Commonalities in content of International children's book awards

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Children's book awards give us a mirror of the culture of a country and the books that children enjoy. This presentation examines major awards for children's books in as many countries as these awards could be determined.

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Commonalities in content of International children's book awards

  1. 1. COMMONALITIES IN CONTENT OF WINNERS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS Diversity Challenge Resilience: School Libraries in Action - The 12th Biennial School Library Association of Queensland, the 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference, incorporating the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Brisbane, QLD Australia, 27 September – 1 October 2010.
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION
  3. 3. CRITERIA FOR EXAMINATION OF BOOKS Recipient of an international or regional award (state, province) between 2000-2010. Inclusion on an international book list such as the USBBY Outstanding International Books or the White Ravens Books were categorized by Format Genre
  4. 4. ANALYSIS 89 award winning books were chosen for an initial examination 40 books were chosen for a more in depth analysis. All of these books were child selected awards rather than adult selected.
  5. 5. WHAT WAS EXAMINED Type of protagonist (human, animal with human characteristics, etc. Age of protagonist Gender of protagonist (if important to the story) Theme/Plot (very general) Philosophy or spiritual beliefs or personal values Traditions or customs unique to country
  6. 6. AN OVERVIEW OF CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS
  7. 7. EARLY AWARDS US—Newbery, 1922 UK—Carnegie, 1937 US—Caldecott, 1938 NZ—Esther Glen Award, 1945 Australia—Book of the Year Awards, 1946 Canada—Book of the Year for Children, 1947 UK—Kate Greenaway, 1946
  8. 8. ADULT SELECTED VS. CHILD SELECTED AWARDS Most national awards are adult selected while child selected awards tend to be state or regional awards.
  9. 9. CHILD SELECTED AWARDS
  10. 10. UNITED STATES AWARDS Every state except for Mississippi has a state book award The Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Award is the oldest, first given in 1940. Five states and 2 Canadian provinces participate in this award. Kansas gave the first single state award in 1952 and Hawaii was second in 1959. US chapter of IRA also has a yearly Children’s Choice Reading List with 12,500 students choosing the list.
  11. 11. AWARDS FROM OTHER ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES These awards include, but are not limited to: Ontario, Canada—Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 1976 Australia—KOALA (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards, 1981 UK—Read House Children’s Book Award, 1981 Queensland, Australia—BILBY (Books I Love Best Yearly), 1990
  12. 12. WHAT THE AWARDS TELL US ABOUT CHILDREN AND READING
  13. 13. GENRE In the initial 89 books examined Realistic fiction—35 Fantasy—26 The remain books, all with fewer than 10 winners, were myth/legend/folktale, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, and poetry Over half of the books were picture books
  14. 14. COUNTRIES WHOSE WINNERS WERE EXAMINED Besides the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, awards from the following countries were examined: Serbia, Slovenia, Ireland, Slovakia, Nicaragua, Iran, Philippines, Croatia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Africa, France, Scotland, Wales Several international awards were also examined.
  15. 15. GENERALITIES: AWARDS CHOSEN BY ADULTS
  16. 16. WHAT WON Books that reflect a country’s culture— especially myth, legend, and folktale Books about children using their imagination Books that teach lessons Picture books with animal characters Chapter books dealing with serious issues
  17. 17. CHILDREN’S CHOICE AWARDS
  18. 18. WHAT WAS EXAMINED Looked at 40 books—20 picture and 20 chapter books. These books were all from English-speaking countries because I could not verify the selection procedure for the other awards.
  19. 19. WHAT CHILDREN CHOSE—PICTURE BOOKS More likely to choose humorous titles Picture book winners generally had animal characters with human characteristics. More picture book characters were male than female. Plot and theme frequently dealt with solving problems and handling emotions. Culturally neutral
  20. 20. WHAT CHILDREN CHOSE—CHAPTER BOOKS 14 books were fantasy 14 books were volumes from series 3 books—Twilight, The Lightning Thief, and Eragon won awards from at least 2 countries A number of the winners have been made into movies Protagonist most likely to be male Parents and adults usually absent or ineffectual
  21. 21. CONCLUSIONS
  22. 22. There is not much overlap in child chosen and adult chosen winners. This overlap not only includes titles, but themes and type of book Obviously, this initial research barely scraped the surface of the subject and much more work needs to be done: Awards from more countries Discovery of award criteria Number of books examined

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