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“The Crimson Cap” Awarded 2009 Naylor Book Award

May 24, 2010

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee is pleased to announce that the 2009 June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas History is awarded to Ellen Howard for her book The Crimson Cap, published in 2009 by the Holiday House, New York.

The announcement was made Friday, May 14, 2010, by Mrs. Elaine Milam Vetter, Chairman of the DRT Library Committee, at the 119th Annual Convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Each year, a three-member panel of judges comprised of historians, educators, and librarians evaluates the Naylor Award entries. The 2009 committee included chairman Dr. Barbara Immroth, professor in the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, and committee members Dr. Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children’s Services, San Antonio Public Library, and Mrs. Amy Carter, English Department Instructional Facilitator, Floresville High School, Floresville, Texas.

The committee noted that Ms. Howard weaves a compelling tale around the historical figure Pierre Talon. The young boy is only ten years old in 1687 when he leaves explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle’s doomed settlement on Matagorda Bay in search of aid from the settlers of New France. Braving illness and intrigue, Pierre also struggles with inner conflicts, including questions of personal safety, family solidarity, and ultimate justice. Howard skillfully portrays Pierre’s hardships, friendships, and personal struggles in a story that is sensitive to cultural diversity and historical nuance.

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 fiction or nonfiction book for children and young adults, grades K-12, that accurately portrays the history of Texas. Mrs. Naylor, for whom the award is named, was a former schoolteacher and long-time resident of Odessa. She served as President General of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas from 1989 to 1991.

For Further Reading

You can read Voyage to the Mississippi Through the Gulf of Mexico, 1687, the English translation of a 1698 interrogation of Pierre Talon and his brother Jean-Baptiste, through the Wisconsin Historical Society’s American Journeys website.

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