PORTLAND — Award-winning author Phillip Hoose of Portland will be the commencement speaker at the University of Southern Maine’s 130th graduation ceremony on May 15 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Hoose also will receive an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.

Hoose’s book, “Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice,” recently received the National Book Award in the young readers category and the Newbery Honor for a prominent contribution to literature for young readers.

In addition, the book was recognized as a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction finalist, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALSC Notable Children’s Book.

The book is about a young black teenager who was arrested in 1955 in Montgomery, Ala., after refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger. Colvin’s protest occurred nine months before a similar, more famous incident involving Rosa Parks.

A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Hoose has been a staff member of The Nature Conservancy since 1977 and works to protect habitats of endangered species. He’s also a songwriter, performer and member of the Children’s Music Network and the band Chipped Enamel.
 


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