Mildred L. Batchelder Award

About the Mildred L. Batchelder Award
This award, established in Mildred L. Batchelder's honor in 1966, is a citation awarded to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

Award and Frequency

An annual plaque.
This award is given out on an annual basis.


  • Winner shall be a American publisher, meaning a publisher with offices in the United States that publishes books under U.S. Publishing conventions for the United States market.
  • A children's book, where this means a United States trade publication for which children, up to and including age 14, are a potential audience. Books for this entire age range are to be considered.
  • A book, meaning that the work was published in book format both in its country of origin and in the United States. The U.S. book is neither a condensation, excerpt, nor abridgement of the original book.

Applicant Responsibility

Award winner attends the ALSC Award Presentation Ceremony during ALA Annual Conference to accept plaque and give acceptance speech.  Honorees attend to accept plaque.

Application Instructions

How to submit books for consideration for the Batchelder Award:

  • Review the terms and criteria for the award.
  • Please download and complete a Submission Form for each entry.
  • Mail one copy of the book and a completed submission form to the ALSC office (ATTN: Batchelder Submission, 50 East Huron, Chicago, IL 60611-2795).
  • Mail one copy of the book and a completed submission form to the award committee chair. Address information can be found on the Submission Form.
  • ALSC membership is not a requirement to submit your work and there is not an entry fee for the Batchelder Award.

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.

Contact Information

If you need more information, feel free to contact the ALA Library Reference Desk by telephone: 800-545-2433, extension 2153; fax: 312-280-3255; e-mail:; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795.

Selection Criteria

1. Focus of attention:

Primary attention must be directed to the text. Picture books should be considered only if the text is substantial and at least as important as the pictures.

2. Relationship to original work:

   1. The translation should be true to the substance (e.g., plot, characterization, setting) and flavor of the original work and should retain the viewpoint of the author.
   2. Reflection of the style of the author and of the original language are assets unless in the translation these reflections result in awkwardness in style or lack of clarity for children.
   3. The book should not be unduly "Americanized." The book's reader should be able to sense that the book came from another country.
   4. Folk literature is not eligible.

3. Quality of the United States Book:

   1. The textual qualities to be evaluated will vary depending on the content and type of the book being considered. Each book should be evaluated only on the elements pertinent to it. These include:
          * Interpretation of the theme or concept
          * Presentation of information including accuracy, clarity, and organization
          * Development of plot
          * Delineation of characters
          * Appropriateness of style
   2. In all cases, committee members must consider the book's manner of presentation for and the potential appeal to a child audience.
   3. Aspects of the overall design of the book should be considered when they significantly enhance or detract from the text, thus making the book more or less effective as a children's book. Such aspects might include: illustration, type face, layout, book jacket, etc.
   4. In some children's books, illustrations are important. In considering such a book, consideration should be given to the retention of the original illustrator's work in the U.S. edition.

NOTE: Often it will be impossible for the committee members to read the book in its original language. Therefore, the committee must use its best judgement in evaluating the quality of the translation (point 2 above), keeping in mind that a translated book is a separate entity from the book as published in its original language.


ALA Youth Media Awards Press Conference - ALA Midwinter Meeting