Feature Focus

We are honored to share some of the wisdom, love, hope, and creativity that flow from our recent Award-Winning books. Each book below expresses an aspect of the theme, Embracing Diversity.  We will share some excerpts from other 2017 Award-Winners throughout the year, each time with a different theme.

If you wish to get a copy of any of these books, we encourage you to ask your local bookstore or library to order a copy!

Embracing Diversity - May 2018

Wonder Girls: Changing Our World
Gold Award in Social Change/Social Justice
Authors: Paola Gianturco & Alex Sangster
Publisher: powerHouse Books

Colorful Girls, a program of Girl Determined -- Nanda Wadi, age 14, from Myanmar says: "In my village there are no doctors. Many people die. ...As for education, there are only a few government schoolteachers. In rural areas, people have few opportunities to know what the world is like. I want to teach there and also help with health care." Nanda has attended two Colorful Girls summer camps- "There is no discrimination there [at camp]. The important thing is to learn from each other, respect each other, and increase understanding. If we do those things, we can achieve peace... If I could tell girls all over the world one thing, I would say, 'Believe in yourself. Try to become a leader. There are now women leaders all over the world!' " (p.128)

"The Challenge: In Myanmar, the culture believes that girls are supposed to be meek and reserved. They do not appreciate girls' potential and abilities. As a result, girls 'can lose their confidence and motivation' to rise to their full potential.
The Change: Colorful Girls, a program of Girl Determined, wants to create a community in which girls have the resources and guidance needed to be the greatest people they can be. They offer young women a nine-month-long peer group that meets weekly and teaches girls to make better choices for their lives. They want to 'develop the whole girl' by teaching a 'girl-centered, strength-based curriculum' about money, and reproductive health. This leads to more confident and empowered girls."  (p.129)
Author-Photographers Paola Gianturco and her granddaughter, Alex Sangster, collaborated with girls around the world to create Wonder Girls, which documents the change that groups of activist girls age 10 to 18 are igniting everywhere... The Global Fund for Women, the world's largest grant-making organization benefiting women and girls internationally, will receive 100% of the authors' royalties from this book.

The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in An American Classroom
Gold Award in USA Spiritual Growth & Development
Author: Helen Thorpe
Publisher: Scribner /Simon & Schuster

"Inside this school, where the reality of refugee resettlement was enacted every day, it was plain to see that seeking a new home took tremendous courage, and receiving those who had been displaced involved tremendous generosity.  That is what refugee resettlement was, I decided: acts of courage met by acts of generosity.

... I would even say that spending a year in Room 142 had allowed me to witness something as close to holy as I've seen take place between human beings. I could only wish that in time, more people would be able to look past their fear of the stranger and experience the wonder of getting to know people from other parts of the globe."  (p.391)

"For as far as I could tell, the world was not going to stop producing refugees. The plain, irreducible fact of good people being made nomad by the millions, through all kinds of horror this world could produce, seemed likely to prove the central moral challenge of our times. How do we want to meet that challenge?  We could fill our hearts with fear or hope. And the choice would affect more than just our own dispositions, for in choosing which seeds to sow, we would dictate the type of harvest. Surely the only harvest worth cultivating was the one Mr. Williams had been seeking: greater fluency, better understanding."  (p.392)

Review from a fellow author: “Few books could be more vital, in this particular moment or in any moment, than this book. Helen Thorpe writes expansively about one school, one classroom, one teacher, one group of students —students who hail from the most severe places in the world and come together at South High.  Confused, troubled, bright, magnificent: They converge, ostensibly to learn English, learning so much more than a language —learning about us and about themselves, all the bad and all the good. You need to meet these young people. Once you do, everything you read or hear or say will be illuminated and changed.”  —Jeff Hobbs, author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

Unexpected Bride in the Promised Land: Journeys in Palestine and Israel
Gold Award in Multicultural & Indigenous
Author: Iris Keltz
Publisher: Nighthawk Press (Small press, Taos NM)

It was May 1967 [just weeks before outbreak of the Six-Day War]:  "I wrote to my mother, telling her I had decided to extend my stay in Jerusalem, hinting at a romantic liaison. Her alarmed letters, which I picked up at the American Consulate, begged me to leave immediately and questioned my ability to think rationally. 'War might break out at any time, and you are living with Arabs. It's dangerous,' she said. Looking around, I saw Faisal, Samira, Marwan, Herminia, Yusra, Amty, and Ibrahim. There were times I found Marwan's contrite manner annoying, Samira's beauty rituals tedious, Ibrahim too macho, Amty too saintly, Yusra too understanding, and wished Faisal spoke better English - but I never saw dangerous enemies...

"Under the influence of divine knafeh, I promised myself to a man I had known for about two weeks, extinguishing Mom's dream of marrying her only daughter to a Jewish doctor.  My capricious decision to marry a foreign man living on the other side of the world, who spoke broken English and came from a family considered the enemy by my family, was more complex than either of us was willing to admit. But our tango with realism was finished for the day."  (p.57-58)

"The euphoria Israelis felt in 1967 after achieving the conquest of their dreams, especially the Old City of Jerusalem, has become a sobering reality as their civil society becomes more and more militarized. Neighbors who once were friends have become "the other." The enemy lives within. And the name of the enemy is racism and fear.  If military might were the path to security, Israel would be the most secure nation on earth.
"In the late '60s, when Faisal and I helped organize a benefit in New York City for Palestinian refugees, most Americans were unaware of their plight. June 2017 marks the fiftieth year since the Six Day War....
"With youthful innocence, I shared life with the Palestinians moments before the curtain of occupation fell. I am grateful to have seen the Wailing Wall when it was nestled in the heart of the ancient Moroccan Quarter, to have walked through the streets of Hebron with no soldiers in sight, and to have experienced village life before the onset of modernization, pollution, and occupation. I loved the pristine landscape between Jerusalem and Ramallah before it was riddled with settlements and check points. It was a borderless, seamless world that welcomed me.
"But social media has allowed us to see the connection between all oppression --whether it be the racial profiling of African-Americans, desperate refugees seeking sanctuary, climate change activists, or Native Americans protecting the water. The inspiring resistance movement against a 1,100-mile-long pipeline that was supposed to cross the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation brought together over 300 indigenous groups and sympathetic internationals, including Palestinians. The human rights and environmental movements have met. The circle is widening..." (p. 260)

~~ The Nautilus staff extends deep gratitude and love to the Authors & Publishers of these three marvelous books, which express important aspects of the theme, Embracing Diversity.  May we together help each other learn the truth of the One Human Family.

Stay in Touch

Please direct inquiries to Mary Belknap, Director


Guidelines for Entering

The recent Nautilus Season was open for Entries Postmarked from Sept. 21, 2017 through Feb. 10, 2018.  Award Winning Books from the 2017 Season have now been announced to the Nautilus mailing list, and Bookcovers of all the Winners are posted on our webpages, 2017 Grand/Gold Winners and 2017 Silver Winners (see navigation bar at left).

For the upcoming 2018 Season: Entry packages postmarked from Sept. 21 through Oct. 31, 2018 will benefit from Early Entry Fees. Entries postmarked Nov. 1- Dec. 31 will have Regular Entry Fees. And Entries postmarked from Jan. 1- Feb. 8, 2019 will have Final Entry Fees.  See our Guidelines for Entering webpage for details.