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The John and Patricia Beatty Award
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Current award recipient | Past award recipients

The John and Patricia Beatty Award

The California Library Association's John and Patricia Beatty Award honors the author of a distinguished book for children or young adults that best promotes an awareness of California and its people.

A committee of CLA members selects the winning title from books published in the United States during the preceding year. Patricia Beatty donated the initial cash endowment for the Award which now honors both her husband, John Beatty, who served as professor of English history and humanities at the University of California at Riverside prior to his death in 1975, and Patricia herself who died in 1991. Together the Beattys wrote eleven books of fiction for young readers; Patricia Beatty wrote numerous other books for young people, of which many have California or western settings.

It was Patricia Beatty's hope that the award will encourage the writing of quality children's books that bring us an awareness of California, its heritage or its future. The Beatty Award Medal was designed by Miyo LeFever.

The prize of $500 and an engraved plaque are presented to the recipient during the CLA Beatty Award/California Young Reader Award (CYRM) luncheon. The luncheon also provides the author with a forum to speak about his/her book and provides an opportunity for attendees to meet the author during a book signing.

Eureka! Bibliography

2015 Beatty Committee

Submission information

2015 Beatty Award Recipient

Katherine Roy has been selected as the winner of the California Library Association’s Annual John and Patricia Beatty Award, for her book Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands, published by David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook Press.

Set in the Farallon Islands, just 30 miles from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Neighborhood Sharks vividly recounts a day in the life of the Pacific Ocean’s most feared predator.  Moving beyond the familiar story of predator v. prey, Ms. Roy presents an innovative and captivating view of the great white shark, at once making the science more accessible and bringing the study of this subject to life for young readers.  As an artist/illustrator. Ms. Roy created the illustrations and diagrams in watercolors, that provide an intriguing glimpse into the great white’s anatomy, habits, and crucial role in California’s ecosystem.  The author researched for Neighborhood Sharks while “on location” in the Farallons, with the scientists who study this unique and often misunderstood animal.  This book is an exciting and absorbing read for students of a broad range of levels and ages.  

Katherine Roy is an author and illustrator who loves teaching, traveling, and big adventures.  She is fascinated by the web of life, and her stories reflect and explore the beauty of the natural world and the intricate relationships between creatures large and small.  Originally from California, Ms. Roy now lives in New York City. 

The 2015 Beatty Award was judged by a committee of seven librarians, confirmed by the President of the California Library Association, Robert Karatsu, to reflect state-wide representation.  Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands was selected following careful consideration of all eligible books published in 2014.  

Eureka! Bibliography 

First presented in 1989 for a book published in 1988, the John and Patricia Beatty Award winner is announced each year during National Library Week and though only one book is selected for the Beatty Award, all other books are evaluated for possible inclusion in the “Eureka! California in Children's Literature” bibliography.

A compilation of the work from over twenty years of Beatty Award committees, “Eureka! California in Children's Literature” is a bibliography of noteworthy children's and young adult books set in California and highlighting California history and culture. Critical annotations describe each title, and estimated grade levels are also included. Titles are organized into two categories, fiction and non-fiction, and within each category, by author.

In October 2012, the current list was updated and titles no longer in print are indicated by a print status of [OP]. Publishers listed are in all cases the original publishers, although some of the original editions have been supplemented and/or replaced by paperback editions.

The Beatty Award Committee members, both past and present, hope that this list will be useful and will lead to further discoveries about California, as well as to an appreciation for Patricia Beatty that includes not only her own and her husband's novels, but her love of the state that inspired so many of their works.

Eureka! California Children's Literature bibliography: sortable file (XLS, 409 KB). Prepared by Kristin Lane, Upland Unified School District -- Upland Junior High School

Eureka! California in Children's Literature bibliography. (PDF, 604 KB)

2012 Annotations

2016 Beatty Award Committee 

  • Myleen DeJesus, Santa Monica Public Library
  • Anjelique Granados, County of Los Angeles Public Library
  • Darcel Jones, Oakland Public Library- Eastmont Branch
  • Jeanne O’Grady, Santa Cruz Public Library
  • Joy Sage, Cal State University Fullerton- Pollak Library
  • Susie Serrano, Butte County Library- Paradise Branch
  • Sarah Mae Harper, Committee Chair, County of Los Angeles Public Library

2016 Award Submission Information

The 2016 Beatty Committee has begun its search for this year's award recipient. We need your help to find those children's and young adult books that are published in 2015, set in California, and highlight California's cultural heritage or future. The 2016 recipient will be announced during National Library Week, April 10-16, 2016, so please send title suggestions and books for review (copies for all committee members if possible, please) as soon as possible and no later than January 31, 2016, to:

Sarah Mae Harper, 2016 CLA Beatty Award Chair
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
17906 S Avalon Blvd.
Carson, CA 90746 

2017 Award Committee

  • Tiffany Bronzan, Committee Chair, Sonoma County Library
  • Mary Dubbs, Oakland Public Library
  • Dora Ho, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Kate Hug, Oakland Public Library
  • Rachel Kitzmann, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Alana LaBeaf, Long Beach Public Library
  • Michelle Meades, Yorba Linda Public Library
  • Cassandra Stearns, Altadena Library District
  • Cailin Yeager, Sonoma County Library


Tiffany Bronzan
Sonoma County Library

Jill McElmurray photo credit: Jill McElmurray