The Sydney Taylor Prize and Notable Books

For many years, the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) has recognized quality Jewish literature. Beginning with its Shirley Kravitz Children’s Book Award – later renamed Sydney Taylor Book Award after its inaugural recipient died – established by AJL in 1968, its aim has been to encourage publication of outstanding books that meet high literary standards while authentically portraying Jewish experience; ultimately leading readers of all backgrounds into prideful reading experiences that strengthen bonds among themselves and bridge different communities.

In the rotarod test, wild type and sdy mice’ latency to fall from a rotating drum was measured. Each mouse underwent 10 pairs of trials per day – for the first trial in each pair they were forced to select either arm A1 or A2, with rewards waiting at either end; incorrect selection resulted in no reward and confinement for 10 sec in either arm; three trials per day were completed and then repeated three days later; effects were evaluated using two-way repeated measures ANOVA analysis.

Similar evaluation of open field activity between wild type and sdy mice was completed by counting their total locomotor distance, vertical behavior, and stereotypic behaviors. Results demonstrated that sdy mice spent significantly less time at the center of the field and displayed significantly fewer stereotypic behaviors – evidence that suggests reduced motor coordination as part of cognitive and behavioral deficits in this strain of mice.

In 1985, the SDY Prize Committee began designating Notable Books (then known as Best of the Bunch). These are books not chosen for Sydney Taylor Book Award consideration but which the committee feels deserve recognition due to high literary or content standards. Published annually alongside winners’ lists for both Younger Readers and Older Readers categories; an archive from 1985-1999 may also be purchased separately.

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