Press

Azia Books Awards June 12, 2022

Azia Books is thrilled to announce the following children’s book awards:

In the Mixed Race, Young Reader Category, the Azia Books Award was given to Prairie Lotus, written by Linda Sue Park. https://lindasuepark.com/books/books-novels/prairie-lotus/

In the Multicultural, Young Reader Category, the Azia Books Award was given to Stand Up Yumi Chung, written by Jessica Kim. https://jesskimwrites.com/books/

In the Mixed Race, Picture Book Category, the Azia Books Award was given to The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, written by Selina Alko.  Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko.  https://www.selinaalko.com/gallery

In the Multicultural, Picture Book Category, the Azia Books Award was given to We Are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom, Illustrated by Michaela Goade. http://www.carolelindstrom.com/

Azia Books memorializes Loving v. Virginia by giving an award to the authors of the best books with a multiracial or multicultural protagonist.

Linda Sue Park said, “I’m honored and humbled that Prairie Lotus has received the Azia Book Award. This book has great personal meaning to me. As a child, I was always seeking characters who looked like me in the pages of the books I loved, and in the history I was taught in school, but stories about and by Asian Americans were not easy to find. Thankfully, things are changing! I hope this book about a half-Asian girl on the Dakota prairie will find its way into the hearts of many young readers who love stories about overcoming adversity to find your own truth.”

Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade said, “It is an honor to receive an important award such as the Azia Book Award, which recognizes books that reflect multicultural/multiracial protagonists and families. To have been chosen among the list of distinguished picture books brings overwhelming joy and humbleness to our hearts. Chi miigwech and Gunalcheesh, Carole and Michaela.”

Selina Alko said, “I am delighted.  It is a thrill that the story of Loving V. Virginia still resonates today.  The Supreme Court decision is about the right to love each other.  In classrooms, when I speak, the children get it right away.  My own children would not be here if not for the decision.  Writing the book about the decision has been a pleasure and a journey. I am grateful for the award.”

The Board reviewed 42 picture books and 19 young reader books. The list for 2021/2022 is included at aziabooks.com.  The children’s books all have a multicultural or multiracial protagonist or family.

The Azia Board members consider it a great honor to award these books. Board member Barbara Gilchrist explained “access to books representing positive and healthy multiracial, -ethnic, and -cultural characters are integral to the healthy social, emotional, and intellectual development of mixed and multicultural children.“

Likewise, second grade teacher Deborah Cabanos added that she is “interested in using the award to inspire other teachers to “be the change.”

Additionally, fourth grade teacher Julia Rodriguez believes that “our students need to have access to stories that reflect their own backgrounds. We are highlighting stories and works from authors whose writing can diversify the selections in classroom library shelves.”

According to the Pew Research Center one-in-six newlyweds are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. Since Loving v. Virginia in 1967 the rate has increased to 17%.  Board member Cathy Carruthers said “the children of these marriages deserve great books that reflect their own families. We hope that the award will help publishing houses to recognize and fill this need for multicultural and multiracial children’s books.”

The Board is thrilled to have completed another round of awards, and looks forward to reviewing more books for 2023.

Previous Releases

Azia Books Awards June 12, 2021

Books for Multicultural/Multiracial Kids

Azia Books is thrilled to announce the following children’s book awards:

In the Picture Book Category, the Azia Books Award was given to Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios. Publisher: Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, http://leeandlow.com

In the Young Reader Category, the Azia Books Award was given to The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez. Publisher: Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. http://penguinrandomhouse.com/

Azia Books memorializes Loving v. Virginia by giving an award to the authors of the best books with a multiracial/multicultural protagonist.

Monica Brown said “I’m delighted to receive the inaugural Azia Book Award, which honors strong multicultural representation in children’s literature. Thank you to the distinguished committee made of up educators, leaders, creators, and advocates of diverse children’s literature in the state of Washington.”

Celia C. Pérez said, “I am grateful to the Azia Book Award committee for honoring The First Rule of Punk and its portrayal of Malú (María Luisa) O’Neill-Morales a half white, half Mexican American, all punk protagonist!As someone who is part of a multicultural and multiracial family, it is personally significant to have this story recognized. I’m so appreciative of the committee for the time and care that went into selecting, reviewing and honoring books about children who navigate among the varied and rich identities that make them who they are. It is my delight to be a recipient, and I look forward to seeing the award grow in years to come.”

The Board reviewed 7 picture books and 11 young reader books. The list for 2020/2021 is included at aziabooks.com.  The children’s books all have a multicultural or multiracial protagonist or family.

Board member Barbara Gilchrist explained “access to books representing positive and healthy multiracial, -ethnic, and -cultural characters are integral to the healthy social, emotional, and intellectual development of mixed and multicultural children. “

Second grade teacher Deborah Cabanos is “interested in using the award to inspire other teachers to “be the change.” “Our students need to have access to stories that reflect their own backgrounds.  We are highlighting stories and works from authors whose writing can diversify the selections in classroom library shelves., said Julia Rodriquez.

According to the Pew Research Center one-in-six newlyweds are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.  Since Loving v. Virginia in 1967 the rate has increased to 17%.  Cathy Carruthers said “the children of these marriages deserve great books that reflect their own families.  We hope that the award will help publishing houses to recognize and fill this need for multicultural and multiracial children’s books.