Annal: 2003 Orbis Pictus Award

Results of the Orbis Pictus Award in the year 2003.

Book:When Marian Sang

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

Pam Muñoz Ryan, Brian Selznick

Marian Anderson is best known for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America. While this momentous event showcased the uniqueness of her voice, the strength of her character, & the struggles of the times in which she lived, it is only part of her story.

Like the operatic arias Marian would come to sing, Ryan's text is as moving as a libretto, & Selznick's pictures as exquisitely detailed & elaborately designed as a stage set. What emerges most profoundly from their shared vision is a role model of courage.

Book:Confucius

Confucius: The Golden Rule

Russell Freedman, Frederic Clement

Born in China in 551 B.C., Confucius rose from poverty to the heights of his country’s ruling class. But then he quit his high post for the life of an itinerant philosopher. “The Analects” collects his teachings on education and government, the definition of nobility, the equality of man, and the right way and purpose of living—ideas that eventually spread to the West and influenced the great thinkers of the Enlightenment. And five centuries before Christ, Confucius set forth his own Golden Rule: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.”

Book:The Emperor's Silent Army

The Emperor's Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China

Jane O'Connor

Describes the archaeological discovery of thousands of life-sized terracotta warrior statues in northern China in 1974, and discusses the emperor who had them created and placed near his tomb.

Book:Phineas Gage

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science

John Fleischman

Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head. Phineas, a railroad construction foreman, was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont, in 1848 when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain. Miraculously, he survived to live another eleven years and become a textbook case in brain science.

At the time, Phineas Gage seemed to completely recover from his accident. He could walk, talk, work, and travel, but he was changed. Gage "was no longer Gage," said his Vermont doctor, meaning that the old Phineas was dependable and well liked, and the new Phineas was crude and unpredictable. His case astonished doctors in his day and still fascinates doctors today. What happened and what didn't happen inside the brain of Phineas Gage will tell you a lot about how your brain works and how you act human.

Book:Tenement

Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side

Raymond Bial

Life on the Lower East Side was bustling. Immigrants from many European countries had come to make a better life for themselves and their families in the United States. But the wages they earned were so low that they could afford only the most basic accommodations — tenements.

Unfortunately, there were few laws protecting the residents of tenements, and landlords took advantage of this by allowing the buildings to become cramped and squalid. There was little the tenants could do; their only other choice was the street.

Though most immigrants struggled in these buildings, many overcame a difficult start and saw generations after them move on to better apartments, homes, and lives. Raymond Bial reveals the first, challenging step in this process as he leads us on a tour of the sights and sounds of the Lower East Side, guiding us through the dark hallways, staircases, and rooms of the tenements.

Book:To Fly

To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers

Wendie Old, Robert Andrew Parker

Orville and Wilbur Wright were a fascinating pair. Not only did they invent, build, and fly the first airplane, they were also idiosyncratic individuals who had a unique relationship, sharing a home, a bank account, and a business throughout their lives. Their story is portrayed here in brief, accessible chapters, beginning with their childhood fascination with flight and love of problem solving, then detailing their early experiments and dangerous trial runs in North Carolina, and ending with their successful flights of 1903. This well-researched and personable biography is illustrated with elegant watercolors by flight enthusiast and noted artist Robert Andrew Parker, and will be published just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers” first flight.

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