Tag Archives: ALA

Response to Wilder Award Name Change

30 Jun

At its meeting on Saturday, June 23, 2018, the Association for Library Service to Children Board voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness. ” (ALA website)

You don’t often hear the ALA annual conference make waves in the media, but apparently changing the name of an award is reported on a variety of news sources. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award “honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences.” (ALA website)

Many people have responded on social media both showing support for the name change as well as frustration and even some misunderstanding.

A few of the common arguments against the name change include:

  • Censorship
    No one has suggested that Wilder’s books be removed from libraries and bookstores.
  • Diminishment of Past Award Winners
    Changing the name of the award does not diminish past award winners or their contributions to children’s literature
  • Above and Beyond Political Correctness
    As you can see from the quote above, ALSC spent a lot of time discussing its core values and how having a prestigious award named for someone who has outdated views and a stereotypical attitude can be offensive and not supportive of inclusiveness and the diversity of the publishing world. Imagine receiving an award named for someone who wrote racially insensitive material if you were Black or Native American?
  • Change the Name of Other Awards
    There is already talk about changing the name of the Theodore Seuss Geisel Award as Dr. Seuss produced a number of political cartoons that were downright racist. Many people have suggested that perhaps naming awards after people isn’t the best practice as cultural views change over time.

My thoughts on the issue are that I think ALSC took a situation that could potentially be difficult to navigate and made a decision that is forward-thinking and supportive of authors and illustrators of color to create a more inclusive award that focuses on the work and not the history of the person it’s named for.

I read (and loved) the Little House books growing up and I think that when I read these books I knew that historical fiction meant that some views were antiquated and not acceptable in today’s society. I think people can make their own decision as to whether they want to read the Little House books, but there are also other titles that can be read in place of or together with Wilder’s books for viewpoints from other authors such as The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. I applaud ALSC for taking into consideration inclusivity and diversity in today’s society.

Congratulations to Jacqueline Woodson the winner of the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

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2018 Amelia Bloomer List

21 Feb

“The Amelia Bloomer List is a project of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.” If you’re looking for some feminist titles for your little one – check out the Amelia Bloomer List, an annual list created to empower young girls and boys and show the strength of female characters in literature. The project is currently updating their criteria for books eligible for this list, with new content being published at the beginning of March 2018. Below, I’ve copied their Top Ten List, but they have a much more robust list available on their website for you to peruse. If you’re looking to create a diverse home library, definitely take some time to look over this list of amazing titles!

 

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Top Ten List

  1. Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar (Lee & Low/Tu Books).
  2. Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone (Random House/Wendy Lamb).
  3. Hand Over Hand by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Renné Benoit (Second Story).
  4. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoet (Little, Brown BFYR).
  5. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (Abrams/Amulet).
  6. #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale (Annick).
  7. The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown).
  8. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury).
  9. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (S&S/Salaam Reads).
  10. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating, illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky).

ALA Youth Media Awards

13 Feb

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  • Newbery AwardHello, Universe written by Erin Entrada Kelly
  • Caldecott Award –  Wolf in the Snow illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell
  • Coretta Scott King Author Award – Piecing Me Together written by Renée Watson
  • Coretta Scott King Illustrator AwardOut of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets illustrated by Ekua Holmes
  • Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent AwardThe Stars Beneath Our Feet written by David Barclay Moore
  • Michael L. Printz Award – We Are Okay written by Nina LaCour
  • Schneider Family Book Award (young children) – Silent Days, Silent Dreams written and illustrated by Allen Say
  • Schneider Family Book Award (middle grades) – Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess written by Shari Green
  • Schneider Family Book Award (young adult) – You’re Welcome, Universe written and illustrated by Whitney Gardner
  • Mildred L. Batchelder Award – The Murderer’s Ape written and illustrated by Jakob Wegelius
  • Odyssey AwardThe Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas and narrated by Bahni Turpin
  • Pura Belpré Award Author Award – Lucky Broken Girl written by Ruth Behar
  • Pura Belpré Award Illustrator Award – La Princesa and the Pea illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
  • Robert F. Sibert Informational Book AwardTwelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 written by Larry Dane Brimner
  • Stonewall Book AwardLittle & Lion written by Brandy Colbert and The 57 Bus written by Dashka Slater
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel AwardCharlie & Mouse written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes
  • William C. Morris Award – The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults – Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers written by Deborah Heiligman

Learn more about these awards by visiting the ALA website!

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