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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, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, 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

2014 Beatty Committee

Submission information

Author H. Joseph Hopkins

Illustrator Jill McElmurry
2014 Beatty Award Recipient

The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins (author) and Jill McElmurry (illustrator), and published by Beach Lane Books in 2013, has been selected by the California Library Association to receive its prestigious Beatty Award.

Hopkins’ and McElmurry’s vivid book tells the story of pioneer and activist, Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens.

Thank you, California librarians, for honoring The Tree Lady,” said Hopkins. “Your award is a grand tribute to Kate Sessions’ legacy and to the book artists who made Kate’s story into a fine work of art.”

Jill McElmurry said, “Three generations of my family considered themselves Californians. As a Californian at heart, I’m proud and happy to receive this award.”

Hopkins and McElmurry will be honored at the Beatty Award Luncheon on Saturday, November 7, 2014, during the CLA annual conference in Oakland, CA.

CLA is delighted to honor this lovely book that tells the story of a determined California scientist who followed her heart to make San Diego a more beautiful place,” said CLA President Deborah Doyle.

H. Joseph Hopkins (author) lives in Oregon, on a houseboat. Jill McElmurry (illustrator) lives with her husband, dog, and apple, peach, pear, and fig trees in New Mexico.

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

2014 Beatty Award Committee

  • Diane Bartlett, Stanislaus County Library (Chair)
  • Odette Batis, retired children's librarian
  • Berta Boegel, Sacramento Public Library
  • Sarah Mae Harper, County of Los Angeles Public Library
  • Rene Hohls, Ventura County Office of Education
  • Ashley Kagan, Palos Verdes Library District
  • Edwin Rodarte, Los Angeles Public Library

2015 Award Submission Information

The 2015 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 2014, set in California, and highlight California's cultural heritage or future. The 201 5 recipient will be announced during National Library Week,April 12-18, 2015, 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, 2015, to:

Ashley Kagan, 2015 CLA Beatty Award Chair
Palos Verdes Library District 
701 Silver Spur Rd. 
Rolling Hills Estates, CA


Jill McElmurray photo credit: Jill McElmurray