7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #694: Featuring the 2020 BGHB Winners

h1 June 7th, 2020 by jules


If you are familiar with the book Saturday, written and illustrated by Oge Mora, you’ll recognize the characters in this image above. It’s Ava and her mother, the unforgettable duo of the story. Oge posted this image on Instagram recently, and she wrote: “Um…look what rockstar librarian @lizzeppelinii made!! Bout passed out when I saw it. SO COOL.” The librarian’s name is Liz Braithwaite, and she’s a children’s librarian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also sewed Pokko! I’m in love.

I’m sharing this, because on May 27 the winners of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced, and Saturday won in the Picture Book category. I always look forward every summer to the announcement of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, but I’m feeling especially celebratory this year, because I had the pleasure of chairing this year’s awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. Last Sunday, I had wanted to do a bit of celebrating of the winners, but I posted something else instead. But here’s some celebrating at 7-Imp today — a short something about each book. Come October, they will all be celebrated at the Horn Book’s (online) awards ceremony. Details on that later.



Normally on Sundays here at 7-Imp, I list my “kicks” and ask people to join me. Kicks are defined as: “Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.” Anyone visiting today is more than welcome to list their seven separate kicks, but I’m going to use my seven spots (plus two) to show you the books that won. Congrats to all the winners!

Before I get to that, I’d like to say: I know it’s been one hell of a week. I hope everyone reading this is doing as well as can be expected. A couple of things that impacted me this week are: This piece from Kekla Magoon at the Horn Book and this from author Kimberly Jones. Two kicks have been seeing this street paint (thank you, Muriel Bowser) and the music of Jake Blount.

As promised, a celebration of nine excellent books:

1) Winner in the Picture Book category, Saturday by Oge Mora:


“Saturdays are wonderful … because I spend them with you.”

You can head to this 2019 7-Imp post to see illustrations from the book, as well as some preliminary images from Oge.


2) Picture Book Honor, Birdsong by Julie Flett:


“… Agnes says it’s like a poem for her heart.”

You can visit this 2019 7-Imp post to see some illustrations from the book.


3) Picture Book Honor, Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe:


“No more eating band members or you’re out of the band.”

You can visit this 2019 7-Imp post to see some illustrations from the book, as well as some early images from Matt (including the three coaster paintings that represent the birth of Pokko).


4) Winner in the category of Fiction & Poetry, Kacen Callender’s King and the Dragonflies:


“The spirits of this world, they don’t stay dead for long.”

Such a beautiful novel. Such eloquent writing.

You can read the Horn Book review of this book here. Here’s a Q&A they did with Kacen. Here’s a recent piece Kacen wrote for the Horn Book (their latest issue).


5) Fiction & Poetry Honor, Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land:


“… all these women / here to take me / home.”

A story about loss, grief, devastation, forgiveness, and female badassery.

Here is the Kirkus review of this free verse novel. Here is Elizabeth’s 2018 speech for winning the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (Fiction & Poetry) for The Poet X.


6) Fiction & Poetry Honor, Tae Keller’s When You Trap a Tiger:


“The world is bigger than what we see.”

Heart. Lots of humor. Korean folklore. And more female badassery. (The fierce, brave girls and women in this book will stay with you.)

Here is the Kirkus review of this one. Here is a Horn Book Q&A with Tae.


7) Winner in the Nonfiction category, Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace:


“… what is life, if not a voyage of endless discovery.”

A superb book about what it means to be Black in America — as a soldier and as an artist.

You can visit this 2019 7-Imp post to read more about this book and see some of the interior images.


8) Nonfiction Honor, It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julie Morstad:


“But babies cannot wait.”

Somehow, I missed this last year and didn’t blog about it here at 7-Imp. It’s fabulous. Read the Horn Book review here.


9) Nonfiction Honor, Nikki Grimes’s Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir:


“Pain can sully your soul, / if you let it, / and rage held in reserve / will turn to sludge, / will obstruct the passageway / to your heart.”

A masterpiece. Read the Horn Book review here. Go to this link, scroll down, and read even more from and about Nikki.

* * * * * * *

Again, all of these books will be celebrated in October.

If you have kicks to share, please do so in the comments.

6 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #694: Featuring the 2020 BGHB Winners”

  1. Jules, I love the book Saturday. And the rest of the books are so incredible, I’m not sure how you all could choose one.
    What a week, so many feelings. Maybe change will happen. Why is it taking so long?
    1. This street art in Portland to honor George Floyd and other Black lives. https://tinyurl.com/y7mewy5f
    2. My oldest grand went to her first march in her suburb east of Portland.
    3. Her mama wanting her to be independent and yet keeping an eye on her from a distance for a bit.
    4. Contributing money to a variety of places for change.
    5. Recommending books to my doctor for her 14 YO and her 9 YO on social justice. And if you have any recs for the 9 YO I’m listening. His mom described him as having a bit of an austistic brain and prefers nonfiction.
    6.The protestors on facedown for 9 minutes on the Burnside bridge in Portland.
    7. The movie, Just Mercy.

    Hoping for great peace this week.

  2. Jone, thanks for that link. Heads-up to readers that Just Mercy has been made viewable free of charge for now. Not sure how long that will be the case. … Maybe the 9-yr-old, Jone, would like Anastasia Higginbotham’s book, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness. I believe it was released in 2018. I actually got to chat with her at Parnassus Books about that for an author visit she did. It’s a wonderful book.

  3. Congratulations to ALL. Wonderful to see “Pokko and The Drum.”

  4. What a wonderful collection of books, and I agree with Jone, how hard to choose just one. So delighted that Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace won in its category, I found that book so moving.

    Jules – hope you have been having a good week, I thought of you when seeing photos of the Black Lives Matter rally in Nashville.

    Jone – yay for your eldest grand girl’s first march! Maybe the March graphic novel series by John Lewis as another resource for the 9 & 14 yr old?

    My kicks:
    1) Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace winning! I found that book incredibly moving.
    2) Learning that the Nashville Black Lives Matter rally was organized by 6 teen girls. Hope for the future.
    3) The movie “Selma” is streaming for free all month on every platform.
    4) If you haven’t seen “When They See Us” n Netflix, I highly recommend it.
    5) This thread with photos of protests in small towns across the country:
    6) The fact the K-Pop and BTS fans were taking down racists on Twitter is both incredibly great and a source of some much needed laughter right now.
    7) That social change is happening before our eyes. It is so wonderful to see a larger portion of the population recognizing the injustice that those of working in the criminal justice system have been witness to. Not only that, seeing how many people are supportive of change.
    7.5) Instagram and Twitter for the inside views of protests across the country.

    Stay safe everyone!

  5. Congrats to all of the winners! They all look and sound so cool!

    Sending comfort and encouragement to all Imps everywhere. Speak up, speak out, stay safe, stay strong.

    Kicks for the past week:
    1) Inspiring interviews
    2) Outreach
    3) Good memories
    4) Good conversations
    5) Good timing
    6) Interesting
    7) Interests

  6. Hi, Samantha!

    Rachel: I like those last two kicks, in particular. I do think there’s a sea change here. I hope people keep their foot on the gas pedal and keep learning, reading, insisting on change.

    Little Willow: Yes to speaking up and speaking out.

    Have a good week, you all!

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