The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Gryphon Award

About the Gryphon Award

Origin and purpose of the award:

The Gryphon Award of $1,000 is given annually in recognition of an English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children in Kindergarten through Grade 4. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.

The Gryphon award was conceived as a way to focus attention on an area of literature for youth that, despite being crucial to the successful transition of new readers to independent lifelong readers, does not get the critical recognition it deserves.

The award is sponsored by the Center for Children's Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Award Committee:

The award committee consists of 4-6 members drawn from the youth services faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the editorial staff of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, local public and school librarians, and the library and education community at large.

Announcement of the Gryphon Award:

The award winner and honor books are announced each year on February 1 or the closest Monday following.


2014 Winners

Choose another award year to view past winners:

2014 Gryphon Award Book:

Cover image from Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett

Scieszka, Jon and Mac Barnett, and Alex. Battle Bunny; illus. by Matthew Myers but mostly Alex. Simon, 2013. Gr. 1-3.

Both a sendup of saccharine period picture books and a tribute to kid invention, this deliciously comic outing follows young Alex’s savage textual and illustrative transforming of a treacly bunny tale into a saga of a thwarted attempt at world rabbit domination.

2014 Honor Books:

Cover image of Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins

Collins, Suzanne. Year of the Jungle; illus. by James Proimos. Scholastic, 2013. 5-7 yrs.
Sophisticated cartoonish illustrations lend both accessibility and emotional heft to this subtle, poignant tale of a young girl’s difficulty in dealing with her father’s absence in the Vietnam War.

Cover image for Like Bug Juice on a Burger by Julie Sternberg
Sternberg, Julie. Like Bug Juice on a Burger; illus. by Matthew Cordell. Amulet Abrams, 2013. Gr. 2-3.
As young Eleanor struggles adjusting to summer camp, her tentative yet heartfelt voice is deftly conveyed in Sternberg’s ragged right prose, and this compassionate but pragmatic look at a familiar kid experience will find an appreciative audience with young homebodies.
Cover image of Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Dog from the Sea; illus. by Priscilla Lamont. Whitman, 2013. Gr. 2-3.
The second book in this early chapter series is a classic chapter book that hits all the right notes from its high-spirited heroine to its breezy sentence structure to its kid-friendly plot, making this tale of pet rescue one to recommend.