Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Mystery of the Children's Choice Awards

I was glad to see that When The Shadbush Blooms, the only "multicultural" book on IRA-CBC's list of nominees for the Children's Choice Awards, was lauded by Debbie Reese and Oyate.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised by the list -- the books were donated by publishers and chosen in six cities of the country not particularly renowned for a diverse demographic: Chico, California, Middletown, Delaware, Crete, Illinois, Starkville, Mississippi, Bellevue, Nebraska, and Omaha, Nebraska (here's a .pdf describing the process.) Of course, I've only been to Chico, which does have a fair share of immigrants, so maybe the other cities are home to all sorts of kids.

Unfortunately, on the official Children's Book Choices site, there's no explanation of selection criteria to be found -- or maybe I'm missing it. The nominees are great, I'm sure, but this award reminds me that for kids and adults to venture outside the story comfort zone, we often need a nudge from a trusted source.

4 comments:

Sarah Rettger said...

Your post came at just the right time, Mitali - one of my coworkers asked about promoting the voting on Omnibus. I'm going to do a little more research before I write anything, but I'll let you know what I can turn up about selection criteria.

Susan T. said...

Mitali, I agree with you that this list could have been better. One of the cities you mention, Starkville, Miss., is actually fairly diverse--majority white, but with a large African American population, and smaller Asian and Latino populations. Starkville is the home of Mississippi State University.

MotherReader said...

I thought some of the choices were perplexing for other reasons as well. For instance, When the Shadbush Blooms is in the 5th/6th grade list.

It is a shame that there wasn't more diversity within the nominees.

Debbie Reese said...

I think SHADBUSH ought to be read by everyone, regardless of age. We have such a erroneous thought that picture books are for little kids, but, they're beautiful stories for any age.

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