The Oklahoma Center for the Book’s Spring Events Celebrated the State’s Book Community and Young Readers
33rd Annual Oklahoma Book Awards
After two years of virtual celebrations, the 2022 Book Award program returned to a festive in-person awards dinner on April 30 at the Embassy Suites Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Thirty-four finalists, out of 115 entries in the competition, were on hand to sign books, talk to readers, and visit with fellow authors, poets, illustrators, and book designers. Special honorees of the evening were Jim Stovall, recipient of the Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Sanora Babb, recipient of the posthumous Ralph Ellison Award. Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor Bob Burke, the Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, Full Circle Books, and our program advertisers for helping fund the event!
*Photos taken by Richard R. Barron
The First My Favorite Book Competition
When the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress discontinued their popular Letters About Literature program, the Oklahoma Center for the Book and its Friends organization went to work to keep the reading and writing competition alive in Oklahoma for the state’s young readers. With additional funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, My Favorite Book was born.
In the competition, a student writes a letter to the author (living or dead) of a book that impacted the student’s life. Almost 600 letters were entered into the contest. Nine winners, representing three grade levels, were selected as the winners. Cash prizes are awarded to the winning letter writers, and the first place winner in each grade category chooses their school library or public library to receive a $1,000 grant.
The first award ceremony for My Favorite Book was held on May 11 in the State Capitol Rotunda. Seven of the nine winning students, along with their families, were on hand to read their letters and receive their prizes.