Every two years, IBBY invites nominations from national sections for its international list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities. 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.
The selected books are held in three collections, one at the IBBY Documentation Centre in Toronto and the others are available as travelling collections. An annotated printed catalogue of the final selection is published. Further details and copies of previous lists can be viewed on the IBBY website.
The 2021 list will be unveiled at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next spring.
The final list includes not only books that are intended for use by young people with disabilities but also books that depict young people with disabilities. There are three categories under which nominations can be made, all for books published from 2016 and first published in the UK.
Books produced in special formats, such as Braille, sign language, PCS or Bliss symbols, tactile, and easy-to-read books, specifically written for young people with developmental, mental or language disabilities.
Picture books from the regular production especially selected for young people with disabilities that also answer their particular needs through design, topics, illustrations and texts.
Picture books and novels that portray persons with disabilities.
The IBBY UK nominations this year were selected by a working party whose members were Dr Rebecca Butler, Carol Thompson and Ros Bird.
They said: ‘This year the selection process has been greatly affected by Covid19. Some of the 79 IBBY sections had no postal service, no access to translators and libraries were closed. In the UK we had a lower response to our request for submissions and we may have missed great examples from UK publishers with everyone working at distance. But we agree that our chosen nominated titles are outstanding and reflect a variety of disabilities. At a time when children need these books the most, it’s more urgent than ever to get them out into the world and into the hands of children.’
IBBY UK Nominations for the 2021 list (all category 3)
Steve Anthony Amazing, Hodder, 2019
Me and my Sister, Scallywag Press, 2019
Talking is Not My Thing, Scallywag Press, 2020
Young Adult Books:
Joseph Elliot The Good Hawk, Walker Books, 2020
Linda Newbery The Key to Flambards, David Fickling Books, 2018
Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott Can You See Me? Scholastic, 2019
Jacqueline Wilson, Love Frankie, Penguin, 2020
For the last several years, IBBY UK has organised tours of the international collections of outstanding books to venues in Plymouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The 2019 collection was due to tour in the Autumn of 2020. This has been suspended due to the pandemic but it is hoped to resume the tour when possible.
To find out more about hosting the exhibition, please contact the IBBY UK Membership Secretary, email firstname.lastname@example.org