Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
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Schneider Family Young Children's Award
by Bonnie Christensen
Born into a traveling gypsy family, young Django Reinhardt taught himself guitar at an early age. He was soon acclaimed as the "Gypsy Genius" and "Prodigy Boy," but one day his world changed completely when a fire claimed the use of his fretting hand. Folks said Django would never play again, but with passion and perseverance he was soon setting the world's concert stages ablaze.
Jazz musician Art Tatum, who was born with limited vision and lost much of it as he grew, never felt sorry for himself. In this fictionalized biography, children learn that Tatum often forgot that “his eyes weren’t good” as he gave himself to his music, because “with his piano, he had everything he needed.” His illustrations have movement and a musical lilt which flow easily and pay respect to a true American icon.
Just before the start of a new trek, a Sherpa family discovers that their yaks are missing. Young Kami, anxious to help his brother and father maintain their livelihood, sets off by himself to find the wandering herd. A spunky deaf child who is unable to speak, Kami attempts to summon the yaks with his shrill whistle. Failing to rout them, he hustles up the steep mountainside to search the yaks' favorite grazing spots. On the way he encounters the rumblings of a fierce storm which quickly becomes more threatening. Surmounting his fear of being alone in the midst of treacherous lightning and hail, Kami uses his heightened sense of observation to finally locate the yaks. Reunited with their animals, the astonished family is once again able to transport their gear and guide the mountain climbers into the majestic terrain.
Two Latino boys experience carefree friendship despite one boy's disability.