Evelyn Thurman Award

The Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award is given to honor the memory of former WKU librarian, Evelyn Thurman, who made significant contributions to children’s librarianship and literacy during her 25 years of service. The 2015 Award Winner was Alecia Whitaker, for her book Wildflower.  The 2016 winner is Amanda Driscoll, for her book Duncan the Story Dragon.

Driscoll wrote and illustrated Duncan the Story Dragon, which stars a charming fire-breathing dragon named Duncan who loves to read. According to Driscoll’s website, his imagination catches fire, but so does his book!

Kirkus Reviews said “vivid colors, expressive faces, and comic details make this one likely to be a storytime hit. Like the last sip of a chocolate milkshake, it’s very satisfying.”

“Readers will enjoy the sweet story and whimsical illustrations as Duncan the Story Dragon finally figures out the ending to his story,” said Renee Hale, selection committee member and school media librarian at Drakes Creek Middle School.

About the Author

Amanda Driscoll was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She worked as a graphic designer in the corporate marketing departments of Humana and Providian, and directed art at a Louisville ad agency. She has been with her own company, Driscoll Creative, since 1997. After having children, Driscoll rediscovered her love of picture books, finding her true passion. Duncan the Story Dragon was her debut picture book, released in June 2015. 

The author will be honored at an awards luncheon in November. While in the area, Driscoll will visit local schools, reinforcing the importance of reading, writing and the value of books.

This program is made possible by the Evelyn Thurman Children’s Author Fund, the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership, and Friends of WKU Libraries.

Eligibility Requirements

Books eligible for the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award fall into two categories, to be awarded on alternating years: picture books and chapter books. Books must be:

  • written or illustrated by a Kentucky author or illustrator, OR
  • have a significant Kentucky-related theme.

A Kentucky author or illustrator is defined as an author/illustrator meeting one or more of the following qualifications:

  • a native-born Kentuckian;
  • an author/illustrator living in Kentucky;
  • an author/illustrator whose permanent home address is Kentucky but who does not at present live in Kentucky.

The winner(s) will be invited to WKU to speak to area school children and participate in an award ceremony, where they will receive a monetary prize and commemorative plaque at a reception.

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