By now you all know about my Newbery quest and how excited I get when the ALA Awards are announced, and while I don’t have goals that involve any other award-winning books, I still like to take a look at some of those titles every year. One of my favorite other winners this year was Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, which was both a Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Book and a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. (Googling those awards will get you a more concise description of them than my tired brain can currently provide.) It gives a picture book view of the mid-1940s legal battle that ended segregation in California; I was fascinated in part because of the differences between how segregation ended there and how it ended in the south, and in part because I didn’t know there was segregation in California. (It isn’t that I necessarily assumed there wasn’t, you understand, but I grew up on the East coast. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about schooling in California.) Interestingly enough, my five-year-old is also a fan, although I would say she’s a bit younger than the ideal target audience. She wanted me to read it to her again today, and so I obliged at bedtime, when her eight-year-old sister was there as well. She is a born artist, and so pointed out to me that the illustrations incorporate pictures of real things (as in, the jeans one of the workers wears are an outline filled with an actual picture of denim, and I hope this makes sense to you, because I was up too many times last night to find a better way to word it). Both of my girls thought that was really cool. And so, whether you are looking for creative illustrations or a fascinating true story, this book is well worth your time.