2016 Empire State Award Winner Announced
Submitted by Joshua J. Carlson, Chair of the Empire State Award Committee
The Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association is excited to announce that the winner of the 2016 Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People is Steve Sheinkin. Mr. Sheinkin will be honored at a luncheon on Friday, November 4, 2016 during the Association’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Steve Sheinkin is a resident of Saratoga Springs and an award-winning author of nonfiction for children and young adults. He began his career writing textbooks, including one-page biographies, skills lessons, and entire chapters. In 2009 he wrote his last textbook and walked away never to return. Following his departure from the world of textbook publishing, he released the graphic novel series, The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, and eventually his first nonfiction work, King George: What Was His Problem?, which is a look at the stories of the American Revolution that would not be published in the textbooks he used to write.
Two of his books, Bomb: The Race to Build —and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon and The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights were both National Book Award finalists. In 2013, Bomb was a Newbery Honor book and won the Sibert Medal from the Association for Library Service to Children. His most recent work, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War is a National Book Award finalist and was this year’s winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.
First awarded in 1990, the Empire State Award is given to an author and/or illustrator currently residing in New York State to honor a significant body of work in the field of literature for young people. Past recipients of this award include Maurice Sendak, Madeleine L’Engle, Vera Williams, Donald Crews, Jean Craighead George, Jerry Pinkney, Joseph Bruchac, Linda Sue Park, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Bruce Coville, Laurie Halse Anderson, and last year’s honoree, Vivian Vande Velde. The Empire State Award committee is pleased to welcome Steve Sheinkin to this group.