2014 Jefferson Cup Winners and Honor Books

Brotherhood and Bluffton Win 2014 Jefferson Cup

The Jefferson Cup Committee is pleased to announce its selections for this year’s awards. The 2014 Jefferson Cup Award for Older Readers went to A. B. Westrick for Brotherhood. The 2014 Jefferson Cup Award for Younger Readers went to Matt Phelan for Bluffton: My Summer with Buster Keaton

Brotherhood offers a glimpse into the enormous social and political upheaval of the period immediately following the Civil War. Judges felt Westrick wrote of “a complicated chapter in history with empathy and balance.”

Bluffton, set in 1908 Minnesota, features a small town, future comedian and actor Buster Keaton, a young boy, and a visiting vaudeville troupe. Judges cited this gentle coming of age story for its focus “on finding personal paths through youth into adulthood and the friendships that can develop along the way.”

Honor Books

The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson and Seeing Red by Kathryne Erskine were selected as honor books for older readers. Captured History published by Compass Point Books was named a Series Worthy of Note for providing “children with a contextual visual reference to significant periods in American history.”

For younger readers, The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman and Voices of Pearl Harbor by Sherry Garland were selected as honor books. National Geographic Readers received the Series Worthy of Note designation for young readers for its “captivating photographs and illustrations and easy-to-read format.” The series is an excellent introduction to biography and non-fiction for young readers. 

About the Jefferson Cup

The Jefferson Cup honors a distinguished biography, historical fiction or American history book for young people. Presented since 1983, the Jefferson Cup Committee’s goal is 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.

The committee has nine members: a chairperson (selected by the previous year’s committee), one person from each Virginia Library Association region (total of six persons) selected by the current chair, the past chair of the previous year’s Jefferson Cup Committee, and the chairperson or outgoing chairperson of the Youth Services Forum. All committee members are members of VLA. For more information about the committee, visit the Jefferson Cup Committee page.

–Submitted by Martha Cole, chair 2014 Jefferson Cup Committee