Trouble Don't Last by Shelley Pearsall (Knopf) has won the 2003 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. This debut novel tells the story of Samuel, an 11-year-old slave, who travels via the Underground Railroad, in hopes of freedom. Established in 1984 by writer O'Dell, who died in 1989, the award is given to a children's or young adult book of historical fiction, published in English by a U.S. publisher, and set in the Americas. Pearsall will receive $5,000 as part of the prize.
The 2003 recipient of the Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book is Holly Keller for Farfallina & Marcel (Greenwillow). The award, now in its sixth year, honors the work of Charlotte Zolotow, who was a distinguished editor with Harper Junior Books for 38 years. The First Thing My Mama Told Me by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Christine Davenier, (Harcourt) was named an Honor Book.