A Toronto literacy organization has been named co-winner of the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
The Children’s Book Bank, a storefront literacy organization located in the high-density, low-income Toronto neighbourhood of Regent Park, operates like a bookstore, except that the gently used books are free to children.
In a press release, the seven-member international jury said: We selected the Children’s Book Bank as one of this year’s winners because it is a very simple system of book recycling, which in addition to getting books into the hands of children, effectively uses the skills of retired librarians and teachers. This idea has the possibility to be expanded and replicated in many places.
The biennial IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award, given to organizations around the world that promote reading among young people, was also awarded to the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa. Each organization will be presented with $10,000 at the 34th International Board on Books for Young People Congress in Mexico City in September.
Concurrently, IBBY announced that Japanese author Nahoko Uehashi and Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello are the winners of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. Canadian author Kenneth Oppel and illustrator Philippe Béha made the prize’s longlist along with nearly 60 international authors and illustrators.