Jack Gantos is being recognized for writing more than 40 books for children, teens and adults, many of which were recognized with distinguished national awards. In 2012, he received the John Newbery Medal for his book “Dead End In Norvelt.” His 2002 memoir, “Hole In My Life,” won Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors. He also is widely known for the “Rotten Ralph,” “Jack Henry” and “Joey Pigza” series.
Once upon a time, there lived a young girl named Broomstick Annie who wore bright-colored ribbons in her hair.
The story of Anne V. Zarrow’s life reads much like a children’s fairy tale. From the day she was born in 1915 to a poor immigrant family in Ohio and nicknamed “Broomstick Annie,” to her marriage to her beloved husband, Henry, Anne gave of herself. Whether it was hosting a local charity dinner or giving the coat off her back, Anne did so with sincerity and style.
As one of Tulsa’s most prominent business leaders, Henry Zarrow found it difficult to deny his wife her every good deed, especially when it came to books and children. Together they established an endowment in the Tulsa Library Trust to fund The Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature. The award allows the library to bring to Tulsa each year a famous children’s author. This celebration of reading and writing also gives children all over Tulsa County an opportunity to meet and talk with an author they’ve only read about in books.
And to make sure there are plenty of books to read, upon Anne’s death in 2000, the Zarrow family chose to remember her with the Anne V. Zarrow Library Books for Children’s Fund with a $125,000 challenge grant. Each year, this endowment pays for hundreds of new children’s books to put on the library shelves.
With all fairy tales, there are happy endings. You have only to look at the list of award winners for inspiration to see how the childhood dreams of just one girl named “Broomstick Annie” now introduces the minds of hundreds of young readers and writers to a world of possibilities, of imagination and creativity.
The Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature was inaugurated in 1991 and is given annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. In 1992, it was permanently named in honor of Anne V. Zarrow. Its purpose is to give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to nationally acclaimed authors who have made a significant contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults.