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Virginia M. Law Award

The Virginia M. Law Award for the Most Distinguished Book for Young Adults on Texas History, endowed by Mrs. Law's daughter, Nancy M. Law, and sponsored by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, is given annually to the author/illustrator of the most distinguished book for young adults, grades 7-12, that accurately portrays the history of Texas, whether fiction or nonfiction.

Mrs. Law, for whom the award is named, was an active member of the Alamo Mission Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas; an enthusiastic supporter of the purposes and efforts of the DRT; and a strong proponent of education.

2014 Virginia M. Law Award Guidelines

 

2010 & 2011 Recipients

The 2010 & 2011 Virginia M. Law Award for the Most Distinguished Book for Young Adults on Texas History were not awarded.

2009 Recipient

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee is pleased to announce that the 2009 Virginia M. Law Award for the Most Distinguished Book for Young Adults on Texas History is awarded to Jacqueline Kelly for her book The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, published in 2009 by the Henry Holt and Company, New York.

The announcement was made Friday evening, May 14, 2010, by Mrs. Elaine Milam Vetter, Chairman of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee, at the 119th Annual Convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. 

A three-member panel of judges comprised of historians, educators, and librarians evaluated the Law Award entries. The 2009 committee included its chairman Dr. Barbara Immroth, professor in the School of Information, the University of Texas at Austin, and committee members Dr. Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children's Services, San Antonio Public Library, and Mrs. Amy Carter, English Department Instructional Facilitator, Floresville High School, Floresville, Texas.

In the book, eleven-year-old Caplurnia Tate has an innate talent as a naturalist that is recognized and nurtured by her brusque Granddaddy.  In 1899 on the family plantation in Caldwell County, Callie’s mother insists on ladylike behavior, piano lessons and housekeeping skills; Grandaddy and Callie have other plans.  The committee noted that Kelly’s carefully detailed text explores the Tate’s lively, but structured, family life, the reserved warmth of an intergenerational relationship and the evolutionary nature of scientific investigation.


2008 Recipient


Helen Hemphill (left), winner of the 2008 Virginia M. Law Award, and Connie Impelman, DRT Library Committee Chairman.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee is pleased to announce the 2008 Virginia M. Law Award for the most distinguished book for young adults on Texas history is awarded to author Helen Hemphill for The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones, published in 2008 by Front Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The announcement was made Friday evening, May 15, 2009, by Connie Impelman, Chairman of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee, at the 118th Annual Convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, in Killeen, Texas.

A three-member panel of judges comprised of historians, educators, and librarians evaluated the Law Award entries. The 2008 committee included its chairman Dr. Barbara Immroth, professor in the School of Information, the University of Texas at Austin, and committee members Dr. Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children's Services, San Antonio Public Library, and Linda Plevak, Adjunct Librarian, Northeast Lakeview College, Universal City, Texas.

Thirteen-year-old Prometheus Jones wins a horse with a raffle ticket he earned by breaking Tennessee Colonel Dill's filly. When Dill's sons, Pernie Boyd and LaRue, try to cheat him out of the prize horse, Prometheus sets off for Texas with his eleven-year-old cousin, Omar. The African American boys find work with a Texas cattle drive and encounter thundering stampedes, raging rivers, and natives, both friendly and hostile. While learning cowboy ways, Omar dreams of striking it rich in Deadwood and Prometheus longs to meet his father, purported to live in Texas.

The lively dialogue and authentic characters make this an appealing adventure story for middle school readers. Creative teachers of Texas history will find this a compelling read aloud.

 

 

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