The Bangkok Book Awards were founded by a group of international school librarians in Bangkok. They were created, in part, to identify and promote excellent global children’s literature. This year’s shortlists for picture books, juvenile literature, and young adult literature were drawn from suggestions made from school librarians in the area. The criteria were simple: the books must have been published in the last five years, and as a group, we agreed that we wanted to promote a diverse, global range of authors and narratives. The Red Dot Book Awards, a well-established children’s book award scheme in Singapore, served as a model and inspiration.
The awards are designed to celebrate excellence in children’s literature while creating a local community of readers who know and love them, and can discuss and enjoy them within and between different international schools.
This year’s shortlisted books are set in America, Japan, Canada, England, China, and France. Three of the books (Issun Boshi, The Secret of the Blue Glass, and Bronze and Sunflower) are translations. The authors come from, or currently live in, America, England, Zimbabwe, Japan, China, and France. We hope that the Bangkok Book Awards will be a successful, ongoing local experiment in promoting and celebrating truly global children’s literature.