2021 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award started in 1953 and is given to books that share a message of problem solving, overcoming prejudice, or approaching life constructively. We would like to congratulate Jess Keating and Katie Hickey whose gorgeous Ocean Speaks was named an honor book this year!

“The 2021 Selection Committee recognized the importance of Ocean Speaks which introduces Marie Tharp’s story. The secret of the ocean floor that Marie discovered is illustrated across a three page spread in the middle of the book. . .which reminds us of the enormous size of Marie’s map. It shows children that gender is not an obstacle to become a great scientist.” – Selection Committee statement

Ocean SpeaksOcean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret
By Jess Keating
Illustrated by Katie Hickey
34 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265080 | Tundra Books
From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job at a laboratory in New York. But then she faced another barrier: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office

“Marie deserves to be known and the children of today also deserve to know about her. Even if you may feel small or underestimated. . .they can change the world from exactly where they are.”  – Jess Keating

“Unlike a traditional fictitious picture book, this story is based on fact so everything has to be really accurate. . .during the process of this project I did quite a lot of visual research. . . I hope it will go on to inspire lots of young people in the future.” – Katie Hickey

Catch up on the awards ceremony here:

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