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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

2017 Submission Information

2017 Beatty Committee


2016 Beatty Award Recipient

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray written by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Tucker Nichols, and published by McSweeney’s  has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award.

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray tells the story of how the Golden Gate Bridge came to be its distinctive orange color with simple text and vibrant cut paper artwork.

Mr. Eggers said, "Tucker and I are so grateful to be recognized with the John and Patricia Beatty Award. We’re thrilled to be in the august company of previous winners, and even more pleased to know this award is chosen by a committee of our favorite people, librarians."

Dave Eggers is the author of many books, including The Circle and A Hologram for the King. He is the cofounder of: Voice of Witness, an oral-history series focused on human-rights crises; 826 National, a network of writing and tutoring centers; and ScholarMatch, which connects donors and under-resourced students to make college possible. As a longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s seen the Golden Gate Bridge just about every day for 20 years. Tucker Nichols is an artist whose work has been featured in many museums, galleries and publications. He is the co-author, with his brother Jon Nichols, of the children’s book Crabtree. He also lives and works near the Golden Gate Bridge.   

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 August 2016, 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 (through 2015) (XLS, 462 KB). Prepared by Sarah Mae Harper, County of Los Angeles Public Library

Eureka! California in Children's Literature bibliography.  (through 2015) (PDF, 527 KB)


2017 Award Submission Information

The 2017 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 2016, set in California, and highlight California's cultural heritage or future. The 2017 recipient will be announced during National Library Week, April 9-15, 2017, 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, 2017, to:

Tiffany Bronzan, 2017 CLA Beatty Award Chair
Sonoma County Library
9291 Old Redwood Highway, Building 100
Windsor, CA 95492

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, Glendale Public Library
  • Cassandra Stearns,Burbank Public Library
  • Cailin Yeager, Sonoma County Library


Jill McElmurray photo credit: Jill McElmurray