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By Jeannine Lackey Laughlin, Sherry Laughlin

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The twenty-first recipient of the USM Medallion was Lee Bennett Hopkins. As a child, Hopkins had little time for reading. He developed a love for reading and poetry only after he became a teacher. During his career, Hopkins has edited more than fifty highly acclaimed poetry anthologies. It was from one of these collections, Side by Side, that Hopkins selected an original illustration by Hilary Knight to appear on his 1989 medallion. Also the author of several professional books, Hopkins is a curriculum specialist who is in great demand as a leader of workshops for children and adults.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that children's literature may play a more prominent part in many people's lives than adult literature ever will and that encounters with books in childhood may prove a vital formative influence upon the developing personality. The study of such books may offer fewer opportunities for academic pyrotechnics, but it requires the recognition of a complex web of relationships, involving not merely questions of literary technique and influence, but also questions of a society's view of its children and of the value which social institutions may place upon books and reading.

Fuller, Muriel, ed. More Junior Authors. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1963. Holtze, Sally Holmes, ed. Fifth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1983. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Books Are By People: Interviews with 104 Authors and Illustrators of Books for Young Children. New York: Citation, 1969. Kingman, Lee; Foster, Joanna; and Lontoft, Ruth Giles. Illustrators of Children's Books, 19571966. Boston: Horn Book, 1968. ; and Haycroft, Howard. The Junior Book of Authors. , rev.

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