Help My Class Answer Four Questions From The Margins About Book Awards

Today in my "Race, Culture, and Power in Children's Stories" class at Saint Mary's College of California, we took a look at the winners of the 2014 ALA Youth Media Award. We began to ask four questions:
  1. Do any of the winning books or honorees feature a main character belonging to a group that has endured oppression in North America due to race or culture?
  2. Are any of the winning books or honorees set in a non-Western country?
  3. Are any of the main characters from an economically powerless family or subculture?
  4. Did any of the winning authors/illustrators grow up on the margins of power when it comes to race, culture, and/or class?
Setting aside the Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpré awards for a moment, can you help us answer these questions?

Note #1: In my author hat, I'm thrilled for all of the winners and so proud to see children's books making headlines. Congratulations, one and all! But in teacher mode, I am encouraging a focus on marginalized and powerless children and so invite you to join the discussion.

Note #2: If you're curious why some ethnic book awards like the American Indian Library Association's awards weren't on the ALA's official press release or on the main awards page, librarian Edith Campbell provides an explanation and a roundup of the winners.