BYU Radio

MONOLOGUE: The Batchelder Award

Those familiar with the field of children’s literature will have heard of our two most prestigious book awards given yearly by the American Library Association. The Newbery Award is given to the most distinguished contribution to literature for children and the Caldecott Award is given to the most distinguished picture book. However, these are not the only children’s book awards given by the American Library Association.  And while I love to encourage people to read and enjoy the Newbery and Caldecott books, I also encourage them to check out other awards to expand their reading horizons. 

One of my personal favorites is the Batchelder Award. Books that win this award were first written and published in a different language and then they were translated into English to be sold here in the United States. I love this award first and foremost because it encourages publishers to translate works into English. The award criteria require the translation to be true in substance and flavor to the original work so readers can be assured that the quality of these translations is very high. I also love this award because it gives readers access to works that may not have been accessible to them before. The range and scope of books that win this award is very wonderful to see. In my mind, this award encourages readers to delve into a trove of stories that express the richness of the global society we live in. 

For example, a now beloved author, Cornelia Funke, who wrote the book Inkheart that was made into a movie starring Brendan Fraser, was one author who won this award. For older teens, one recent Batchelder winner that I enjoyed was My Family For the War by Anne Voorhoeve. This is a  story about a girl who escapes Nazi Germany on the kinder transport. The book covers the whole of World War II and offers a heartfelt and interesting look at the impact of the war on one child’s life. Another favorite for younger children that tackles a very poignant topic is Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved and illustrated by Charlotte Pardi, which addresses the realities of life and death when four children try to prevent death from taking their grandmother away. But even if these two don’t catch your fancy, then we here at “Worlds Awaiting” suggest you check out the other Batchelder Award winners for a long list of amazing books from which you may just find a new favorite.


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Scholastic, 2003.

My Family For the War by Anne Voorhoeve. Dial Books, 2012.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charolote Pardi, translated by Robert Moulthrop.  Enchanted Lion Books, 2016.


From Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.


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