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Sunday, January 5, 2020


The winners of the most recent National Book awards for were announced on November 20 at ceremony in New York City at Cipriani Wall Street restaurant.  Today’s post offers an excerpt of winning non-fiction for youth: 1919 The Year That Changed America by Martin Sandler.

1919 was a world-shaking year. America was recovering from World War I and black soldiers returned to racism so violent that that summer would become known as the Red Summer. The suffrage movement had a long-fought win when women gained the right to vote. Laborers took to the streets to protest working conditions; nationalistic fervor led to a communism scare; and temperance gained such traction that prohibition went into effect. Each of these movements reached a tipping point that year.

Now, one hundred years later, these same social issues are more relevant than ever. Sandler traces the momentum and setbacks of these movements through this last century, showing that progress isn’t always a straight line and offering a unique lens through which we can understand history and the change many still seek.

The Author:
Martin W. Sandler is the award–winning author of Imprisoned, Lincoln Through the Lens, The Dust Bowl Through the Lens, Kennedy Through the Lens, and How the Beatles Changed the World. He has won five Emmy Awards for his writing for television and is the author of more than 60 books, four of which were YALSA Nonfiction Award finalists.

Judges’ Citation:
Martin W. Sandler’s riveting work of nonfiction, 1919 The Year That Changed America, focuses on one year of turbulence and its far-reaching aftermath. Sandler’s evocative language brings 1919 to life for young readers, showing us the impact of that crucial year on major issues like race relations, women’s rights, and climate change. This carefully researched and curated work strikingly demonstrates the interconnected nature of history–as it happens and its rippling consequences for years to come.

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