Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature

2016 Winner
Gordon Korman

Photo Credit: Owen Kassimir

   Gordon Korman is being recognized for writing more than 80 books for children and teens during a publishing career that started when he was 12-years-old.  In a career spanning nearly four decades, his books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have sold more than 25-million copies.  In 1981 he was awarded the Most Promising Writer Under 35 by the Canadian Authors’ Association.  His latest book, “Masterminds,” was released in 2015 and is the first in a new trilogy he is writing.

   For his 7th-grade creative writing project, Korman spent one class period a day for four months writing what would become his first published novel, “This Can’t Be Happening at McDonald Hall.”

   As the class monitor for Scholastic Book Orders, he had a contact name and address for one of the largest publishers in the industry, Scholastic.  He sent his manuscript off and by his freshman year was a published Scholastic author.

  “It was a totally flukey and random way to launch a publishing career, but here’s the thing: It Worked,” recalled Korman on his website.

   He is the New York Times bestselling author of three books in “The 39 Clues” series as well as five books in his “Swindle” series.  He also has written the trilogies “Island,” “Everest,” “Kidnapped,” and “Titanic” as well as the series “On The Run.”

   In 2013, Nickelodeon produced an original movie based on Korman’s book “Swindle,” the first book in the series.  After accidentally selling a valuable multi-million dollar baseball card, a high school student enlists the help of his trusted friends to retrieve the baseball card from an unscrupulous collectible dealer.

Past Winners

Anne V. Zarrow

Anne V. ZarrowOnce 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 Award

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.

Tulsa Library Trust