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Further Research: Book Awards Worldwide

Understanding Book Awards & Recommendations

Many of the major book awards given by different countries have rules that require that the book be first published in the country which is giving the award. As a result, for the major book awards, there is generally very little overlap of book titles. Note: You can click on each award title, which links directly to the award website for more information.

Major Book Awards: USA

Newbery Medal Award: The Newbery Award was first established in 1922, and was the first children's book award in the world. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, awards the Newberry Medal to "the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". It is the most prestigious award given in the USA. Books, other than the winner, that are "worthy of attention" are known as Newbery Honors Award winners.

Coretta Scott King Award: The Coretta Scott King Award was first awarded in 1970. It is also awarded by the American Library Association "to encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and the graphic arts".

Pura Belpre Award: The Pura Belpre Award was first established in 1996 by the American Library Association "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".

National Book Award: The National Book Foundation awards the National Book Award. It was established by a consortium of publishers, editors, writers, and critics, and is considered an award given to writers by writers. There are 4 categories, including Young People's Literature.

Major Book Awards: UK

CILIP Carnegie Medal: Established by The Library Association in 1936, the Carnegie Medal was named after Andrew Carnegie, who set up more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world. The medal is now awarded by CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). This is the oldest award given for children's literature. It is awarded by librarians. Books must be co-published in the UK within 3 months of original publication.

Costa Book Award: First established in 1971, this is one of the most prestigious literary award given in the UK. There are 5 categories, including a Children's Book Award. Books must be first published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. This award was previously known as the Whitbread Literary Award, and the Whitbread Book Award.

Red House Children's Book Award: This award is determined by votes from children in the UK. Books must be first published in the UK. There are 3 categories of book awards - Books for Younger Children, Books for Younger Readers, and Books for Older Readers.

Major Book Awards: Canada

CLA Book of the Year for Children: Given by the Canadian Library Association since 1947. The book must be first published in Canada, and the author must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Major Book Awards: Australia

CBCA Children's Book of the Year: The Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has given this award since 1946.

Major Book Awards: New Zealand

New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award: This award has been given since 1986 and is supported by the New Zealand Post and administered by Booksellers New Zealand.

Major Book Awards: Africa

Children's Africana Book Awards: Most of the activities in Africa for children's literature are focused on the encouragement of writing children's literature, and it does not appear that any Africa-based children's book awards exist. This award was established by the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association in 1991 to "encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children's materials on Africa". This award focuses on books published in the United States about Africa.

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