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How the West Was Read

Biding my time and waiting for the BookExpo bloggers begin their reports, I caught up with April's Western Heritage Awards. (A photograph in PW DailyPublishers Weekly's daily e-mail, prompted me.) Sponsored by Oklahoma City's National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the prizes were launched thirty-six years ago "because the stories of the West needed to be preserved." There are categories for film and TV (nope, no award to "Brokeback Mountain"), magazine articles, music, and more.

The 2006 juvenile book award went to Westward Ho! Eleven Explorers of the American West, by Charlotte Foltz Jones. Past winners include The Good Rainbow Road, by Simon Ortiz (2005), and The Long Way West, by Hershell H. Nixon (2004). The Jones and Nixon books are geared toward readers aged 10 and up, while Ortiz's book appears to be for somewhat younger children.

Memorial Day Weekend brings a chuck wagon and cowboy celebration to the OKC museum. Wish we could go...


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