Annual Book Awards and Distinctions. January 2002.                         

    This page list annual awards and distinctions that are given in literature and links to the web pages that list the winners.  There is also a link to a database that can be search by subject, author, title, or grade level.  Even though the entire page is not devoted to multicultural literature it can be used to find books of that type that have been recognized for their merit.


Beasley, Eric. The Coretta Scott King Award.  American Library Association, 2003. <>.

                 This site is the homepage for the Coretta Scott King award.  The American Library Association has given this award annually since 1970.  “Recipients are authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream."  The site has information on present and past winners as well as requirements for submitting a recommendation.  The committee also began in 1995 presenting the John Steptoe Award for New Talent.  This award recognizes an outstanding black author or illustrator who is just beginning his/her career.  

Clegg, Luther, et al.  “How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books.”  Instructor.

      This website gives a wealth of information.  Authors and illustrators of multicultural literature are interviewed about what they think makes their efforts work.  An annotated list of 50 multicultural books is given as well as a list of resources for teachers and librarians.  There is also a list of criteria to consider when selecting multicultural literature.

     **The Pura Belpre Award, American Library Association, 2002.       

    This is the homepage for the Pura Belpre Award, which has been given every year since 1996 “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”.  The website gives biographical information on all winning books plus a brief synopsis of the current year’s winner. 


 Knapp, Lyn and Helen H. Vance.  “Multicultural Literature:  Fact, Fiction, and History.”  Book Report, Jan/Feb 1994, p. 24.

     These two ladies developed a lesson plan scheme around multicultural literature.  They pared fiction and non-fiction books for their students with the goal of the students getting a well rounded, factual picture of different cultures.  Included is a bibliography of the books they introduced their students to.

Kruse, Ginny Moore, and Kathleen T. Horning. Fifty Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know.  Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. January 2001.

     This site offers biographical information on multicultural books including the ethnic group portrayed and a link to a jacket shot.  The recommendations are on the list according to age appropriateness. 

Lewis, Valerie.  "With Many Voices:  Talking About Multicultural Children's Literature", Instructor.  Vol. 103, issue 6, February 1994 page 38-41.

    This article shares the views of many experts in the children's literature field concerning the need for and development of multicultural literature.  Two points that are clearly made is we need to read books that draw people together instead of point to their differences and the need for authors of different cultures to step up and fill this need.

Miller-Lachmann, Lyn.  "The audience of Multicultural Literature.”   Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, Winter 1993, 163-165.

    Ms. Miller points out the benefits of multicultural literature not only being written by members of the discussed group but the target audience being that group also.   This combination often leads to literature that paints a very realistic and accurate picture of the group.


Perini, Rebecca L.  "The Pearl in the Shell:  Author's notes in Multicultural Children's Literature.” Reading Teacher.  February 2002, p. 4.

    The author points out the reasons that we need multicultural literature and then offers suggestions for finding a wealth of untapped information when using it.  The authors notes can be used in a variety of ways to expand on the issues discussed, offer a history, or just shed light on the group being read about.  Many authors of multicultural literature are starting to use such notes to expand their message.


Smith, Cynthia Leitich, Children’s Literature Resources.  2003.

     Ms. Smith is the author of several multicultural books.  She personally maintains this website which includes many items dealing with all types of children’s literature. There is a section on multicultural literature that includes a bibliography of books broken down by age appropriateness, links to sites that review children’s and young adult books as well as discussing how to select and use these resources.  There are also links to teacher resources and articles discussing current issues in the world of multicultural children’s literature.  There are also links to Native American and Asian American bibliographies.

    Taylor, Sheryl V.  "Multicultural Is Who We Are:  Literature as a Reflection of Ourselves.”  Teaching Exceptional Children,  Jan/Feb 2000, 24-29.

    This articles stresses the need for more literature that reflects the true make up of the times that we live in.  The use of this literature in the school setting will make students more accepting of themselves and other.  She also includes a short annotated list of books that would be appropriate for classroom use.

    Underdown, Harold.  Writing and Illustration Multicultural Children's Books.  2001.,

    This site traces the history of the multicultural movement and tells the progress the movement is currently making.  Mr. Underdown is a children's book editor who has much insight into this topic and does a good job of sharing it.  The site also has pointers for people wanting to write multicultural literature.


**  I know this is not a proper footnote but with all the changes at the ALA website it was horrible what they changed their web addresses to and I could not get it to fit on the page and when it did it would not hyperlink.  I suggest doing a  google search on the awards and go to the site from there.