Awards Given for Sustainable Literature

Last weekend's small drops of rain gently accompanied the 2008 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Awards ceremony in the gorgeous but intimate Martin Luther King Jr. auditorium of the Santa Monica Public Library.

Out of 50 submissions eight authors were chosen as winners within eight categories. Paul Hawken was the first awarded author in the Adult Nonfiction section, for the "Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming" book. Hawken's book is fruit of a decade and over researching organizations dedicated to the restoring of the environment and fostering social justice.

The environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist and best selling-author weren't present at the ceremony but in a short letter he expressed his thoughts and appreciation for the award. "The green prize awards represent an expansion sense of what constitutes a literate world. Transforming minds is what libraries and books are all about" said Hawken.

Amelia Saltsman delivered a wonderful speech after being awarded in the Adult Local Impact section for her "The Santa Monica's Farmers' Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes and Stories from the Market and Farm" book. Short of stature with a very intriguing mind she let the audience into her little secret: "A lot of my book was written in this library. I have the most respect for this institution," said Saltsman.

The book encourages and educates people to shop, cook, and eat healthy seasonal foods locally grown supporting Santa Monica's economy. "I've talked to people from different parts of the world to get to know our local market. They're learning how to take our story and apply it to their area. I knew that our market had a universal story to tell," Saltsman said proudly. Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" was awarded in The Adult Honorable Mention section. In a short letter she expressed a combination of feelings for the book and award just won.

"Sustainable to me invokes an image of many hands together moving something forward," wrote Kingsolver. Her book mirrors Saltsman's message of today's local consumer involvement within a new innovative way of guided living, to cook and enjoy seasonal foods.

The Youth section awards freshly relieved the audience with a message of simple hope of educating today's youth to make better decisions for the health of our environment. Jean Davis Okimoto was awarded in the Youth Honorable Mention section and she has one desire "to encourage the relationship to save our planet" wrote Okimoto in her letter to the audience.

Laurie David and Cambria Gordon won in the Youth Local Impact section with their Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming book, a guide intended for children but recommended for most adults.

"We want to educate the kids so they can then teach their parents" said the authors. Youth Picture Book winner Henry Cole also inspires positive change as well through the "On Meadow Street" children's book about a young girl who transforms her suburban backyard into a gleaming ecosystem.

Cole had a very important message to Santa Monica Library's audience "I hope you all go home today and plant a tree in your yards" wrote Cole.

The ceremony closed as Theodore Seuss Geisel, "Dr. Seuss" won the Pioneer Award for his children's book "The Lorax" and delivered the book's message through the screening of The Lorax cartoon.

An inspiring but drastic story whom took the audience back to the joy's of childhood, innocence and how our today's choices might affect in a very near future the reality of our happiness.