And the Horace Mann Book Award Goes To...
Mrs. Marlowe's Mice
From my Child's Lit list (you can also read the full press release):
Antioch University Los Angeles proudly announces that it has chosen Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice by Frank Asch and Devin Asch as the 2008 Horace Mann Upstander Award winner for Children’s Literature.
The Horace Mann Upstanders award honors new children’s literature that best exemplifies the ideals of social action and encourages young readers to become agents of change themselves.
The 2008 award winner, Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice, is published by Kids Can Press. It is the story of Mrs. Eleanor Marlowe, who by day works at the Purrington Street Library with her fellow cats, but at night returns home to her house where she is hiding a family of mice. When a nosy neighbor calls the Department of Catland Security, Mrs. Marlowe is accused of being a mouse sympathizer and it is up to her to try and save her family of mice – and herself - from certain doom.
In addition to the Horace Mann Upstanders winner Mrs Marlowe's Mice, the 2008 Honor books included Ain't Nobody a Stranger to Me by Ann Grifalconi with illustrations by Jerry Pinkney (Hyperion), One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II by Leta Judge (Hyperion), The Giant of Seville: A Tall Tale Based on a True Story by Dan Andreasen (Abrams), When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan (Houghton Mifflin), Sacred Leaf by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books) Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It by Sundee T. Frazier (Delacorte), and The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova (Houghton Mifflin).
I especially love the idea behind this award. And when I was googling around I found this review done by one of my favorite Kid Lit bloggers, Fuse #8:
To the casual observer Mrs. Marlowe is just your average librarian widow. But to those who know her, and know her well, she's a very dangerous person: a mouse-keeper. Mouse-keeping is strictly forbidden, but within her home Mrs. Marlowe oversees a large number of happy well-fed rodentia. Of course, there's always the suspicion in the back of the minds of the mice that perhaps Mrs. Marlowe is just fattening them up for the kill, but the real test comes the day when her home is inspected by two policecats from Catland Security. Though she's adept at keeping the authorities at bay, when little Billy falls from his hiding space what happens next nobody expects.
Looks like I will have to add this to our ever-growing "to read" list.