Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spotlight on Diverse Book Awards


Looking to add more diverse books to your classroom, library, or reading list? There are thousands of new children's books published each year, such that no one person could possibly ever keep up with them all!

One easy way to find high-quality diverse books is to seek out those already vetted by knowledgeable experts: children's book award committees. There are many different awards out there and many that specifically honor diverse groups. This post will provide an overview of some great resources from diverse book awards. Click the "Award Winning Books" tag for posts about individual awards.

Diverse Book Awards To Watch


Africana Book Awards


The Africana Book Awards honor books on Africa for young children and older readers. The award was established in 1992. Click here to learn more about the award, including a list of current and past winners.

American Indian Youth Literature Awards


The American Indian Youth Literature Awards honor authors and illustrators for books about American Indians that "present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts." It was first awarded in 2006 and is presented every two years. Click here for more about the award, including lists of past winners.

The Américas Awards


The Américas Awards honor authors, illustrators, and publishers for quality children's and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the US. Both primary and secondary reading levels are chosen. This award was founded in 1993. Click here for more about the Américas Award, including the most recent winners. A list of all previous winners can be found here.


Arab American Book Awards


The Arab American Book Awards was created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans and is awarded by the Arab American Museum. This award was first given in 2007. Click here for more about the Arab American Book Awards, including a list of current and previous winners.

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature


The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature celebrates books written about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage. The award is given for picture books, children's books, and young adult books, as well as adult titles. Click here for more about the Asian/Pacific American Award. A list of current and previous winners can be found here.

Carter G. Woodson Book Awards


The Carter G. Woodson Book Awards were established by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) to honor books for accurate depictions of ethnicity. It was first awarded in 1974 and now encompasses three categories: elementary (K-5), middle school (5-8), and secondary (7-12). Click here to learn more about the Carter G. Woodson Book Awards. A list of current and previous winners can be found here.

Coretta Scott King Awards


The Coretta Scott King Awards are given to African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults and was first awarded in 1970. In addition to the author and illustrator awards, the committee also selects the Coretta Scott King / John Steptoe New Talent Award and the Coretta Scott King / Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. Click here for more about the award, including the most recent winners. A list of all previous winners can be found here.

Lambda Literary Awards


The Lambda Literary Awards "celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world." One of their awards is an LGBT Children's / Young Adult category. This award was first presented in 1989. Click here for more about the Lambda Literary Awards. Links to lists of all previous winners can be found here.

Middle East Outreach Council Book Awards


The Middle East Outreach Council Book Awards began in 2000 to honor books for children and young adult that "contribute meaningfully to understanding of the Middle East." Categories include picture books, youth literature, and youth non-fiction. Click here for more information about the Middle East Book Awards. A list of all previous winners can be found here.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award


The Mildred L. Batchelder Award highlights children's books originally published in a foreign language and in a foreign country that have been translated into English and published in the US. It was first awarded in 1966. This award is a great one to follow for global literature. Click here for more about the Batchelder Award, including the most recent winners. A list of all previous winners can be found here.

NAACP Image Award


The NAACP Image Awards celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans across a wide range of categories, including the Outstanding Literary Work (Children). The award was established in 1967. Click here to learn more about the NAACP Image Awards. A list of all current winners can be found here (the book awards are near the bottom).

National Jewish Book Awards


The National Jewish Book Awards include a children's literature award for books that must be of Jewish content and distributed in the United States. The award was first given in 1949, and the first children's literature award was given in 1952. Click here to learn more about the National Jewish Book Awards. A list of all current and previous winners can be found here.

Pura Belpré Awards


The Pura Belpré Awards are presented to Latino/Latina writers and illustrators for children's book that celebrate the Latino cultural experience. It was established in 1996. Click here for more about the Pura Belpré Awards, including the most recent winners. A list of all previous winners can be found here.

Rainbow Book List


The Rainbow Book List is a bibliography of ten books "with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18." The first list was published in 2008. Click here for more information about the Rainbow Book List. Links to lists of current and previous winners can be found here.

Schneider Family Book Awards


The Schneider Family Book Awards features books that embody "an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences." Three awards are given annually for children's, middle school, and teen books. It was established in 2004, and the wonderful Alyson Beecher of Kid Lit Frenzy is the current committee chair. Click here for more about the Schneider Family Book Awards, including the most recent winners. A list of all previous winners can be found here.

South Asia Book Awards


The South Asia Book Award is presented yearly in Madison, Wisconsin by the South Asia National Outreach Consortium. The award celebrates children and young adult books that feature South Asians either at home or abroad. It was first awarded in 2012. Click here for more about the South Asia Book AwardsA list of current and previous winners can be found here.



Stonewall Book Awards


The Stonewall Book Awards honor books for children or teens that show exceptional merit "relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience." It was first awarded in 1971 and has now expanded to several different sub-awards including the Barbara Gittings Literature Award, the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award, the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award. Click here for more about the Stonewall Book Awards, including the most recent winners. A list of all previous winners can be found here.



Sydney Taylor Book Award


The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries and honors books for younger readers, older readers, and teen readers. The award encourages the publication and use of quality Judaic literature. It was established in 1968. Click here to learn more about the Sydney Taylor Book Award. A list of all current and previous winners can be found here.

Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award


The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award is given to both authors and illustrators for literature that depicts the Mexican-American experience. It was first awarded in 1995. Click here to learn more about the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award. A list of current and previous winners can be found here.

The Walter Award


The Walter Award is a brand new book award from We Need Diverse Books named for children's author and poet Walter Dean Myers. The Walter Award has been created to honor diverse authors writing about diverse characters and subjects. This first year will honor YA books, but there are plans to expand to picture books and middle grade books in the future. Click here to learn about the award and check back soon for the first winners!

A Note about Book Awards


Our school librarian and I both served on our first awards committees this year (mine, the Cybil Award for Fiction Picture Books and hers, the Charlotte Zolotow Award), and one of our biggest takeaways was that the focus on the "winning" book can overshadow the incredible contributions of all of the honor or highly commended books chosen by a committee.

Many honor or highly commended titles are likely to have been the winner in the hearts of some, even if not all, of the committee members. In the light of this realization, I will be starting an occasional series focusing on drawing attention to incredible honor books from these great, diverse book awards. Click the "Award Winning Books" tag to read more!

Do you have a favorite diverse book award that I missed? Please share in the comments below!

17 comments:

  1. What a great list! I'm excited to read Jamie Martin's new book coming out this summer, Give Your Child the World. It's a huge curated booklist of books from around the world.

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    1. Sounds like a great resource, thanks for sharing, Carolyn!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this great list! I tend to keep up with a few of the awards, but I wasn't aware of all of these.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! It really is amazing how many wonderful resources there are out there.

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  3. This list is awesome! There are several awards that I hadn't heard of. I'm going to bookmark this great resource. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Please do check back, as I'll keep updated as I find out about other awards as well.

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  4. Great roundup of book award list for YA and children's literature. Thanks for sharing this great resource on Literacy Musing Mondays this week.

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  5. Wow! Wasn't even aware of most of these. Thanks for sharing, Katie!

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    1. You're welcome, Cheryl! I'm having fun discovering new great books from these too.

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  6. Great round up of diversity book awards for kids! Thanks so much for sharing at the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Mia from PragmaticMom

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  7. WOW! I never realized there were so many awards celebrating diverse children's and YA books. Thanks for putting it altogether for us to see.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Me too until I really started digging. I'm looking forward to mining these awards for some great books.

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  8. This is such a useful list! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Svenja! Glad you found it useful.

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  9. A really useful roundup - thank you for putting this together. Have earmarked!

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    1. Thanks, Marjorie. I hope it helps you find even more great books!

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