AASL introduces the Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/20/2014


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) invites members to apply for the Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award, a new addition to the organization’s prestigious awards program. Sponsored by Penguin Random House, the Roald Dahl Award recognizes collaboration between school librarians and teachers in the instruction of social justice using school library resources. More information is available on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/awards.

“Librarians, especially school librarians, have always been passionate in their concern for equity and access,” said AASL President Gail Dickinson. “The belief that all children can learn is a fundamental belief of our educational system, but ensuring that all children have equal access to information and resources is the core value of school librarians. Teaching social justice through books is something that librarians do in every school. This award will allow school librarians to both showcase and model how they teach social justice in schools.”

The Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award recognizes AASL members who have collaboratively designed a lesson, event, or course of study on social justice. The award is named for Miss Honey, a character in Dahl’s “Matilda,” honoring the way many of Roald Dahl’s books convey a child’s sense of social justice. In “Matilda,” Miss Honey is a nurturing educator who supports the title character, a gifted young girl in an unkind home.

One recipient will be awarded the Roald Dahl Award each year. Recipients will receive $2,000, a $5,000 book donation from Penguin Random House and up to $1,000 in reimbursement towards travel and housing to attend the AASL awards presentation at the ALA Annual Conference.

“I’m elated to have Penguin Random House come aboard as sponsors of this new award,” said Sylvia Knight Norton, AASL executive director. “The concept of social justice is embedded into our learning standards. School librarians recognize that in an increasingly global world of information students must be taught to seek diverse perspectives and to participate ethically as members of our society. Now, with Penguin Random House’s support, we’re able to recognize those educators who use the resources of the school library to engage students with these concepts.”

Applications for the 2014 award are due June 1. The inaugural presentation of the award celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and applicants are asked to submit projects related to the novel. In subsequent years, projects may use any school library resources which reflect the spirit of social justice as personified in Dahl’s books. The application and additional award criteria can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/awards.

“Penguin is thrilled to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the establishment of the Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award," said Carmela Iaria, executive director, school and library marketing for Penguin Young Readers Group. "We know teachers and school librarians have been championing Roald Dahl’s work for years, and it’s an honor to collaborate with the AASL to recognize this important contribution.”  

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.