Awarded annually by the Children's Literature Association to recognize outstanding book-length contributions to children's literature history, scholarship, and criticism. Eligible titles must be published, book-length works on the history of and/or scholarship or criticism on children's literature, they must be written in English exclusively by the author(s) whose name(s) appear on the title page, and they must bear an original copyright date of the year under consideration. Anthologies (including but not limited to festschriften), reference works (including but not limited to textbooks), and reprints (including but not limited to new editions) of previously published books are not eligible; neither are works completed in order to satisfy graduation requirements (including but not limited to honors papers, masters theses, and doctoral dissertations) unless they have been reworked as a book. Access links to publisher Web sites for all currently in-print books by clicking on the publisher name.
Awards are given for books published two years prior to the award year.
2014 (awarded 2016)
Winner: Katharine Capshaw for Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks, University of Minnesota Press, 2014
Honor book: Teresa Michals for Books for Children, Books for Adults: Age and the Novel from Defoe to James, Cambridge University Press, 2014
2013 (awarded 2015)
Winner: Anastasia Ulanowicz for Second-Generation Memory and Contemporary Children's Literature, Routledge, 2013
Honor book: Courtney Weikle-Mills for Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013
2012 (awarded 2014)
Winner: Christopher Parkes for Children's Literature and Capitalism: Fictions of Social Mobility in Britain, 1850-1914, Palgrave, 2012
Honor book: Phil Nel for Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature, University Press of Mississippi, 2012
Bart Beaty, Comics versus Art (University of Toronto Press)
Claudia Nelson, Precocious Children and Childish Adults: Age Inversion in Victorian Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press)
2011 (awarded 2013)
Winner: Robin Bernstein for Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood and Race from Slavery to Civil Rights, published by New York University Press, 2011
Honor book: Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children's Literature, by Kenneth B. Kidd, University of Minnesota Press, 2011
Recommended Book: Jackie Horne, History & Construction of the Child in Early British Children's Literature (Ashgate)
2010 (awarded 2012)
Winner: Nathalie op de Beeck, for Suspended Animation: Children's Picture Books and the Fairy Tale of Modernity, University of Minnesota Press, 2010.
Honor Book: Megan A. Norcia, for X Marks the Spot: Women Writers Map the Empire for Children, 1790-1885, University of Ohio Press, 2010.
Recommended Book: Jan Susina, The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children's Literature (Routledge)
2009 (awarded 2011)
Winner: Marah Gubar for Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature, Oxford University Press, 2009
Honor Book: Anja Mueller for Framing Childhood in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals and Prints, 1689-1789, Ashgate, 2009
Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James, A Short History of Fantasy (Middlesex University Press)
Maria Nikolajeva, Power, Voice and Subjectivity in Literature for Young Readers (Routledge)
2008 (awarded 2010)
Winner: Leonard Marcus for Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature. Houghton-Mifflin, 2008.
Penny Brown, A Critical History of French Children’s Literature (Routledge)
Anita Clair Fellman, Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Impact on American Culture (University of Missouri Press)
Perry Nodelman, The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press)
Annette Wannamaker, Boys in Children’s Literature and Popular Culture: Masculinity, Abjection, and the Fictional Child (Routledge)
Michael Ward, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis (Oxford University Press)
2007 (awarded 2009)
Winner: Kimberley Reynolds for Radical Children’s Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations in Juvenile Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007
Clare Bradford for Unsettling Narratives: Postcolonial Readings of Children’s Literature. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007
Joseph T. Thomas, Jr. for Poetry’s Playground: The Culture of Contemporary American Children’s Poetry. Wayne State University Press, 2007.
Recommended Book: Owen Dudley Edwards, British Children’s Fiction in the Second World War (Edinburgh University Press)
2006 (awarded 2008)
Winner: Julia Mickenberg for Learning from the Left: Children's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States. Oxford University Press, 2006
Charles Butler, Four British Fantasists Place and Culture in the Children's Fantasies of Penelope Lively, Alan Garner, Dianne Wynne Jones, and Susan Cooper (Scarecrow)
Michael Cart and Christine Jenkins, The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content 1969-2000 (Scarecrow)
Lorinda Cohoon, Serialized Citizenships: Periodicals, Books, and American Boys, 1840-1911 (Scarecrow)
Tess Cosslett, Talking Animals in British Children's Fiction 1786-1914 (Ashgate)
Jacalyn Eddy, Bookwomen: Creating an Empire in Children's Publishing, 1919-1939 (University of Wisconsin Press in collaboration with the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America and the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System Office of Scholarly Communication)
Sarah Wadsworth, In the Company of Books: Literature and Its "Classes" in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Massachusetts Press)
2005 (awarded 2007)
Winner: Emer O'Sullivan for Comparative Children's Literature. Routledge, 2005
Honor Book: Angela Sorby for Schoolroom Poets: Childhood, Performance, and the Place of American Poetry, 1865-1917. University of New Hampshire Press, 2005
2004 (awarded 2006)
Winner: Katharine Capshaw Smith for Children's Literature of the Harlem Renaissance. Indiana University Press, 2004
Honor Book: Karen Coats for Looking Glasses and Neverlands: Lacan, Desire, and Subjectivity in Children's Literature. University of Iowa Press, 2004
2003 (awarded 2005)
Winner: Claudia Nelson for Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption and Foster Care in America, 1850-1929. Indiana University Press, 2003
Honor Book: Beverly Lyon Clark for Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Children's Literature in America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003
2002 (awarded 2004)
Winner: Hamida Bosmajian for Sparing the Child: Grief and the Unspeakable in Youth Literature about Nazism and the Holocaust. Routledge, 2002
Honor Book: Adrienne Kertzer for My Mother's Voice: Children, Literature, and the Holocaust. Broadview Press, 2002.
2001 (awarded 2003)
Winner: Clare Bradford for Reading Race: Aboriginality in Australian Children's Literature. Melbourne UP (Australia), 2001.
Honor Book: Elizabeth Wanning Harries for Twice Upon a Time: Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale. Princeton University Press, 2001.
2000 (awarded 2002)
Winner: Roberta Seelinger Trites for Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature. University of Iowa Press, 2000.
Honor book: Valerie Krips for The Presence of the Past: Memory, Heritage, and Childhood in Postwar Britain. Garland, 2000.
1999 (awarded 2001)
Winner: Mary Farquhar, Children's Literature in China. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1998.
1998 (awarded 2000)
Winner: Donnarae MacCann, White Supremacy in Children's Literature: Characterizations of African-Americans 1830-1900. New York: Garland, 1998.
Honor book: U.C. Knoepflmacher, Ventures Into Childland: Victorians, Fairy Tales and Femininity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
1997 (awarded 1999)
Winner: Ann Romines, Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.
Honor book: Margery Hourihan, Deconstructing the Hero: Literary Theory and Children's Literature. New York: Routledge, 1997.
1996 (awarded 1998)
Winner: Ruth Bottigheimer, The Bible for Children: From the Age of Gutenberg to the Present. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.
Honor book: John Goldthwaite, The Natural History of Make-Believe. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Honor book: Maria Nikolajeva, Children's Literature Comes of Age: Toward a New Aesthetic. New York: Garland, 1996.
1995 (awarded 1997)
Winner: Morton N. Cohen, Lewis Carroll: A Biography. London: Macmillan; New York: Knopf, 1995.
1994 (awarded 1996)
Winner: Lois Kuznets, When Toys Come Alive: Narratives of Animation, Metamorphosis, and Development. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.
Honor book: Gillian Avery, Behold the Child: American Children and Their Books, 1621-1922. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
Honor book: Jack Zipes, Fairy Tale as Myth/Myth as Fairy Tale. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1994.
1993 (awarded 1995)
Winner: Elizabeth Keyser, Whispers in the Dark: The Fiction of Louisa May Alcott. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1993.
Honor book: Patricia Demers, Heaven Upon Earth: The Form of Moral and Religious Children's Literature to 1850. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1993.
Honor book: Samuel Pickering, Moral Instruction and Fiction for Children, 1749-1820. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993.
1992 (awarded 1994)
Winner: Jerry Griswold, Audacious Kids: Coming of Age in America's Classic Children's Books. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Honor book: Leonard Marcus, Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon. Boston: Beacon, 1992.
Honorable mention: Lucy Rollins, Cradle and All: A Cultural and Psychoanalytic Study of Nursery Rhymes. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1992.
Honorable mention: John Stephens, Language and Ideology in Children's Fiction. London: Longman, 1992.
1991 (awarded 1993)
Winner: Barbara Wall, The Narrator's Voice: The Dilemma of Children's Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.
Honor book: Virginia Wolf, Louise Fitzhugh. Boston: G. K. Hall/Twayne, 1991.
Honorable mention: Claudia Nelson, Boys Will Be Girls: The Feminine Ethic and British Children's Fiction, 1857-1917. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
Honorable mention: Patricia Demers, P. L. Travers. Boston: G. K. Hall/Twayne, 1991.
1990 (awarded 1992)
Winner: Millicent Lenz, Nuclear Age Literature for Youth: The Quest for a Life-Affirming Ethic. Chicago: American Library Association, 1990.
Honor book: Dianne Johnson, Telling Tales: The Pedagogy and Promise of African American Literature for Youth. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
Honorable mention: Gary D. Schmidt, Robert McCloskey. Boston: G. K. Hall/Twayne, 1990.
1989 (awarded 1991)
Winner: Joel Myerson, Daniel Shealy, and Madeleine Stern, eds., The Journals of Louisa May Alcott. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989.
1988 (awarded 1990)
Winner: Kirsten Drotner, English Children and Their Magazines, 1751-1945. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.
1987 (awarded 1989)
Winner: Julia Briggs, A Woman of Passion: The Life of E. Nesbit, 1858-1928. London: Hutchinson; New York: New Amsterdam Books, 1987.
Winner: Juliet Dusinberre, Alice to the Lighthouse: Children's Books and Radical Experiments in Art. New York: St. Martin's, 1987.
Winner: Iona and Peter Opie, The Singing Game. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Winner: Neil Philip, A Fine Anger: A Critical Introduction to the Work of Alan Garner. London: Collins, 1981.