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Children's Book Controversy

Earlier this month, we included the newly released book, A Birthday Cake for George Washington, in a couple posts, even one about diversity. The book has since been pulled from publication by it's publisher, Scholastic due to "problematic" portrayals of slaves.

A Birthday Cake for George Washington is the story of Hercules, one of Washington's slaves and cook, and Hercules' daughter, Delia, happily baking a cake for George Washington's Birthday. The controversy is the depiction of Hercules and Delia as happy "servants", which, as Scholastic stated in their announcment, "may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves". Critics are concerned that the story is "an offensively sanitized version of the institution of slavery." Scholastic originally defended the book and author, Ramin Ganeshram, but have since reversed their position.

“We do not believe this title meets the standards of appropriate presentation of information to younger children, despite the positive intentions and beliefs of the author, editor and illustrator,” it said in a statement.

To read more about the book, controversy, and Scholastaic's decision, check out the articles we used as sources, the New York Times and BBC.

Books Inc. apoligizes if we have offended any of our readers by including A Birthday Cake for George Washington in our posts and email blasts.

ALA Medal Winners for 2016- Kids Edition!

The Newbery Award: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

The Newbery Medal honors the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature. Congratulations Matt de la Peña!

 

Caldecott Medal: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Sophie Blackall

The Caldecott Medal honors the most distinguished picture book. Congratulations Sophie Blackall!

 

Coretta Scott King Book Award: Rita Williams-Garcia and Bryan Collier

Rita Williams-Garcia, author of Gone Crazy in Alabama and Bryan Collier, illustrator of Trombone Shorty, are the winners of the 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards honoring African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Congratulations Rita Williams-Garcia and Bryan Collier!!

 

Stonewall Children's Literature Award: George by Alex Gino

The Stonewall Book Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children and teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. Congratulations Alex Gino!

 

To see the full list of winners, visit the American Library Association's website!

 

ALA Medal Winners for 2016!

 

Printz Award: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

The award, first given in 2000, is named for the late Michael L. Printz, a Topeka, Kan., school librarian known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults. The award is administered annually by YALSA and is sponsored by Booklist magazine. Congratulations Laura Ruby!!

 

Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award: Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year. Congratulations Steve Sheinkin!

 

The William C. Morris Award: Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The William C. Morris Award honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. Congratulations Becky Albertalli!

 

Stonewall Young Adult Literature Award: The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg

The Stonewall Book Awards are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children and teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. Congratulations Bill Konigsberg!

 

Margaret A. Edwards Award: David Levithan

David Levithan is the recipient of the 2016 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for The Realm of Possibility, Boy Meets Boy, Love is the Higher Law, How They Met, and Other Stories, Wide Awake, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Congratulations David Levithan!

To see the list of all awards and winners, visit the ALA website!

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