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Fern and Castillo Win the 2008 June Franklin Naylor Award

May 28, 2009


The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee is pleased to announce that the 2008 June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas history is awarded to author Tracey E. Fern and illustrator Lauren Castillo for Buffalo Music, published in 2008 by Clarion Books in New York. The announcement was made Friday evening, May 15, by Connie Impelman, Chairman of the DRT Library Committee, at the 118th Annual Convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in Killeen, Texas.

A three-member panel of judges comprised of historians, educators, and librarians judge the entries. The 2008 committee included its chairman Dr. Barbara Immroth, professor in the School of Information, the University of Texas at Austin, and committee members Dr. Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children’s Services at San Antonio Public Library, and Linda Plevak, Adjunct Librarian at Northeast Lakeview College in Universal City, Texas.

Buffalo Music was inspired by real people and events of Texas history, namely Mary Ann Goodnight and her husband, Charles (who laid a route that would become the Goodnight-Loving Trail). When they settled in the Palo Duro Canyon in 1876, the “music of the buffalo” was the background score of their lives. However, buffalo hunters quickly decimated the herds, much to Mary Ann’s dismay.

Mary Ann’s story is told through the character of Miss Molly, and Fern’s work highlights her efforts to save the American Bison. Although she began with only two orphaned buffalo calves, Miss Molly’s conservation efforts ultimately assisted in the repopulation of buffalo in Yellowstone National Park.

The Naylor Award Committee notes that the book should appeal not only to children interested in the rich anecdotes that comprise Texas history but also those young readers with interests in nature and endangered species.

The June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas History, endowed by the family of June Franklin Naylor and sponsored by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, is given annually to the author/illustrator of the most distinguished book for children and young adults, grades K-12, that accurately portrays the history of Texas, whether fiction or nonfiction. Mrs. Naylor, for whom the award is named, was a former schoolteacher and a long-time resident of Odessa, and she served as President General of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Inc., from 1989 to 1991.

Please see the DRT Library’s website for information about past winners of the Naylor Award.

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