Children’s Literature Legacy Award

My blog post today is the third in a series about the 2022 Youth Media Awards and the 100th anniversary of the John Newbery Medal.

The Children’s Literature Legacy Award is the third "big" award given by the Association for Library Service for Children, a division of the American Library Association. The winner is celebrated at the same banquet as the Newbery and Caldecott winners. In the ALSC's words the award "honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences."

I am so excited that this year's winner is Grace Lin, opens a new window. Author and illustrator Grace Lin is probably one of the youngest authors to win this award for “substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature.” However, she is definitely still in the peak of her career, even though she has been publishing for over 20 years. Grace has books for every child. She has a set of board books about simple STEM concepts for toddlers. Her recent gorgeous pictures books  A Big Mooncake for Little Star and A Big Bed for Little Snow are delightful books to share with preschoolers. Grace also has many other wonderful picture books. Her Ling & Ting series, opens a new window is perfect for beginning readers. And then there are the enchanting fantasy-adventure chapter books inspired by Chinese folktales that begin with Newbery Honor winning Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. These are perfect for kids ages 9 and older, or as family read alouds and there are two more books in the series. Recently, Grace wrote a prequel novel for the Disney movie Mulan, called Before the Sword.

I can’t help thinking that the award committee also took into consideration Lin’s work to bring more awareness to the “own voices'' movement in children’s literature as well as her podcasts. Kidlit Women, opens a new window ran for 100 episodes and featured interviews and essays that examined the world of children’s publishing from an intersectional perspective. Lin currently hosts two podcasts, one for adults and one for kids. Book Friends Forever, opens a new window is a fun, more personal, podcast that features Lin and her longtime friend Alvina Ling who is a children’s book editor and a director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Lin and Ling talk about their personal lives, their families, about publishing, about current events and issues, and of course, books. They really invite the listeners in, you feel like a book friend too! Lin also has a podcast just for kids-Kids Ask Authors, opens a new window with Grace Lin. This short weekly podcast features different authors answering questions posed by kids. It’s informative, entertaining, and inspiring!

Check out Grace's website, opens a new window- she has information about her books, activities for kids, resources for educators, and a few cool videos. Congratulations Grace Lin!