On Saturday, April 2 my good friend Jane Kurtz will receive the 2011 Kerlan Award, given by the Kerlan Library of the University of Minnesota “in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children’s literature and in appreciation for generous donation of unique resources to the Kerlan Collection for the study of children’s literature.”
Jane has written many wonderful books for children, books that reflect her childhood in Ethiopia, her love of family and folk story. Her love of family and story and Ethiopia are also reflected in her tireless work on behalf of Ethiopia Reads, an organization which she co-founded to fund libraries for Ethiopia’s children. I can recall few conversations with Jane in my years of knowing her in which her work for Ethiopia Reads did not come up. It is as much a part of her life as breathing. Thousand of Ethiopian children will read a book today because of Jane’s work.
So it makes me especially happy that this weekend Jane will be recognized for “singular attainments.” She has so many. If you are in the Twin Cities, it's still possible to attend the awards presentation and hear Jane's acceptance speech. For more information contact the Kerlan staff at 612-624-4576 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save a chair in the audience for me, Jane. Other travel keeps me away, but I’ll be there in spirit.