For immediate release | January 22, 2024

2024 Batchelder Award honors ‘Houses with a Story: A Dragon’s Den, a Ghostly Mansion, a Library of Lost Books, and 30 More Amazing Places to Explore’

BALTIMORE — The 2024 Mildred L. Batchelder Award honored “Houses with a Story: A Dragon’s Den, a Ghostly Mansion, a Library of Lost Books, and 30 More Amazing Places to Explore,” published by Amulet, an imprint of Abrams. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), at ALA's LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held Jan. 19–22 in Baltimore.

The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children's book originating in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Originally published in Japanese in 2020 by PIE International as “Houses with a Story,” this book was written and illustrated by Seiji Yoshida and translated by Jan Mitsuko Cash. The book introduces more than 30 delightfully detailed dwellings and their inhabitants through intricate architectural illustrations with sidebars and descriptions that introduce residents both human and supernatural, from the past, present and even a water-logged future.

“By exploring the intriguing contents of houses and meeting their inhabitants—whether real or imaginary—readers will discover or be inspired to create an infinite number of stories,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Natalie Ziarnik.

Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “The House of the Lost on the Cape,” published by Yonder, an imprint of Restless Books; “Later, When I’m Big,” published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers; and “Pardalita,” published by Levine Querido.

Originally published in Japanese in 2015 as “Misaki No Mayoiga” or “The Abandoned House on the Cape,” “The House of the Lost on the Cape” was written by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Yukiko Saito, and translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa. Written in response to the Tōhoku regional disasters of March 11, 2011, this tale follows three generations of women who create a found family. Helped by creatures from Japanese folklore, the trio reconcile their new normal in the wake of tragedy and defend their village from evil threats.

"Japanese folklore characters use their supernatural abilities to help the members of a found family heal from a series of personal and community catastrophes,” Ziarnik said.

Originally published in Dutch in 2021, “Later When I’m Big” was written by Bette Westera, illustrated by Mattias De Leeuw and translated by Laura Watkinson. While visiting an indoor waterpark, a child envisions future adventures. Accompanied by vibrant illustrations and dynamic text, a series of increasingly daring scenes unfold through the imagination of a fearless child.

“In bursts of whimsical art and energetic language, this story presents a child’s anticipated courageous adventures inspired by a lush waterpark,” Ziarnik said.

Originally published in Portuguese in 2021, “Pardalita” was written and illustrated by Joana Estrela and translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Told through a dynamic blend of graphic illustrations and poetry, this introspective bildungsroman explores Raquel’s blossoming crush on her classmate Pardalita and Raquel’s growing self-awareness as she navigates a new peer community and her increasing independence.

“This tender, queer coming-of-age story poetically reveals the inner mind of a high school student grappling with her identity and existential questions,” Ziarnik said.

Members of the 2024 Batchelder Award Committee are Chair Natalie Ziarnik, Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, Illinois; Kit Ballenger, Help Your Shelf, Chevy Chase, Maryland; Lisa K. Boyd, Canton Public Library, Canton, Michigan; Emily M. Carlson, Beaverton School District, Beaverton, Oregon; Katrin Stimmer, Dakota County Heritage Library, Lakeville, Minnesota; and Kate Davis, Fort Lupton Public & School Library, Commerce City, Colorado (award administrative assistant).

The Association for Library Service to Children is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children's and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. To learn more, visit their website at www.ala.org/alsc.

For information on the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

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