NYC STUDENTS’ BOOKS HONORED by the New York City Department of Education and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

YOUNG AUTHORS WIN 31ST ANNUAL BOOKMAKING COMPETITION

Winners of the 2017 EJK Bookmaking Competition and honorable mentions gathered for a group shot with Deborah Pope (right, by podium), executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Winners of the 2017 EJK Bookmaking Competition and honorable mentions gathered for a group shot with Deborah Pope (right, by podium), executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

NEW YORK—The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, announced the winners of the 31st annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition for grades 3-12. 

In addition to the city-wide and borough winners and honorable mention recipients being given medals at an awards ceremony, the city-wide winners received $500, and the borough winners, $100. Each team of educators who assisted the winners also received an award—a gift certificate for their choice of 15 children’s books contributed by Keats’ publisher, Penguin Random House.

“Some of the city’s most talented young writers and illustrators have worked hard to bring their creative ideas to life through the making of a book,” said Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “It was at public school that Ezra first received recognition for his talent, inspiring him to pursue his dreams. Our hope is that this award will inspire these young people as well.”

The Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition is divided into three categories: elementary (grades 3-5), middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12).

CITY-WIDE WINNERS

Grades 3-5:

“The Story of the Mirabal Sisters,” by Amber Siurano (Grade 4)

P.S. 63, Old South School, Ozone Park, Queens

Maria Panotopoulou, Teacher; Kathleen Fleischmann-Cavanaugh, Librarian; Diane Marino, Principal

The winner says:  “History is my passion, and I decided to write about the inspiring Mirabal sisters. Like my great-grandfather, the three sisters stood up and fought against the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. I chose not to add facial features to the sisters; I felt they could represent anyone who acted as they did. I did not draw mouths on the people’s faces, only eyes, because at the time people could only observe and not speak against the cruelty of Trujillo.”

Grades 6-8:

“Life of a Brighton Beach Sparrow,” by Elizabeth Abramowitz (Grade 6)

I.S. 98 Bay Academy, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Meredith Samuelson, Teacher; Maria Timo, Principal

The winner says: “My inspiration came from watching the sparrows in my neighborhood, Brighton Beach. I’ve always been fond of these cheerful birds and enjoyed making sketches of them, so I decided to write about Brighton Beach as seen through the eyes of a sparrow named Wings.”

Grades 9-12:

“He Abandoned Us,” by Jennifer Huang (Grade 12)

Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan

Leslie Bernstein, Teacher; Eric Contreras, Principal

The winner says: “The seven sins and God have always been topics of interest to me. I wanted to prove that our favorite characters—heroes and heroines, along with villains—were not without faults, that they had their own flaws. The hardest part after deciding what I wanted to do was choosing which character would depict which sin.” •

Source: Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Photo in Table of Contents Courtesy of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation


In addition to the city-wide winners, the 31st annual Ezra Jack Keats Foundation’s Bookmaking Competition also had quite a few borough winners, including:

“Reptiles vs. Dinosaurs” by Tyler Rivera (Grade 3) 

“If the World Was Black and White” by Delia Lima (Grade 7)

“Different” by Jason Nazario (Grade 10) Jason’s work was also featured on the cover of the program for this year's Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Awards Ceremony.

“Digging for Prehistoric Creatures” by Kevin Jiang and Brittany Ortiz (Grade 12)

For a complete list of borough winners and honorable mentions, visit http://www.ezra-jack-keats.org/h/2017-ejk-bookmaking-competition-winners/