Michaela Goade.

Michaela Goade

Michaela Goade is the winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal for We Are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom and published by Roaring Brook Press. She also received a 2023 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Award for Picture Book for Remember (Random House Studio/Random), written by Joy Harjo. (Photo by Sydney Akagi.)

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