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Sharon G. Flake Awarded 2017 Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children’s Literature Citation

November 28, 2017

Author Sharon G. Flake was recently awarded the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children’s Literature Citation at this year’s Pennsylvania Library Association Conference. Established in 1963, the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children’s Literature Citation is awarded to authors, illustrators, publishers, and others who have made outstanding contributions to the field of children’s literature. The recipient must hail from Philadelphia or have contributed significantly to literature for children in the Philadelphia area.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ms. Flake is a long-time resident of Pittsburgh where she earned a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and now works full-time as an author. Her debut novel, The Skin I’m In, received multiple awards including the 1999 Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award for New Talent when it was first published. Since then, Ms. Flake has published ten novels and story collections and has received multiple awards and honors recognizing her contributions to children’s and young adult literature. Ms. Flake was selected as this year's citation recipient for writing stories that celebrate the vibrant realities of urban life and for sharing her journey as a writer for young readers through school and library visits, lectures, and book fairs. 

Ms. Flake continues to utilize her platform to unite people from diverse backgrounds and promote understanding through shared narratives and storytelling. Flake’s coming-of-age novels and short stories deal with the struggles of teenagers and young people of color and have received acclaim for their authentic and urgent portrayals of complex issues.