WNBA Names 2009 Pannell Winners

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The Women's National Book Association has announced the winners of the 2009 WNBA Pannell Awards, given annually since 1983, to two bookstores that excel in contributing to their communities in ways that bring books and young people together. This year's winner in the General Bookstore category is Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the Children's Specialty store category winner, the winner is Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop in LaVerne, California.

That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, Arkansas, was recognized with an honorable mention in the General Bookstore category.

The winners were chosen by the WNBA's jury of five industry professionals based on creativity, responsiveness to community needs, and an understanding of young readers. Joseph-Beth was cited for, among other things, its citywide reading project, Small Fries: A Kids' Cookbook, whose proceeds benefited a children's hospital, and its Reading Reindeer gift tree. The jury noted that citywide reading project was an example of what could be done "without a lot of funds."

At a time when money is scarce for literacy outreach, "Mrs. Nelson's Young Authors contest and use of outside venues (libraries, churches, etc.) to reach more children were noted [by the jury] as being exceptional."

That Bookstore in Blytheville was honored for its Head Start classroom reading program and its outreach to community members of all ages through different venues.

Each winning store will receive a check for $1,000 and framed original art donated this year by Barry Moser and Anna Dewdney. The awards will be presented at the Children's Book and Author Breakfast on Friday, May 29, at BookExpo America.