The Texas State Reading Association (TSRA), the state affiliate of the International Reading Association (IRA), has announced the winner of the annual Texas Golden Spur Award for Children's Literature. This year's recipient was announced in conjunction with the 50th IRA Convention in San Antonio.
The award has been established to honor the authors of children's literature who reside in the state of Texas. Other criteria includes a publication date of within five years and nominations based on literary merit. To learn more about this award, please go to www.tsra.us.
The winner was: Little Prairie Hen by College Station author, Debbie Leland.
The runners-up were: Alley Cat's Meow by College Station author, Kathi Appelt; Bluebonnet at the Marshall Train Depot by Carrollton author, Mary Brooke Casad; Plaidypus Lost by Fort Worth author, Susan Stevens Crummel; Jazz Cats by San Antonio author, David R. Davis; Eric and the Enchanted Leaf: The First Adventure by Houston author, Deborah Frontiera.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time pouring through American publisher catalogs knows that published authors have tended to rise from the Northeast and California. Authors from "the middle" are more rare. In fact, it's not unusual for a big NYC publisher to offer more books by the citizens of Great Britain that by voices from the American midwest, Great Lakes, southwest, southeast, northwest, and deep south put together.
It is vitally important that underrepresented regions support and nuture their own talent. Promoting and reading books by a particular author is, in a sense, a vote for more books by that author or of that author's (sometimes geographic) sensibility.