MINNEAPOLIS--(No Crystal Stair, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, and published in 2012 by Carolrhoda Lab™—a line of distinctive fiction for young adults from Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group—has been named an American Library Association (ALA) Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book. The Coretta Scott King Book Award is given annually to an African American author and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions. The ALA awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.)--
“Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s intensely researched text and R. Gregory Christie’s engrossing artwork pair perfectly to portray the life of Lewis Michaux”
In No Crystal Stair—A documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller—Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson combines meticulous research, historical documentations, and a storyteller's flair to authenticate the life and times of her great-uncle Lewis Michaux, an extraordinary literacy pioneer of the Civil Rights era.
Lewis Michaux was born to do things his own way. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because "Negroes don’t read," Lewis took five books and one hundred dollars and built a bookstore. It soon became the intellectual center of Harlem, a refuge for everyone from the neighborhood’s youth to artists to black leaders W. E. B. DuBois, Muhammad Ali, and Malcolm X.
To write No Crystal Stair, Nelson spent years researching Lewis Michaux's life. She conducted interviews, sifted through library collections, examined family archives, and interviewed those who knew Michaux. In the end though, the man's full story (and even his date of birth) remained elusive. Only the tools of fiction could make a complete portrait.
“After winning the Coretta Scott King Award for Bad News for Outlaws, we already knew that Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s beautifully crafted words and R. Gregory Christie’s stunning artwork were a perfect combination,” said Andrew Karre, editorial director of Carolrhoda Lab. “No Crystal Stair was a very personal and important project that Vaunda had spent decades researching. I’m extremely pleased with the finished story, and I’d like to think we made Lewis Michaux proud.”
“Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s intensely researched text and R. Gregory Christie’s engrossing artwork pair perfectly to portray the life of Lewis Michaux,” said Adam Lerner, Lerner Publishing Group president and publisher. “We are thrilled that the Coretta Scott King Award committee fell in love with No Crystal Stair and Vaunda’s work as much as we did.”
About Carolrhoda Lab™
Carolrhoda Lab™ is dedicated to distinctive, provocative, boundary-pushing fiction for teens and their sympathizers. Carolrhoda Lab probes and examines the young-adult condition one novel at a time, affording YA authors and readers an opportunity to explore and experiment with thoughts, ideas, and paradigms in the human condition. Adolescence is an experience we share and a condition from which some of us never quite recover. All of us at Carolrhoda Lab are proud to proclaim our lifelong adolescence and our commitment to publishing exceptional fiction about the teenage experience.
Carolrhoda Books is a division of Lerner Publishing Group, which creates high-quality fiction and nonfiction titles for children and young adults. For more information, visit www.lernerbooks.com or call 800-328-4929.