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Celebrating Deborah Bruss and David Elliott - Elizabeth Yates Award Winners

In September 2023, the Concord Public Library Foundation and friends gathered to celebrate two local champions for children's literacy: authors Deborah Bruss and David Elliott. They each received the Elizabeth Yates Award, given annually to a resident of the greater Concord area who is actively engaged in inspiring young people to read. Our hearty congratulations and thanks to David and Deb!

David Elliott, the winner of the 2020-2021 Yates Award, is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults who has been a literacy advocate for some 20 years. David said to Yates Award coordinator Karen Landsman: “In everything I write, part of my main effort is to show young people how playful, how buoyant, how beautiful, and expressive their language is. I always want to tell a good story, but I also want to be sure that the language that’s telling that story is exciting to the reader’s ear.”

Deborah Bruss, the 2022-2023 winner, shares David's belief in the importance of reading aloud to young children. In addition to writing children's books, Deb visits schools to perform read aloud presentations, often integrating the use of visual aids such as puppets that directly involve her young audience.

The Elizabeth Yates Award honors Concord resident and children’s author Elizabeth Yates, who was a strong advocate of reading and who supported library programs in the Concord community during her lifetime. Elizabeth Yates received the first award named in her honor in 1994.


As Yates Award recipients, David and Deb have both been given the opportunity to recommend $500 worth of books to add to the Children’s Room collection, each book bearing a bookplate with their names. In addition, their names are inscribed on the Elizabeth Yates Award plaque that hangs in the Children’s Room.


The Concord Public Library Foundation is soliciting nominations for the next Elizabeth Yates Award. This award, presented at a celebration at Concord Public Library, may be given to authors, illustrators, storytellers, teachers, librarians or others involved in encouraging reading. Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to encourage young children to read? Please click here for more info and to download a nomination form.

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