Every two years, IBBY invites nominations for its international List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities.
Nominations are made by IBBY national sections and the final list is selected from these by the IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Young People with Disabilities, based in Toronto. Because of its international content, the list is unique in the children’s book world. It is a huge voluntary undertaking as every country is encouraged to submit up to twelve titles across the three categories. This year there were 194 submissions from 31 countries in 24 languages. From these, 40 outstanding examples from 27 countries in 21 languages have been selected, including two UK entries:
Talking is Not my Thing!, Rose Robbins, Scallywag Press
The Good Hawk, Joseph Elliott, Walker Books
Carole Thompson and Becky Butler from the nomination committee write:
‘The process of submitting books for consideration in 2020 was complicated by the impact of the pandemic. Many publishers were working from their homes. They did not have access to the usual secretarial services. It was therefore a huge tribute to the growing status of the list that a record number of entrants came from UK publishers.
We selected Rose Robbins’s book for its marriage of vibrant and eloquent illustrations and a strong narrative voice. Joseph Elliott’s book
was selected because it is rare to encounter a protagonist in a YA fantasy novel with Down’s syndrome. The book’s protagonist Agatha is a three-dimensional character.’
The 2021 list will be unveiled at the next Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
The books in the final selection form three collections. One is held at the IBBY Documentation Centre in Toronto and the others are available as travelling collections, and will eventually tour in the UK.
An annotated printed catalogue of the final selection is published. Further details and copies of previous lists can be viewed here.