Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2018

Jacqueline Woodson

Brooklyn author Jacqueline Woodson is the winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2018, the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award amounts to 5 million Swedish krona (approx. $613,000 or EUR 500 000) and is given annually to a single laureate or to several. The award will be presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on May 28.

Woodson is the author of more than thirty books, including novels, poetry and picture books. She writes primarily for young teens, but also for children and adults. One of her most lauded books is the award winning autobiographical Brown Girl Dreaming (2014).

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award citation reads:

Jacqueline Woodson introduces us to resilient young people fighting to find a place where their lives can take root. In language as light as air, she tells stories of resounding richness and depth. Jacqueline Woodson captures a unique poetic note in a daily reality divided between sorrow and hope.

Jacqueline Woodson frequently writes about teens making the transition from childhood to adult life. Masterful characterization and a deep understanding of the adolescent psyche are hallmarks of her work. Her books are written in the first person, usually from a female point of view. Racism, segregation, economic injustice, social exclusion, prejudice and sexual identity are all recurring themes. In January she was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in the United States.

“It’s important to hold up mirrors for kids to see their experience is legitimate. Too often those mirrors aren’t there for them,” says Woodson.

Woodson made her authorial debut in 1990 with Last Summer With Maizon, the first book in a trilogy about a friendship between two girls. The Dear One, a story about teen pregnancy, came out the same year. After Tupac and D Foster (2008) is a story about the meaning of everything, about freedom and realizing that all is not what it seems. Passionate, lightning-bolt love is portrayed in If You Come Softly (1998). In Beneath A Meth Moon (2012), the fifteen-year-old protagonist must face uncomfortable memories to leave her past behind and break free of a drug addiction.

In Brown Girl Dreaming, a free-verse memoir for which she received the prestigious National Book Award, Woodson not only describes her own childhood in South Carolina and later New York, but also shines a light on African-American history. The young Jacqueline grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, decades marked in the US by civil rights marches, police brutality and violence. The book’s detailed descriptions of characters and settings reveal fault lines in society, pointing out the differences between different groups. Woodson’s most recent novel, Another Brooklyn, published in 2016 and a National Book Award nominee, portrays the fascination and challenges of growing up as a young girl in the Brooklyn of the 1970s.

Her books have been translated into more than ten languages.Woodson’s many honours include the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Newbery Honor Awards.

A complete list of Jacqueline Woodson’s works is at www.alma.se/en under the heading Laureates.

A quote from the author’s website, www.jacquelinewoodson.com

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories across sidewalks and penciled tiny tales in notebook margins. I loved and still love watching words flower into sentences and sentences blossom into stories.

I also told a lot of stories as a child. Not “Once upon a time” stories but basically, outright lies. I loved lying and getting away with it! There was something about telling the lie-story and seeing your friends’ eyes grow wide with wonder. Of course I got in trouble for lying but I didn’t stop until fifth grade.

That year, I wrote a story and my teacher said “This is really good.” Before that I had written a poem about Martin Luther King that was, I guess, so good no one believed I wrote it. After lots of brouhaha, it was believed finally that I had indeed penned the poem which went on to win me a Scrabble game and local acclaim. So by the time the story rolled around and the words “This is really good” came out of the otherwise down-turned lips of my fifth grade teacher, I was well on my way to understanding that a lie on the page was a whole different animal — one that won you prizes and got surly teachers to smile. A lie on the page meant lots of independent time to create your stories and the freedom to sit hunched over the pages of your notebook without people thinking you were strange.

 [Based on a press release.]

2018 Astrid Lindgren Award Nominees


Neil Gaiman, Ursula K.Le Guin, Judy Blume and Eric Carle are among the nominees for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, worth 5 million krona, the world’s largest cash prize for children’s literature.

The award is given to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters for work “of the highest artistic quality” featuring the “humanistic values” of the late Pippi Longstocking author, for whom the award is named. Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 94.

The 235 candidates from 60 countries nominated for the 2018 award were named at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 12. The winner will be announced on March 27, 2018.

The list of nominated candidates is presented in alphabetical order following the jump. Links lead to more information, often in the candidate’s own language. (Apologies for the appearance of “?” where WordPress won’t reproduce the appropriate character.)

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Erlbruch Wins 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Wolf Erlbruch, a German illustrator and picturebook author, has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s largest cash prize for children’s literature. The award jury selected Erlbruch out of 226 candidates from 60 countries.

The 5 million Swedish krona award honors the entire body of an author’s work. The award is administered by the Swedish Arts Council. It is given authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters for work “of the highest artistic quality” featuring the “humanistic values” of the late Pippi Longstocking author, for whom the award is named. Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 94.

He is best known for his illustrations of The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (1994) – a book about an angry little mole who gets poop on his head and sets out to track down the guilty party. Wolf Erlbruch has written ten books of his own and illustrated nearly fifty titles by other authors.

The jury citation reads:

Wolf Erlbruch makes existential questions accessible and manageable for readers of all ages. With humour and warmth deeply rooted in humanist ideals, his work presents the universe on our scale. He is a master of the illustrator’s art who honours tradition whilst opening new creative doors. Wolf Erlbruch is a careful and caring visionary.

His Duck, Death and the Tulip (2008), a tender story in which little Duck gets a visit from Death, has been hailed as a modern classic and often described as the most beautiful book ever published about death.

Erlbruch has received numerous awards, including the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis and the Hans Christian Andersen Award for his complete works.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on May 29.

Drawing from the book Duck, Death and the Tulip (Ente, Tod und Tulpe)

[Based on the press release.]

2016 Lindgren Award Nominees

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is the world’s largest cash prize for children’s literature.

Administered by the Swedish Arts Council, the 5 million krona award honors the entire body of an author’s work.

It is given authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters for work “of the highest artistic quality” featuring the “humanistic values” of the late Pippi Longstocking author, for whom the award is named. Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 94.

A total of 226 candidates from 60 countries are nominated for the 2016 award. The list was published at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 20, 2016. The winner will be announced April 4, 2017.

The list of nominated candidates is presented in alphabetical order following the jump. Links lead to more information, often in the candidate’s own language.
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Meg Rosoff Wins Lindgren Award

Meg Rosoff, known for novels like How I Live Now and Just In Case, is the 2016 winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s largest cash prize for children’s literature.

The 5 million Swedish krona award honors the entire body of an author’s work. The award jury selected Rosoff out of 215 candidates from 59 countries.

The Astrid Lindgren memorial award is administered by the Swedish Arts Council. It is given authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters for work “of the highest artistic quality” featuring the “humanistic values” of the late Pippi Longstocking author, for whom the award is named. Lindgren died in 2002 at the age of 94.

Rosoff told The Guardian Pippi Longstocking was “absolutely a hero of mine when I was a kid, because she was a maverick. I was told my whole life that I needed to be a nice girl, and then there’s Pippi in huge boots carrying a horse around. I couldn’t have had a better hero.”