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.
History of the FOCAL Award
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.
The 2018 FOCAL Award winner was...
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh
written by Uma Krishnaswami
View the LAPL catalog page.
Nine-year-old Maria Singh learns to play softball just like her heroes in the All-American Girls' League, while her parents and neighbors are struggling through World War II, working for India's independence, and trying to stay on their farmland
The 39th annual FOCAL award event was held on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at Smeraldi’s Restaurant in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
FOCAL Award Committee 2018
Carol Raby - Chair of the Award Committee
||Library Events Specialist, Loyola Marymount University; previously LAUSD Magnet School Library Manager
||MS Math/Science Teacher, retired; Battle of the Books
||Children’s Librarian, Pacoima Branch Library, LAPL
||Teacher Librarian District Supervisor, LAUSD, retired
||Children’s Librarian, Felipe de Neve Branch Library, LAPL
||Children’s Librarian, Memorial Branch, LAPL
||MLIS Adjunct Librarian Long Beach City College
|Brooke Sheets - Ex-officio Committee Participant
||Senior Librarian, Children’s Literature Department, LAPL Central Library
|Caroline Gill, Ex-officio Committee Participant
||FOCAL President, Venice HS Teacher Librarian, LAUSD