Latino/Hispanic/Chicano Book Awards

This is a huge, diverse population that encompasses several different cultures, traditions, and yes, languages. (No, everyone in South/Central America does NOT speak Spanish as their first language.) Here are a few awards that recognize excellence in books by and about this group.

1. The Latino Book & Family Foundation, based in NYC, promotes literacy and sponsors the annual International Latino Book Award. The International signifies that entries may be from anywhere in the Americas or Spain. Entries may be submitted by anyone, and are judged by a panel including bookstore owners, editors, publishers, authors, and prominent members of the Latino community. It may be the most diverse group of judges I’ve seen yet. The awards are presented at the annual Book Expo.  For interesting discussion on the validity of this award, click HERE. They ask some interesting questions.

2. The Pura Belpré award is presented by the Association for Library  Service to Children, an ALA committee. From the website:

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually 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. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

3. The Americas Award is sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs.

The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).

4. The Tomas Rivera Award focuses on authors & illustrators who write children’s books about the Mexican American experience. Created at Texas State Univ., authors, illustrators, publishers and readers may nominate books. Once nominated a regional committee narrows the nominations. In an interesting twist, CHILDREN are actually asked about books written for them. Finalists are submitted to a national committee. If no-one is good enough, there won’t be an award that year. wow.

That’s about it…as always, if you know of another award, please let me know. 🙂

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