Children's Literature (all forms)

2008 Children’s Africana Book Award Winners

from a press release

The Children’s Africana Book Awards were established in 1991 by the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials on Africa in U.S. schools and libraries. The jury of seven includes Outreach Council members, specialists in K-12 curriculum development and university-based scholars. Forty-seven titles were nominated by U.S. publishers and distributors for consideration this year. Reviews of nominated titles are published online at Africa Access Review, http://www.AfricaAccessReview.org.

Ifeoma Onyefulu is the winner of the Best Book for Young Children award for Ikenna goes to Nigeria (London, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2007). The book focuses on Onyefulu’s son Ikenna and photographs his visit to his mother’s Nigerian homeland.

Honors for Young Children go to Kathleen Mariarty and Amin Amir for Wiil Waal (St. Paul, Minnesota Humanities Center/Somali Bilingual Book Project, 2007), a bilingual presentation of a folktale about a 19th century Somali sultan.

Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie are the winners of the Best Book for Older Readers award for Aya (Montreal, Drawn & Quarterly, 2007), a graphic novel that offers an insider’s view of teenage life in a lively Abidjan neighborhood.

Honor Book winners for Older Readers are Henry Aubin for Rise of the Golden Cobra (Toronto, Annick Press, 2007), a novel set in ancient Kush and Egypt, and Ishmael Beah for A Long Way Gone (New York, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007), a recent war story and autobiographical account of a child soldier in the civil war in Sierra Leone.

This year’s awards were announced on the International Day of the African Child — June 16 — in Washington D.C. The winners will receive their awards November 15th in Chicago during the annual meeting of the African Studies Association. Information on the all day events for K-12 teachers which will involve these authors and illustrators will be available in September. See www.AfricaAccessReview.org for updates.

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