Phoenix Award for Restless Spirit: the Life and Work of Dorothea Lange

Just back from the annual Children’s Literature Association meeting, an earnest, hard-working group of profs, teachers, grad students, and librarians dedicated to the study of children’s literature. I was thrilled to receive the Phoenix Award, given for a book that came out 20 years ago and didn’t get the recognition ChLA believes it should have. The committee unanimously chose Restless Spirit: the Life and Work of Dorothea Lange.

In the year since the committee, headed by Lois Gibson, picked Restless Spirit, Dorothea Lange's photographs from the Great Depression to the Japanese American internment/incarceration have become strikingly relevant. I was honored to present Dorothea's photographs to such a committed group of educators.

More than ever, we need our young people to understand our country's complex history. Displacement, inequality, and incarceration of a "suspect" group of people is nothing new.