Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tis the Season to Reward Writers

No matter what the Today Show thinks, January is the time for the children's and teens' lit community to reward writers and illustrators and to celebrate those awards. I love January! It's the time when I discover what I've missed in my previous year's reading, and have the opportunity to download as many books as I can afford for my iPad. Fortunately this past Christmas I was blessed with lots of ebook gift cards! I've just finished Moon Over Manifest (how could I have missed that one?) and Jenni Holm's Turtle in Paradise which I like more and more as I think about it more and more. I also loved A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz - I shall never see ghosts the same way again. And I'm still reading (and loving) Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.

This year I'm also delighted to announce that my book, An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank has been honored in the round of January award announcements. An Unspeakable Crime was named an Honor Book in the Social Studies - Grades 7-12 category by the Society of School Librarians International, and was also named a 2011 Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens. It has also been honored as a Cybils Finalist in the Nonfiction Book (Middle Grade and Young Adult) category, and a National Jewish Book Award Finalist in the Children's and Young Adult Literature category.

I am overjoyed to share my book's recognition for the same reason that I'm delighted to learn about other books that have been honored: just as I am eager to read those excellent books I mentioned above, I hope that readers will discover An Unspeakable Crime. That's why we write, after all, in the hopes that someone will read our book, and any recognition that makes it more likely for others to read it is a wonderful thing. If you're curious and want to find out about this 1913 legal case, please click here to watch a video about my research for this book. And many thanks to the organizations and committees that honored my book.


  1. Congratulations! The Leo Frank story is one of the great tragedies of antisemitism in America. Thank you for bringing attention to it with your work. Looking forward to the re-release of "Ghost Cadet", I can't wait until my daughter is old enough for me to read it to her, I still have the copy published by Apple Books I ordered and bought when I was in 6th grade from the Scholastic catalog. Looking forward to reading more blog posts and I hope you will visit my blog too.

  2. Oh, and by the way, that was back in 1991 and I still have that copy. Its still one of my all-time favorite books.

  3. Thanks so much, Matt - both for your appreciation of my writing about the Leo Frank story, and for your remembering The Ghost Cadet so fondly! The new paperback release is out now - email me when you get a copy for your daughter, and I'll be happy to send you an autographed bookplate for her; or you can get the book from me directly, and I'll sign it for her. Did I visit your school and sign your Scholastic Book Club copy? That's still one of my favorite books to talk about at schools!
    All my best,

  4. You have no honor or integrity, you are a total hypocrite and liar. Your book, An Unspeakable Crime is filled from beginning to end with fabrications, sloppy research, misrepresentations, half-truths and omissions. Your book is a grotesque misrepresentation of the facts in the Leo Frank case. You have No Honor, and No Integrity. Sincerely, Mark Cohen