The Internet presents an unusually rich offering of children’s literature. This makes it possible for both young students and their teachers to directly access both classic works as well as relevant bibliographies. Below are some sites to help in that process.
Awards and Winners
There are a number of well-established and respected awards in children's literature. The following section outlines and describes the criteria for the major awards as well as lists the winners of each award.
- The Newbery Medal
"The Newbery Medal is the first children’s literary award in the world and it was established in 1922. . . . [It] is awarded annually to distinguished writers of children’s books. The Medal is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the US."
- The Caldecott Medal
"The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most prestigious picture book for kids in the United States. . . . Aside from the . . . Medal awardees, the board may also give due recognition to some books by naming them "worthwile runners up."
- The Batchelder Award
"The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is awarded to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States."
- The Belpre Medal
"The Pura Belpre Award can be given to a Latino or Latina writer and/or illustrator whose literary work for children portrays the Latino cultural experience. The Belpre Medal was established in 1996 and was given every other year, until the year 2009. From 2009, the Pura Belpre was awarded annually."
- The Carnegie Medal
The Carnegie Medal "is granted to the most outstanding children’s and/or young adult book of the year. In order to become a candidate for the Carnegie Medal, the book should be written in English. In addition, it should also be published in the UK."
- The Odyssey Award
"The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production was named after the epic poem The Odyssey. This is because The Odyssey exemplifies the ancient oral tradition of storytelling. [It] is given annually to the best kids’ audiobook producer. The ALSC and the YALSA also decide which Odyssey Award Honor titles to select each year."
- The Sibert Informational Book Medal
"The Sibert Informational Book Medal is for authors and illustrators of US-published informational books. [It] was first presented in 2001.
- The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
"The Wilder Award recognizes writers and illustrators of outstanding US-published children’s books. [It] is given to authors who have made substantial contributions to children’s literature for years. The award was named after Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first recipient of the bronze medal."
- The Coretta Scott King Book Award
"The Coretta Scott King Book Awards was named after Martin Luther King’s wife, Coretta Scott King. The award aims to recognize African American authors and illustrators of young adult and children’s books."
- The Schneider Family Book Award
"The Schneider Family Book Award is given annually to authors and/or illustrators of books that portray aspects of living with any form of disability. The said work of literature, in order to qualify for the Schneider Family Award, should be aimed for young adults and younger audiences."
- The Printz Award
"The Printz Award was established to honor books that exemplify literary excellence. It’s aimed towards promoting young adult literature."
- The Alex Award
"The Alex Award is awarded annually to adult books that create a special appeal to young adults. This award was first given in 1998."
Bibliographies and Reading Suggestions
The American Library Association’s Great Web Sites for Kids
This site provides a wealth of high quality information about
Authors and illustrators
Children’s book awards
Expanding the classics
Favorite children’s stories
Literature in Spanish
Book Lists of Children's Literature
The Monroe County (Indiana) Public Library provides an extensive list of links to lists of books especially appropriate for elementary and secondary readers. Included are lists of Newbery and Caldecott Medal and Honor books, Young Hoosier Book Award - Nominees and winners, as well as other lists to guide book selection.
Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics. This site is bursting with ideas for teachers, librarians, home schoolers and parents about integrating various areas of the curriculum, such as US history and math, with the language arts. The site has taken many of Carol Hurst's back articles and sections from her professional books for teachers and librarians and reformatted and interlinked them to create an interactive collection of information."
International Reading Association: Choices Booklists
Each year "thousands of children, young adults, teachers, and librarians select their favorite recently published books to be included in the Choices annotated booklists" published by the International Reading Association and the Children's Book Council. These annotated lists include Children's Choices, Teachers' Choices, and Young Adults' Choices.
Summer Reading Lists Abound on the Web
Education World surveys some of the best children's summer reading lists on the Web. Here, you'll find an overview of great lists that you or your school's staff might use to create your own summer reading program. Summer reading is essential
to prevent young readers from suffering a backslide in reading skills during summer downtime. But that needn't be the case. Families can make reading a priority during the summer months, and children will learn that people never take a vacation from learning.
The Children's Book Council Reading List
Annual reading lists intended to help "teachers, librarians, parents, and booksellers discover new [children's and young adult] books." Page includes links to social studies and science trade books. Also features recently published and forthcoming titles; a quarterly thematic reading list; and "Children's Choices," an annual project of the CBC and International Reading Association highlighting titles chosen by five teams of children across the country.
Paws, Claws, Scales, and Tails: Reading Suggestions from the Wisconsin Regional Libraries
List of Braille and cassette book titles for the 2006 summer reading theme "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales" (used by public libraries in many states). Includes titles for grades K-8, with brief descriptions and Braille (BR) and recorded cassette (RC) numbers. From the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped.
Juvenile Series and Sequels
At present, a database of over 28,000 books in series titles for children and young adults. Browse by series title, book title, author, or series subject (such as dinosaurs, dragons, horses, and spies), or use the main search link. Offerings are also divided by age. From Mid-Continent Public Library, Missouri.
"The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites people of all ages to discover the fascinating people, places and events that await you whenever you read." You can find classic books, book lists, webcasts, and sections for kids, teachers, and teens.
Online Texts for Children
This online collection of Aesop's Fables includes a total of 655+ Fables, indexed in table format, with morals listed. Most can be either accessed by text or Reel Audio. The site promises that there are "many more on the way." In addition, the site features over 100 fables by Hans Christian Andersen.
Accessible Book Collection
The Accessible Book Collection is a non-profit corporation. Its primary mission is to provide high interest/low reading level digital text to qualified persons with disabilities. Government and non-profit schools are the primary subscribers. However, not all subscribers are schools. Eligible individuals may subscribe. Selections are designed for younger readers.
Denver Public Library Podcast
The Denver Public Library provides this charming collection of stories for children in grades K-4 that can be easily downloaded in MP3 from a highly accessible site.
Braille Book Files
Braille Book Files has books at all grade levels that are submitted by teachers and transcribers; the site is maintained by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Access is password-protected and limited to individuals who have a visual or other print disability and to members of a nonprofit organization or governmental agency that provides specialized services to such individuals. Books are in MegaDots, Duxbury, and ASCII format.
NewsHour Extra: Poetry>
This NewsHour with Jim Lehrer special for children provides a collection of material on poetry. Features contemporary poet profiles (with biographies, poems, and video clips), reports on poetry slams and performance poetry, submitted poems by students from around the world, poetry lesson plans, and links to related sites. The home page is cumbersome to navigate because of its visual nature; however, the content is of such high quality, it is worth the additional effort.
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