The Schneider Family Book Awards honor authors or illustrators for books that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
The award was founded by Dr. Katherine Schneider, who was the first blind student to graduate from the Kalamazoo Public School system. Schneider had been helped through school as a child by a librarian at the Michigan Library for the Blind who provided books in Braille to her.
Two New Years by Richard Ho and Lynn Scurfield
For this multicultural family, inspired by the author’s own, two New Years mean twice as much to celebrate! In the fall, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, offers an opportunity to bake challah, dip apples in honey, and lift voices in song. In the spring, Lunar New Year brings a chance to eat dumplings, watch dragon dances, and release glowing lanterns that light up the sky.
With bright, joyful prose and luminous illustrations, Richard Ho and Lynn Scurfield invite readers of all backgrounds to experience the beauty of two New Year traditions, paying homage to the practices that make each unique while illuminating the values of abundance, family, and hope that they share.
The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman by Mari Lowe
Shaindy is a twelve-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl who struggles in school and has no good friends. She watches with envy as her next-door neighbor, GAYIL, excels socially and academically. They have little to do with each other, and it comes as a surprise when Shaindy looks out her window one September evening and sees Gayil staring out at her from her own window with a sign reading want to know a secret?
The secret (at first) is that Gayil has a key fob that will allow them to break into their school after hours. Together, they set up a harmless prank in their classroom. But under Gayil’s instigation the mischief becomes malice, and Shaindy sees that the pranks and humiliations are targeted only at certain girls. But what could they have in common? With the fear of Gayil’s fury and her own reluctance growing, Shaindy comes to the terrifying conclusion that if she can’t figure out how to stop it, the next target could be her.
The Blood Years by Elana K. Arnold
Frederieke Teitler and her older sister, Astra, live in a house, in a city, in a world divided. Their father ran out on them when Rieke was only six, leaving their mother a wreck and their grandfather as their only stable family. He’s done his best to provide for them and shield them from antisemitism, but now, seven years later, being a Jew has become increasingly dangerous, even in their beloved home of Czernowitz, long considered a safe haven for Jewish people. And when Astra falls in love and starts pulling away from her, Rieke wonders if there’s anything in her life she can count on—and, if so, if she has the power to hold on to it.
Then—war breaks out in Europe. First the Russians, then the Germans, invade Czernowitz. Almost overnight, Rieke and Astra’s world changes, and every day becomes a struggle: to keep their grandfather’s business, to keep their home, to keep their lives. Rieke has long known that she exists in a world defined by those who have power and those who do not, and as those powers close in around her, she must decide whether holding on to her life might mean letting go of everything that has ever mattered to her—and if that’s a choice she will even have the chance to make.