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IST 605: Diversity in Children's Literature

This guide provides resources to help parents/guardians/caregivers help build a more diverse collection of books for their child.

Book Awards

The book awards included below acknowledge authors and illustrators that have represented and honored their respective cultures in a way that exemplifies literary excellence.

Parents/caregivers/guardians are encouraged to browse the lists of winners and honorees in order to help diversify their child's reading selections with quality literature.

The following list is not exhaustive and therefore does not represent the ideal range of diversity, but rather, is intended as a starting point.

Book Awards: Descriptions

  • American Indian Youth Literature Award

    • Since 2006, the American Indian Library Association has presented the AIYLA every two years to authors that represent Native Americans and Indigenous peoples in a culturally responsible way.

  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

    • On the APALA’s Awards page, parents can browse winners of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature since 2001. This award is meant to celebrate Asian and Pacific American authors who represent their cultural heritage in a way that reflects literary excellence.

  • Coretta Scott King Book Awards 

    • The American Library Association founded the Coretta Scott King Book Awards in 1969 to celebrate their namesake: civil rights activist and wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parents can read more about the history of these awards using the About link on the CSKBART page. The main resource included above lists all winners of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards from 1970-2023. Books can be browsed by year or by decade, and are easily navigable with the provided hyperlinks.

  • Schneider Family Book Award 
    • This award celebrates authors and/or illustrators that represent the experience of children with disabilities. Within the description of the award, there is a link for a bibliography of books that address the experiences of children with disabilities. The bibliography is broken into categories for young readers, middle grade readers, and young adult readers. The right menu also includes a hyperlink titled “Select Another Year,” and navigates the user to a drop-down menu where they can select the year to display starting from 2004. The winners and honorable mentions for 2023 can be found at the link included in the citation above. The Schneider Family Book Award is awarded at three different levels including: Teen, Middle Grade, and Young Children, which makes this site a valuable resource for parents with children of any age.

  • Pura Belpré Award

    • The Pura Belpré award is sponsored by the ALA affiliate, REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking as well as the ALSC and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association). Pura Belpré was the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library, and her namesake award was established in 1996 to honor Latino/a authors and illustrators who celebrate and affirm Latino culture. A complete PDF of the past winners, including those from this year, can be found through a link in the award description: “Download a complete PDF list of Belpre Award and Honor Books, 1996 to present.” Awards are given in two age categories, Children and Young Adult, and include awards for narratives (for authors) and illustrations (for illustrators).