2019 Pannell Award Winners Announced

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On Friday, March 29, the Women’s National Book Association announced the winners of the 2019 WNBA Pannell Awards.

Weekly storytime at 57th Street Books
Weekly storytime at 57th Street Books

The awards are co-sponsored by the Penguin Young Readers Group to recognize bookstores that “enhance their communities by bringing exceptional creativity to foster a love of reading and books in children and young adults.” One Pannell Award is given to a general bookstore and one to a children’s specialty bookstore. This year’s winners are:

Upon learning of the store’s win, Jeff Deutsch, director at 57th Street Books, said, “We are so proud to serve young readers on the south side of Chicago and are humbled and grateful to receive this recognition on behalf of all booksellers working in under-served communities,” while Valerie Lewis and Monica Holmes, co-owners of Hicklebee’s, responded, “This is such an honor. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this month, and for this to happen at the same time is fantastic. Our wonderful staff will be excited and inspired to do even more.”

Hicklebee's annual education night for teachers and librarians
Hicklebee's annual education night for teachers and librarians

This year, dozens of bookstores from a record-breaking 23 states across the country received nominations from customers, authors, bookstore employees, and publishing professionals, and the winners were selected by a five-member jury of book industry professionals. The WNBA Pannell Award jurors for 2019 were:  

  • Amanda Barillas, field sales children’s specialist at Macmillan
  • Brenda Bowen, literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
  • Bernette Ford, founder of Color-Bridge Books
  • Emily Romero, senior vice president of marketing at Penguin Young Readers
  • Phoebe W. Yeh, vice president and publisher at Crown Books for Young Readers.

The winning stores will each receive a check for $1,000 and a piece of original art from a children’s book illustrator, to be presented at BookExpo 2019’s Children’s Book and Author Breakfast on Friday, May 31.

Since 1993, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) has awarded the Pannell Award, one of the most prestigious honors in children’s bookselling and established in honor of Lucile Micheels Pannell, founding member of one of the WNBA chapters.