Area native wins Newbery

January 14, 1998|By From staff reports

Baltimore native Karen Hesse took the American Library Association's 1998 Newbery Award yesterday for her latest story about young girls rising above hardship or confronting tragedy.

Hesse, a children's author who grew up in Pimlico, took the prestigious award for "Out of the Dust," her story of a 14-year-old girl mourning her mother's accidental death.

Hesse published her first book in 1992 after a decade of rejection slips. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two teen-age daughters.

"Hesse's painstaking first-person narration of Billie Jo's pain and healing is spare and gritty," said Newbery committee chairwoman Ellen Fader. "She naturally and immediately communicates this story of Billie Jo's fierce spirit and growing self-understanding."

The awards are given for the best writing and illustration in children's books published in the United States. The library association also honored Paul Zelinsky with the 1998 Randolph Caldecott Medal for his oil paintings illustrating "Rapunzel."

Pub Date: 1/14/98

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