The Education Department has announced its 2017 Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award winner; Some Kind of Courage, by Dan Gemeinhart. Some Kind of Courage is an historical western adventure that tells the story about a twelve-year-old who has lost his father in an accident, and his mother and his little sister to typhoid, who sets off on a quest to be reunited with the only family he has left–his pony name Sarah. The Upstanders award will be formally presented to Gemeinhart on June 24, 2017 at the 10th Annual Upstanders Book Awards Ceremony at the Marina Del Rey Yacht club. The event is by invitation.
“It is such an honor to receive the Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award,” said Gemeinhart. “Our kids are inheriting a tough world, but I believe that books can help their hearts and imaginations grow big enough to face it and make it better. It means a great deal to me for Some Kind of Courage to receive an award that honors exactly that idea.”
The Horace Mann Upstanders Book Awards honors new children’s literature that best exemplifies the ideals of social action and in turn encourages young readers to become agents of change themselves by standing up to injustice. “An Upstander is a person or a group who chooses to take a positive stand and act on behalf of themselves and others. These awards honor literature that encourages readers to take that risk and stand up for something they believe in,” said Dr. J. Cynthia McDermott, chair of AULA’s Education Department.
Dan Gemeinhart is a teacher-librarian and a father. His debut novel, The Honest Truth, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, an Amazon.com Best Book of the Month, and an Indie Next List pick. Some Kind of Courage was met with critical acclaim, garnering two starred reviews, with Kirkus Reviews calling it “poignant and real.” Some Kind of Courage was published by Scholastic Press in January 2016.