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The Dorothy C. McKenzie Award

It’s been a long, long time since we updated this blog. We haven’t been doing very many events per year, but when we do have them, we’re so busy that a blog post is just the last thing on our minds.

However, today I have a really great reason to blog, so I just had to drop everything and write something.

The Children’s Literature Council of Southern California has awarded us the Dorothy C. McKenzie Award!

Dorothy C. Mckenzie founded The Southern California Council on Children’s Literature in 1961 with like-minded others forming the board and body of the organization. Having attended a few workshops and galas over the years, I knew what CLCSC was, but when they notified us of our award win, I did wonder what it took to a) be nominated for and b) win the award named for the group’s founder, so I looked up her biography on their website. A Los Angeles State College Times article dated December 7, 1964, quoted on CLCSC’s website starts with the line, “She is a human dynamo.” I think that pretty much answered my question, but it also reminded me that, as much work as Alyson and I do ourselves to coordinate and execute the various literacy events we have put forth in the last 6 years, we could not have done any of it without our magnificent community of book lovers. They are too many to name (but I did try to tag them all on Facebook).

Thanks again to CLCSC and our beloved friends who form the ever-expanding village that is Bridge to Books. If I could buy you all a nifty ghost town in Connecticut (which we could then turn into a great library/bookstore/creative retreat town), I totally would.

~ Alethea


Maybe 7 years ago (I have lost track of time), Alethea Allarey and I were at the Spring Children’s Literature Council of Southern California (CLCSC) Conference and at some point our conversation evolved and we began dreaming of what it would be like if we could network with other teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers and of course authors and illustrators to connect children and teens to books. The seeds for Bridge to Books was sown that morning.

Never did I imagine where that conversation would have led. And over the years, we could not have done any of the events without dozens of volunteers and the generosity of booksellers, publishers, authors, and illustrators who willingly, excitedly, generously gave of their time, and resources to connect readers with books and celebrate Children and Teen Lit.

Recently, Alethea and I learned that Bridge to Books was awarded the Dorothy C. McKenzie Award from CLCSC. Really this award goes to the amazing community brought together under the title “Bridge to Books”. 

We also want to congratulate the other award winners: Jenni Holm (Outstanding Fiction), Nicola Yoon (Peggy Miller Award for YA), Nikki Grimes (Myra Cohn Livingston Award), K.G. Campbell (Outstanding Picture Book). We are looking forward to celebrating with everyone in October at the Fall Gala.

~ Alyson