The 2009 Pannell Awards have been announced. In the children's specialty category, the winner is Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in LaVerne, Calif. In the general bookstore category, the winner is Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, with honorable mention going to That Bookstore in Blytheville, in Blytheville, Ark. The awards go to two bookstores that excel in contributing to their communities in ways that bring books and young people together.

The five-member jury commented the innovative ways that the winners — and all the entrants — are reaching young readers despite shrinking budgets and resources.Joseph-Beth’s citywide reading project, Small Fries: A Kids’ Cookbook with sales benefiting a children’s hospital, was singled out as an illustration of what can be accomplished without a lot of funds, and the store's Reading Reindeer gift tree was commended as well. Mrs. Nelson’s Young Authors contest and use of outside venues, such as libraries and churches, to reach more children were considered noteworthy at a time when many such programs are being eliminated. And That Bookstore in Blytheville was applauded for its Head Start classroom reading program, as well as its variety of programs in the community.

The Lucile Micheels Pannell Award has been given annually since 1983 by the Women’s National Book Association. Each winning store will receive a check for $1,000 and framed original art donated this year by Barry Moser and Anna Dewdney. The awards will be presented on May 29 during the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast at BEA.