The Jefferson Cup Award honors a distinguished American biography, historical fiction or history book for young people. The Youth Services Forum of the Virginia Library Association has presented this award annually since the 1982 publishing year. Through the award, the Youth Services Forum seeks to promote reading about America’s past, to encourage the quality writing of United States history, biography and historical fiction for young people, and to recognize authors in these disciplines.
After the Dancing Days
by Margaret Rostkowski
Harper & Row, 1986. Grades 6-9.
World War I has ended and thirteen-year old Annie Metcalf’s doctor father has come home from Europe, but the ramifications of the conflict continue to affect her family in this small Kansas town. When Annie volunteers to accompany her father and grandfather to the veterans’ hospital, she must confront men who are disfigured, both physically and psychologically. Despite her inner qualms, and in defiance of her mother, who resists acknowledgment of the wounded men, Annie continues her trips to read to them. Over time, she comes to befriend them and even develops a special love for one maimed young soldier.
Skillfully and movingly written, the novel makes a strong statement about the realities, myths, and horrors of the aftermath of war, a subject rarely touched upon in works of fiction for young people.
An Album of the Vietnam War
by Don Lawson
Watts, 1986. Grades 5-8.
Straightforward text and numerous photographs vividly document the Vietnam War. Its beginnings, the escalating involvement of U.S. troops, criticism of the war on the homefront, and contemporary efforts to come to terms with the Vietnam experience are included.
I Go With My Family to Grandma’s
by Riki Levinson
Dutton, 1986. Grades K-4.
In New York City at the turn of the century, cousins come from each of the five boroughs to visit Grandma by means of bicycle, wagon, train, trolley, and ferry. A beautifully illustrated and warm-hearted celebration of family life.
Walking Up A Rainbow
by Theodore Taylor
Delacorte, 1986. Grades 6-9.
After her father’s death in 1852, fourteen-year-old Susan Carlisle, newly orphaned, discovers that she must pay off his debts in order to keep the family’s Iowa home. Spunky Susan devises an outrageous plan to herd sheep to California and sell them for profit. Journeying west with Susan, the reader is treated to realistic and intriguing adventure and an odd crew of memorable, unique, witty characters. Taylor skillfully supports and balances the story’s ultimate goal with a myriad of touching, humorous and very human relationships.
Also Worth Noting
The Incredible Sixties: The Stormy Years That Changed America
by Jules Archer
HBJ, 1986. Grades 5 and up.
Ten tumultuous years are documented through photographs and quotes. Archer brings to life a decade that included the civil rights struggle, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam war and the anti-war movement, feminism, the drug scene and the counterculture lifestyle.
Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant
by Patricia Beatty
Morrow, 1986. Grades 3-6.
Being a preacher’s daughter is trial enough for eleven-year-old Bethany, but her troubles increase when her widowed father sends her and her brother to live with an aunt and a resentful cousin. Bethany’s high spirits and determination soon win her friends and help her reunite her family in this humorous look at turn of the century Texas.
The Tamarack Tree
by Patricia Clapp
Lothrop, 1986. Grades 5-7.
Eighteen-year-old Rosemary Leigh, newly arrived in Virginia from England, is torn between her affection for her southern friends and her belief that slavery is wrong. Her emotional and physical stamina are tested as she struggles to survive the siege of Vicksburg in 1863.
The Josefina Story Quilt
by Eleanor Coerr
Harper, 1986. Grades 1-3.
Pa reluctantly allows daughter, Faith, to take her prize pet hen, Josefina, on a wagon train trip headed to California, and, of course mishaps abound. Josefina ultimately proves her worth when her squawks thwart a robbery attempt, but it is the hen’s last gasp. Knowing “how important quilts were for remembering,” Faith has recorded Josefina’s adventures in quilt patches and is comforted by her cloth treasure. An unusually touching tale in easy-to-read format.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Doris Faber
Messner, 1986. Grades 6 and up.
Faber’s biography reveals how King’s personal, religious, and political views were shaped by his experiences with prejudice and segregation. Quotations, excerpts from speeches, and black and white photographs highlight this informative introduction.
Ellis Island: Gateway to the New World
by Leonard Fisher
Holiday, 1986. Grades 5-8.
The oral histories of immigrants combined with striking photographs and illustrations create a moving and vivid book. Fisher’s scratchboard drawings blend beautifully with the black and white reproductions.
Happily May I Walk: American Indians and Alaska Natives Today
by Arlene Hirschfelder
Scribner’s, 1986. Grades 5-12.
A sensitive and comprehensive look at the lifestyles of Native Americans. This very readable book dispels common myths and stereotypes.
I Lift My Lamp: Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty
by Nancy Levinson
Dutton, 1986. Grades 4-8.
Emma Lazarus emerges as a “quiet hero”, admired and emulated by others. Levinson skillfully interweaves Lazarus’ life with that of the sculptor, Bartholdi, and portrays her dedication to the immigrant cause as well as her longing for recognition as a poet.
Guess Again: More Weird and Wacky Inventions
by Jim Murphy
Bradbury, 1986. Grades 4-7.
Fun-filled, amusing challenges require the reader to examine drawings of “weird and wacky inventions” and to guess their real purpose.
Streams to the River, River to the Sea: A Novel of Sacagawea
by Scott O’Dell
Houghton, 1986. Grades 5-8.
The Lewis and Clark expedition is seen through the eyes of Sacagawea, who served as interpreter and guide. Portrayed initially as one who follows the will of others, Sacagaweaeventually gains the confidence to make her own life.
Bad Man Ballad
by Scott Sanders
Bradbury, 1986. Grades 6 and up.
An odd trio at best: Ely Jackson, a backwoods boy searching for his one surviving brother; Owen Lightfoot, an overstuffed Philadelphia lawyer with idealistic yearnings for frontier adventure; and Rain Hawk, a half-breed spice girl. Together they embark upon epic journey across the Ohio Valley in search of a murderer who has not only left behind the bone-crushed body of a dwarf, but also footprints three times normal size!
The Sacred Moon Tree
by Laura Shore
Bradbury, 1986. Grades 5 and up.
Phoebe and Jotham embark on a dangerous journey through Confederate lines from Pennsylvania to Virginia in order to help Jotham’s brother escape from prison and to find Phoebe’s mother who is a Union spy.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite