There is the Pura Belpre Award, established in 1996, and presented 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.
And the Coretta Scott King Book Awards which honor new African American authors and illustrators with less than three published works.
Don’t forget the Africana Awards which honors outstanding authors and illustrators of children’s books about Africa published in the United States.
One more: the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award which honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience.
There are plenty of children’s book awards for multicultural children’s books, but where is the one for Asian American’s Children’s Literature honoring best Asian American children’s books? That’s right, there isn’t one. YET …
I’m partial to [Put Your Name Here] Asian American Children’s and Young Adult Book Award which honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Asian American experience. Do you want to name this award? Let’s talk! It really isn’t so hard to do, right? First you need the $ sponsor. Some legal stuff to set up a non-profit and put the money into a trust. Then define the award and categories– I’d let the name sponsor have a big say. Next would be creating a committee to set up rules, regs and procedures, and pick the first judging committee. A fancy logo would be nice. Get the publishers on board to send the books to the judges. Fire it up, pick some winners, have a fancy award dinner, and communicate it. It could even be for a specific nationality, like best Chinese children’s books!
And who should win it? I’d put my money on one of these authors (assuming that we can go back in time to make our awards if the award must be given during year the book was first published). I think these are some of the best authors that are either Asian American OR depict Asian American themes or characters in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.
And I know I am missing a lot of good books out there. I’m new to Young Adult lit.
Please help me add more candidates. What are your favorite authors or books in this new-you-and-I-are-creating Asian American Children’s or YA Literature genre? Please share in comments section. And pick your winner!
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