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9th Annual Helen Stein Shack Picture Book Award Winners Announced

Setauket, NY – March 9, 2023 –

Emma Clark Library is thrilled to reveal the winners of the Helen Stein Shack Picture Book Award, an annual contest for junior high and high school students residing in the Three Village Central School District:

First Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category): Boston Santa by Julia Hou (9th grader at Gelinas Junior High School)

First Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category): Sleeping Till Spring by Celia Gordon (Homeschooled 11th grader)

Second Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category): Cutie the Duck by Caroline Qian (8th grader at Gelinas Junior High School)

Second Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category): Lily’s Snowman by Amelia Grant (12th grader at The Stony Brook School)

Cutie the Duck by Caroline Qian has brightly colored graphics and is a light-hearted and fun tale about 2 duck friends and their adventures over the course of a day. Boston Santa by Julia Hou tells the story of a beautifully illustrated bunny whose dad finds a job in Boston. What will Christmas be like without dad? Will he make it home in time to celebrate the holiday with his family? Sleeping Till Spring by Celia Gordon follows Rosie, a girl who is tired of the winter. She imagines herself as many animals that hibernate until spring.  Lily’s Snowman by Amelia Grant is about a girl who lives in Llano Verde, where the sun is always shining. The girl dreams about snow in this bilingual book.

Contest winners will be celebrated at a private awards ceremony on Monday, April 24, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.  Each First Prize award recipient will receive a $400 scholarship, and each Second Prize award recipient will receive a $100 scholarship. For those that are a collaborative effort, the prize money will be split between the author and the illustrator.  The newly bound books – made into hardcover by the Library – will have the honor of being added to the Library’s Local Focus Collection, and winners will also receive copies of their books to cherish in their own home libraries. Light refreshments will be served at the reception, and desserts are being generously donated by The Bite Size Bake Shop, a local Three Village business.

Past ceremonies have had Library trustees, teachers and top school district administrators, as well as elected officials from New York State, Suffolk County, and the Town of Brookhaven, all in attendance to honor the winners. Emma Clark Library is delighted to once again hold a special ceremony honoring these talented young authors and illustrators and to add their original books to the Library’s collection of local authors.

The Helen Stein Shack Book Contest called for teens in grades 7 through 12 who live in the Three Village Central School District to create a children’s picture book.  Each entry could be the work of a single author/illustrator or a collaborative effort of an author and an illustrator.  The contest was divided into two grade categories, grades 7 through 9 and grades 10 through 12, with one First Prize Winner and one Second Prize Winner selected from each group.

This award is given in memory of Helen Stein Shack by her family.  As a teacher, Mrs. Shack was committed to the education of children, and she especially loved literature written for them.  She was a frequent visitor to Emma Clark Library where, even in retirement, she kept current with the latest children’s books.  The Library is grateful to the children of the late Mrs. Shack who have established a substantial endowment with the Library to cover the cost of the prizes.

The Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, located at 120 Main Street in Setauket and online at www.emmaclark.org, provides public library service to all residents of the Three Village Central School District.

“The Heart of the Three Village Community”