Blue Balliett Awarded 2004 Chicago Tribune Prize

Blue Balliett has been named the recipient of the 2004 Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction for her debut children's novel, Chasing Vermeer. Balliett will receive her award at the Chicago Humanities Festival this fall, where the Tribune also will present the Chicago Tribune Prize for Literary Achievement, the Heartland Prizes for fiction and non-fiction, and the Nelson Algren Awards for previously unpublished short fiction.

A native New Yorker, Balliett now makes her home in Chicago, where she spent more than 10 years as a teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory School, a setting in Chasing Vermeer.

"This is a book that respects kids and their ideas. And in that regard, it places Chasing Vermeer in the tradition of classic favorites fondly recalled from our own childhoods," said Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune literary editor.

The Chicago Tribune established the Prize for Young Adult Fiction in 2002 to honor a writer whose work has special resonance with adolescents -- those between 12 and 18 -- and speaks to their role and significance in society. Lois Lowry (2003), author of The Silent Boy, and Richard Peck (2002), author of Fair Weather, are previous recipients.

Posted on July 23, 2004

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