Monica Brown, associate professor of English and co-chair of the Commission for Ethnic Diversity, has been awarded the Américas Books Award for Children’s Literature for her picture book, My Name Is Celia/Me Llamo Celia, illustrated by Rafael López.

“I’m thrilled,” Brown said.

The Américas Award recognizes U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected nonfiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs.

The award winners and commended titles are selected for their 1) distinctive literary quality; 2) cultural contextualization; 3) exceptional integration of text, illustration and design; and 4) potential for classroom use. The winning 2005 books will be honored at a ceremony during fall 2006 at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.