As some of you may have heard, the Children’s Book Council has recently been answering a lot of questions about their Children’s Choice Book Awards recently. More specifically, the fact that their Author of the Year category includes one Rush Limbaugh. I’d first heard about this on the child_lit listserv where questions and concerns were raised. In the end, it appears that the CBC’s hands are somewhat tied by their own rules. They have to consider the top selling authors for this award, regardless of whether or not that author’s sales are boosted in some way. All this has lead the children’s literature community, for the most part, coming to the conclusion that next year the rules themselves are worthy of further examination. Whatever the case, the CBC has responded publicly to the concerns, and created this press release to clear up any confusion. I include it here now for your perusal.
Dear children’s literature community –
We at the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader sincerely appreciate your concerns about this year’s Children’s Choice Book Awards, and wanted to take a moment to clear up some confusion.
First, our finalist selection process for the past 7 years of the program, always posted here on bookweekonline.
com, has been exactly the same. The Children’s Choice Book Awards comprises 6 categories: Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year, Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, Fifth to Sixth Grade Book of the Year, Teen Book of the Year, Author of the Year, and Illustrator of the Year.
The finalists for the K-2, 3-4, and 5-6 Book of the Year categories are all selected by kids through the IRA-CBC Children’s Choices Program.
Teen Book of the Year finalists are chosen by teens through voting on Teenreads.com.
The Author of the Year and Illustrator of the Year finalists are determined solely based on titles’ performances on the bestseller lists – all titles in those categories are listed as a result of this protocol. Some of you have voiced concerns over the selection of finalists from bestseller lists, which you feel are potentially-manipulable indications of the success of a title. We can take this into consideration going forward, but cannot change our procedure for selecting finalists after the fact.
Ultimately, kids and teens (over one million of them if as many vote this year as did last year) will decide who wins in all 6 Children’s Choice Book Awards categories on May 14, so encourage them to vote starting March 25 at ccbookawards.com. We have procedures in place to eliminate duplicate, fake, and adult votes during the voting period as much as possible.
This program has never been about CBC or ECAR endorsing finalists. It has always been about CBC and ECAR endorsing young readers and giving them a choice and a voice on a national scale.
If you have further questions or concerns about the program, we are happy to discuss them with you. Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CBC and Every Child a Reader
The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the national nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers, dedicated to supporting and informing the industry and fostering literacy. The CBC offers children’s publishers the opportunity to work together on issues of importance to the industry at large, including educational programming, literacy advocacy, and collaborations with other national organizations. The CBC is the anchor sponsor of Children’s Book Week.
Every Child a Reader (ECAR) is a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children. ECAR creates and supports programs that: strive to make the reading and enjoyment of children’s books an essential part of America’s educational and social aims; enhance public perception of the importance of reading. ECAR’s national programs include Children’s Book Week, a nationwide celebration of books and reading, and the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country; the Children’s Choice Book Awards, the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by kids and teens of all ages; and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Program, the country’s “Children’s Literature Laureate”.