Schneider Family Book Award

About the Schneider Family Book Award The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
Click here for the Schneider Family Book Award Manual (PDF)
Bibliography of Children's Books about the Disability Experience (pdf)

Administered by:

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Award and Frequency

Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). The book must emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience for children and or adolescent audiences. The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional.
This award is given out on an annual basis.


  1. The person with the disability may be the protagonist or a secondary character.
  2. Definition of disability: Dr. Schneider has intentionally allowed for a broad interpretation by her wording, the book “must portray some aspect of living with a disability, whether the disability is physical, mental, or emotional.”  This allows each committee to decide on the qualifications of particular titles. 
  3. Books with death as the main theme are generally disqualified.
  4. The books must be published in English.
  5. The award may be given posthumously.
  6. Term of eligibility extends to publications from the preceding year.
  7. Books previously discussed and voted on are not eligible again.

Application Instructions

Application Instructions:

  1. Complete the online application for each submitted title.
  2. Send one copy of each submitted title to the Schneider Family Book Awards Jury members. (addresses included in the online application)
  3. Send one copy of each submitted title to the ALA Awards Program. (address included in the online application)
  4. Titles submitted for the Schneider Family Book Awards will not be returned. 
  5. Books must be received by December 1 to be considered for the award.

Contact Information


2018 Jury members
Cheryl Malden – (staff liaison)
ALA Awards Program Governance Office
50 East Huron Street Chicago, IL 60611
Mrs. Joanna Lynn Tamplin (Chair)
3103 Corrib Dr
Tallahassee, FL 32309-3307
Alyson Beecher
211 Mount Washington Dr Apt 2
Los Angeles, CA 90065-3170
Mary Burkey
1430 Montcalm Rd.
Columbus, OH 43221
Jill Garcia
4608 Yates Rd
Beltsville, MD 20705-2631
Mr. Gregory Lum
Clark Library/Portland State University
9000 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy
Portland, OR 97225-2491
Jennifer Kelley Reed
1314 Walnut St
Newton, MA 02461-1844
JoAnna Schofield
4829 Bratton Court
Stow, OH 44224
Ed A. Spicer
484 Lake Dr
Allegan, MI 49010-9108


Cheryl Malden (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2020) -
Work Phone: (312) 280-3247
Fax: 312 944-3897
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611-2788

Displaying active committee roster as of 11/22/2017. Last retrieved on 11/22/2017. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

  1. Content
    • May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction.
    • Must portray the emotional, mental, or physical disability as part of a full life, not as something to be pitied or overcome.
    • Representation of characters with disabilities should be realistic avoiding exaggeration or stereotypes.
    • Person with disability should be integral to the presentation, not merely a passive bystander.
    • The theme must be appropriate for and respectful of the intended audience age.
    • Information on a disability must be accurate.
  2. Style
    • Should be engaging with distinctive use of language for plot and character development and setting delineation.
    • Book should be judged on its own merit as a self-contained  entity, not as part of a series, and irrespective of supportive materials such as a CD or other supplemental material.
  3. Illustration in picture books
    • Text and images should complement each other, with differentiated contrast between text, pictures, and background.
    • Format and typeface must be of age appropriate size, clearly readable, and free of typographical errors.
    • Layout should be easy to follow enhancing the flow of the story or information.


The winner(s) are notified the Sunday morning of Midwinter conference by phone. Official announcement of the winner is made at the ALA Midwinter press conference where all ALA children's literature awards are officially announced.