Notable Children's Books submission process

How to submit books for consideration for the Notable Children's Book List:

  • Review the terms and criteria below.
  • Mail one copy of the book to the ALSC office (ATTN: Notable Children's Books Submission, 50 East Huron, Chicago, IL 60611-2795).
  • Mail one copy of the book to the award committee chair. Please e-mail alscawards@ala.org for address information.
  • ALSC membership is not a requirement to submit your work.
  • If you wish, you may attach a cover letter with your contact information to your final work. There is not a submission form to fill out or an entry fee for the Notable Children’s Books.

Please note:

The ALSC office is only requesting for one copy to be sent to the ALSC office and one copy to the committee chair. Standards are in place for the committee members to review and share submissions. If you are submitting for multiple awards, only one copy needs to be sent to the ALSC office.

Neither the ALSC office nor the committee chair can confirm receipt of submissions. If you would like to confirm receipt of your submission please use a mailing service with delivery confirmation. Submissions that are dropped off in- person to the ALSC office will not be accepted.

The ALSC office cannot answer eligibility questions or advise on which award your submission is eligible for. It is up to you to review the terms and criteria and if you feel you qualify, submit as appropriate. Eligibility is determined by the committee and is confidential.

The book and media awards are announced each year at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in January. The materials received by the ALSC office throughout the year will be used for ALSC’s Bookapalooza Program. The Bookapalooza Program selects three libraries to receive a Bookapalooza collection of these materials to be used in a way that creatively enhances their library service to children and families.

Deadline for submitting books is December 31 of the publication year.


Terms and Criteria

Notable is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.
The evaluative criteria to be used are:

  1. literary quality;
  2. originality of text and illustration;
  3. clarity and style of language;
  4. excellence of illustration;
  5. excellence of design and format;
  6. subject matter of interest and value to children;
  7. the likelihood of acceptance by children.

BOARD ACTIONS: "The ALA Notable Children's Books List, compiled by the ALSC Book Evaluation Committee, shall include the annual selections of the Newbery and Caldecott Award and Honor Books." - (July 1976)

"The ALA Notable Children's Books List, compiled by the ALSC Notable Children's Books Committee, shall include the books selected annually by the Batchelder Award Committee." - (July 1981).

"Beginning with 2004, include the Sibert medal and honor books, and the Belpré medal and honor books with a copyright date of the previous year, on the annual Notable Children's Books List" - (November 2003).

"Include the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner and honor books automatically on the list of books created by the Notable Children's Books Committee, starting with the first award in 2006." - (January 2006)

Eligibility

To be eligible for consideration a book must:

  1. Be a book for which children are a potential audience. See criteria for age range.
  2. Have been published in the United States during the year preceding the Midwinter Meeting at which the selection is made. This means that the book was published in that year, was available for purchase in that year, and has a copyright date no later than that year. A book might have a copyright date prior to the year under consideration but, for various reasons, was not published until the year under consideration.

NOTE: There is no limitation as to format. A book may be in hard or paper covers, spiral bound, in portfolio, etc. It is expected that books will have a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept developed through text or pictures or a combination thereof.

Purpose of the Notable Children's Books List

The Notable Children's Books selection committee is charged with selecting, annotating, and presenting for publication annually the list of notable children's books of the preceding year. The committee reads extensively during the year and at the ALA Midwinter Meeting selects for the list those titles they believe to be notable. The list is intended for children: to assist them in selecting books to read, to encourage them to seek out those that are considered notable among the many books available in bookstores and libraries. While it is not expected that every children's library of all sizes and types will necessarily select all of the books listed, it is hoped that nationwide, through library networks and bookstores, children will find these books to be accessible.

Not everyone is expected to agree with the committee's decision on the notable books. However, disagreement can lead to a sharpening of one's own critical sense and can be used as the basis for discussion in a group setting.

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