Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature

2018 Winner
Pam Muñoz Ryan

Laurie Halse Anderson


Ryan is being recognized for writing more than 40 books the inspire imaginations, dreams and pride in all ages. From picture books, early readers and young adult novels, her writing encourages cultural awareness and the importance of believing in yourself. 

Ryan began her career as a bilingual Head Start teacher and director for an early childhood program.  Working on her master's degree in Post-secondary Education at San Diego State University, a professor encouraged Ryan to pursue a career in professional writing.

She remembers after numerous submissions to publishers, "There were so many rejections that, at the time, it would have been painful to count," she finally broke through in 1994. One Hundred Is a Family was published and began a career that has spanned nearly 25 years and with more than 40 published books.

Echo, an original fairytale intertwined with historical fiction, was the recipient of the Kirkus Prize and also received the 2016 Newberry Honor.

The American Library Association has recognized her twice as the best Latina author with the Pura Belpre Medal for Esperanza Rising (2002) and The Dreamer (2011).  Presented annually, the award is named after Pura Belpre, the first Latina librarian at the New Your Public Library.

She has also written five Tony Baloney books popular with early readers.  The series follows Tony, a macaroni penguin, who loves humor and, as a middle sibling, is a bit mischievous.


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