FOCAL      Friends of Children and Literature

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The FOCAL Award was instituted by Janet McOuat, a founding member of the Friends of Children and Literature. The award, which is presented annually to children's books with California content, was first given to Leo Politi whose charming illustration of reading children has become the FOCAL logo.
Annotated FOCAL Award List on LAPL's KidsPath.

Each year a group of teachers, librarians, writers and others interested in children's literature meets to determine the new FOCAL winner. The winning author is presented with the award -- a unique puppet representing a character from their award-winning book which has been created for them by Carol Onofrio and is now being created by Jesse Kingsley.

Also present at the awards luncheon are children who have won the FOCAL essay contest, their teacher, and a parent.
This year's winners have been notified and will be attending the luncheon.

book cover

The 2017 FOCAL Award winner is...
Chasing Secrets
written by Gennifer Choldenko

View the LAPL catalog page.

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah's father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.

The 38th annual FOCAL award event was held on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Gennifer Choldenko, the author of the award book, Chasing Secrets, was the featured speaker discussing the writing of the 2017 FOCAL Award Book.

Thank you to our hard-working award committee.

FOCAL Award Committee 2017

Brooke Sheets - Chair of the Award Committee Senior Librarian, Children's Literature Department, LAPL Central Library
Patricia Douglas Elementary Teacher LAUSD, retired
Sara Elwood Elementary Teacher, Crossroads, retired, STAR reading volunteer, SCBWI
Meredith McGowan Children’s Librarian, Pacoima Branch Library, LAPL
Jessica Ko Children’s Librarian, Exposition Park Branch Library, LAPL
Alicia Rodriguez Librarian, Junipero Serra Branch, LAPL
Molly Schroeder Teacher/Magnet Coordinator LAUSD, retired
Sada Mozer - Ex-officio Committee Participant Senior Librarian, Baldwin Hills Branch, LAPL
Caroline Gill, Ex-officio Committee Participant FOCAL President, Venice HS Teacher Librarian, LAUSD