From Hazel Rochman:
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic Press) is the winner of the 2008 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. The award is presented to a children’s or young adult book published in English by a U. S. publisher and set in the Americas. The members of the Award committee are Ann Carlson, Hazel Rochman (chair), and Roger Sutton.
With comedy and anguish, Curtis tells the gripping story in the voice of smart, funny Elijah, 10, the first child born free in the Buxton Settlement established for escaped slaves in Ontario, Canada, over the border from Detroit. Elijah loses his innocence when he crosses the border on a dangerous mission to the U. S. and encounters the horrifying cruelty his parents have escaped from. Curtis now lives near the Buxton Settlement, and, based on his careful research, he tells of ordinary people who are heroes.
Established by the late writer Scott O’Dell in 1984 and administered by his wife, Elizabeth Hall, the award comes with a $5000 prize. More information about the award and past winners can be found at www.scottodell.com.