Grateful American Kids

“Ground Zero” by Alan Gratz Wins 2021 Grateful American Book Prize

Chris Stevenson’s "The Cannon of Courage" and Michaela MacColl’s "View from Pagoda Hill" receive Honorable Mention

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 7, 2021 — David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize, announced today that its panel of judges has selected Alan Gratz to receive the 2021 Prize for Ground Zero (Scholastic Press).

In its starred review of Gratz’s novel, School Library Journal called it “A contemporary history lesson with the uplifting message that humanity’s survival depends on us working for, not against, one another. A must-have.”

Smith described the book as “a mesmerizing, timely and historically accurate 9/11 story by an author covering a two-decade span starting with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Young readers will find it a page-turner about a monumental event, likely to rouse them into loving history.”

Gratz won an Honorary Award for his novel, Allies, (Scholastic), in 2020’s Grateful American Book Prize competition.

Chris Stevenson, the 2016 Grateful American Prize winner for The Drum of Destiny, will receive an Honorable Mention for his newest work, The Cannon of Courage, the story of a young aide-de-camp to George Washington who was assigned to journey 300 miles from Cambridge, MA to Fort Ticonderoga with Colonel Henry Knox, and retrieve cannons that were needed to drive the British from Boston during the American Revolution (Knox Press).

In 2016, Michaela MacColl was presented with an Honorable Mention for Freedom’s Price; this year she will get another for View from Pagoda Hill (Calkins Creek). Based on her family history, Pagoda is about a Chinese American girl who is forced to emigrate from Shanghai to live with her American father.

The Grateful American Book Prize is the only award given for excellence in historical fiction and non-fiction for 7th to 9th graders.

The Prize consists of a $13,000 cash award in commemoration of the 13 original Colonies, a lifetime membership at the New-York Historical Society, and a medallion created by Smith’s mother, the renowned artist, Clarice Smith. Honorable Mention recipients receive $500 each, and the medallion.

The awards ceremony will take place on December 9th at the Perry Belmont House in Washington, DC.

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