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The John and Patricia Beatty Award
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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 and California Young Reader Award (CYRM) breakfast at the CLA annual conference. The literary breakfast 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

2020 Submission Information

2020 Beatty Committee


2019 Beatty Award Recipient

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award.

High school junior Clara Shin prefers not to care about anything too deeply, but when her flippant attitude lands her in trouble at school, her dad cancels her summer plans to escape Los Angeles and declares that she’s working in his Korean-Brazilian fusion food truck instead. Adding to Clara’s misery, she’ll be toiling alongside her worst enemy: the ever-so-perfect Rose who takes everything seriously-- and she can’t seem to drive away an adorably sincere boy named Hamlet, who keeps popping up at the food truck with sweet gestures. Though loathe to admit it, Clara soon finds her carefully cultivated facade crumbling as she discovers that it might not be so bad to care, and maybe she doesn’t have to leave home to find fulfillment.

Clara’s journey to self-realization is set against the backdrop of Los Angeles, and it feels a love letter to this beautifully imperfect place. So often characterized with plastic glitz and surface-level glam, Los Angeles is shown here as a city alive with layers of history and rich in cultural diversity, where a person can let themselves be vulnerable, forge real connections, and find their authentic self.  “When you saw the city like this, everything inside you slowed down.  Relaxed.  It wasn’t that LA was perfect, or some immigrant utopia.  Like other good things in the world, it was deeply flawed, and on some days you sat parked on the 110 surrounded by buildings you couldn’t see because of the smog, and you hated it here.  It could be relentless and lonely…  And I related, deeply, to a home that was a little messed up, but ever-evolving.”  As Clara goes from blasé to genuine, embracing both the flaws and the possibilities in this iconic Californian city is an essential part of her growth.

When Maurene heard of her award she said, “When I think of California, my native state and my home, I think of the immigrant families who helped build it. The Way You Make Me Feel is a love letter to my state, my city of Los Angeles, and to everyone who treks out to this beautiful place to forge a life. I am incredibly honored that a book so close to my heart has been bestowed this award by California libraries—spaces where I became a reader and eventually a writer. Thank you so much to the 2019 Beatty Committee for the incredible honor.”

Maurene Goo is the author of several acclaimed books for young adults, including I Believe in a Thing Called Love and Since You Asked.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and cat, Maeby.

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 July 2018, 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 2017) (XLS, 466 KB)

Eureka! California in Children's Literature bibliography (through 2017) (PDF, 607 KB)

2020 Award Submission Information

The 2020 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 2019, set in California, and highlight California's cultural heritage or future. The 2020 recipient will be announced during National Library Week, April 19-25, 2020, 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, 2020, to:

Allison Tran, 2020 CLA Beatty Award Chair
Mission Viejo Library
100 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

2020 - 2021 Award Committee

  • Jason Daly, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library
  • Jennifer Driscoll, Pasadena Public Library
  • Valentine Llort, Rancho Mirage Public Library
  • Krista Riggs, Fresno County Public Library
  • Shawn Thrasher, Ontario City Library
  • Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library (Chair)