my discussion of the Schneider Family Book Awards: I struggled with this next part’s social acceptability.
Would expressing concern about a prior award recipient be “second-guessing” a past committee, possibly inviting defensiveness, or would it demonstrate the need for nominated titles to be considered carefully?
For discussion of a problematic Schneider award recipient, I ask that the committee read a review of Rules by Cynthia Lord, the 2007 middle-school winner.
I read Rules and the book’s recognition with a Schneider award for its portrayal of people with disabilities was another cause for uneasiness that I could not personally articulate. But as Riki Entz relates at Disability in KidLit, “Rules wants you to relate to Catherine [the non-disabled main character]. There are very few attempts to humanize David [the main character’s autistic brother].”
A storyline involving Jason, a nonverbal character who uses a wheelchair, “is given better treatment than David” but as Entz relates, Jason’s purpose seems “more to develop Catherine’s character than to be his own independent self.”
I understand from the manual that committee members read critical reviews of the nominated titles. Disability in KidLit does an outstanding job of identifying problematic themes and treatments of characters. I encourage the committee to make use of this resource when evaluating nominees for their portrayal of “the disability experience.”
Subject Classifications (Partial list, via Dewey Decimal System)
- 006.754-Social Media
- 020-Library and Information Science
- 020.92-Cynthia M. Parkhill (Biographical)
- 023.3-Library Workers
- 025.04-Internet Access
- 027.473-Public Libraries
- 027.663-Libraries and people with disabilities
- 027.8-School Libraries
- 028.52-Children's Literature
- 028.535-Young Adult Literature
- 028.7-Information Literacy
- 158.2-Social Intelligence
- 323.30-People with disabilities--Civil rights
- 658.812-Customer Service
- 659.2-Public Relations
- 686.22-Graphic Design
- 809-Literature--Critical Appraisal