A few weeks ago the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award winners were announced. The selected recipients will be formally recognized in New York City at a banquet on October 19th of this year. Follow this link to see the books chosen for the highly acclaimed award: http://www.janeaddamspeace.org/jacba/docs/JA2012%20Press%20Release.pdf .

This particular award seeks to applaud novels that, “address themes / topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, the world community and equality of the sexes and races.” I think that looking at this award is very relevant to our class as we are always looking to define what it means to be a children’s book. Through reading the summaries presented in the above link, it is interesting how complex some of the plots seem and how cleverly the twist in mature themes. I wonder whether this is the new face of children’s literature and whether the simplicity that seems so ingrained in association with kid novels is outdated and somewhat archaic. Is it realistic to expect to see mature themes and topics being presented in upcoming children’s books for the foreseeable future? Or is it more likely that parental outrage over minutely controversial topics will stop authors from writing about taboo, adult-oriented subjects?

Just thought I would share this with the class as my “Report from the Field” post as it brings up some crucial questions that are pivotal for our class discussions about gender stereotyping and the inherent nature of a children’s book.