We’ve all heard of the Newberry and Caldecott Awards. In fact, you might even have done a book report on one at some time in your childhood. If you’re a savvy librarian or teacher, you might know about some of the other awards like the Giesel or Wilder Medals.
But did you know that there are many awards out there specifically for helping you find the best books and authors for a host of diverse groups?
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards – 2016
There are four different categories. This long-running award is probably the most likely to be seen on the shelves of your local bookstore. The number of honors (vs. awards) seems to change yearly based on what is published.
Schneider Family Book Award – 2016
“The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” Both fiction and non-fiction are eligible but fiction tends to win more. Categories are Children’s, Teens, and Middle School, and multiple books can win, but there are no honors.
Stonewall Book Award – 2016
Running since 1971, this award honors books relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender experience. There are currently six categories including fiction and non-fiction for children, YA, and adults, and up to four books can be honored in some categories (it varies by year).
Pura Belpré Award – 2016
“The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” There are winners and honors for authors and illustrators, fiction and non-fiction are mixed with fiction more predominate.
American Indian Youth Literature Award – 2016
These awards are given every two years to fiction or non-fiction books in the categories of picture book, middle grades, and YA. “Books selected to receive the award will present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts.”
Of course, awards are not perfect. Some years mediocre books win an award, other times modern classics are passed over (Amazing Grace) and don’t win any awards. However, for parents, teachers, and librarians, these award lists can be a huge help as we try to find quality books in areas we might not be very knowledgeable in.
What major awards am I missing? Does your local library buy the winners of these awards?