Great Achievement Awards Book Reviews

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School Library Journal, February 2004

On Randolph Caldecott and the Story of the Caldecott Medal and John Newbery and the Story of the Newbery Medal

These books are quite accessible and give today's readers reasons to appreciate Newbery's and Caldecott's early work in children's literature. Both are suitable for general purchase.

Children's Bookwatch, December 2003

On Randolph Caldecott and the Story of the Caldecott Medal and John Newbery and the Story of the Newbery Medal

Randolph Caldecott [tells] of the creator and creation of the notable book Caldecott Award, and John Newbery [tells] of the 18th century bookseller who was the first to specialize in children's books. All are significant, lasting additions to any elementary-level school collection.

VOYA, December 2003

On Michael L. Printz and the Story of the Michael L. Printz Award and Joseph Pulitzer and the Story Behind the Pulitzer Prize

Each series book describes the link between a person's life and the award named for him or her. The Printz volume … devotes much of its space to the common man as a hero and Printz's Kansas context. … Details about Printz's library policies and projects, such as his willingness to lend anything that a student could carry out, give a glimpse of his compassion and insight. … Joseph Pulitzer uses its text well. The first chapter describes Pulitzer's innovative leadership in raising money for the Statue of Liberty's pedestal. Subsequent chapters portray Pulitzer as an underestimated outcast; emphasize his innovation, intelligence, and work ethic bringing journalism to the common man; and explain the Pulitzer Prize award process and its roots in yellow journalism.

Children's Bookwatch, October 2003

On Alfred Nobel and the Story of the Nobel Prize, Michael L. Printz and the Story of the Michael L. Printz Award, Coretta Scott King and the Story Behind the Coretta Scott King Award , and Joseph Pulitzer and the Story Behind the Pulitzer Prize

The 'Great Achievement Awards' series … provides important facts, pairing biographies of recipients with reviews of the history of the most prestigious achievement awards. … The pairing of the history of the award with its creator is particularly revealing.

Pulitzer was a different sort of person, a disagreeable and bedeviled newspaperman who terrorized reporters in two cities (St. Louis and New York) but whose fortune led to the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism.

Booklist, October 2003

On Michael L. Printz and the Story of the Michael L. Printz Award and Joseph Pulitzer and the Story Behind the Pulitzer Prize

Selected for inclusion in "Best New Non-Fiction Series"

It's a pleasure to have a biography of a librarian, especially because so many in the field either knew Mike Printz or knew of him. Printz's dedicated and book-filled life, his enormous influence on students, writers, and other librarians, is chronicled a bit breathlessly, with the genesis and development of the award for young adult literature named for Printz neatly tied in.

School Library Journal, September 2003

On Alfred Nobel and the Story of the Nobel Prize and Joseph Pulitzer and the Story Behind the Pulitzer Prize

These two biographies include explanations of what motivated these individuals to create awards that would honor achievers for generations to come. Bankston presents an interesting look at the life of Alfred Nobel, and the odd incident (reading his own obituary) that made him consider the legacy he wished to leave—he did not want to be remembered only as the inventor of dynamite and a "merchant of death." In the second book, readers learn that the Pulitzer Prize came from the passion of Joseph Pulitzer, his commitment to the profession of journalism, and the fact that he was inspired by Nobel's endowment. Both of these books are concise and well organized, providing enough information for assignments. The full-color photos and reproductions are well reproduced.