The Georgia Children’s Book Award was established in 1968 by Sheldon Root, Professor of the Department of Language Education in the College of Education at the University of Georgia. The award program will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018!
The purpose of the award is to foster a love of reading in the children of Georgia, and to introduce them to books of literary excellence. The award is given in two categories – picturebooks and middle grade novels. Books are nominated for the awards by teachers, media specialists, and other children’s literature enthusiasts from the state of Georgia. The final lists of 20 nominees are selected by a committee of teachers, school media specialists, and public librarians (chaired by a member of the faculty from the Department of Language and Literacy Education).
Throughout the year, teachers and media specialists are encouraged to present the nominees in appealing and meaningful ways, to read the books aloud, and to develop activities that will connect the literature to the curriculum. Students across the state will vote on which books they think should win for the individual categories.
The books receiving the most votes from children in grades K-4 (picturebook category) and 4-8 (novel category) are the winners. The authors and illustrators of the winning books are often featured speakers at the annual Conference on Children’s Literature held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens, Georgia, which is held in March.