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How to Submit a Woodson Book Nomination

National Council for the Social Studies is pleased to announce its call for nominations of books eligible to receive the Carter G. Woodson Book Award. This award is presented to the most distinguished young reader non-fiction books depicting ethnicity in the United States.

2020 Awards

Book Nominations Due Postmarked September 30, 2019.

Eligibility Criteria:

Non-fiction books with a copyright of 2019 that:

  • Are elementary (grades K-6), middle (grades 5-8) and secondary (grades 7-12) level titles;
  • Deal with the experience of one or more racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. The setting of the book must be in the United States;
  • Accurately reflect the perspectives, cultures, and values of the particular ethnic group or groups.
  • Are informational or nonfiction, and primarily a trade or supplementary book, not a textbook, encyclopedia, or fact book;
  • Are written for children or young people (standard terms with specific meaning used by librarians and the American Library Association);
  • Are well written and reflect originality in presentation and theme; and
  • Are published in the United States, but the author of the book need not be a United States citizen.

Nomination Submission Guidelines:

  • Submit a cover letter addressed to Selection Committee Chair Ann Adkins that:
    • Indicates the grade level of each of the titles you are submitting: elementary (grades K-6), middle (grades 5-8) or secondary (grades 7-12) level; and
    • Provides your name, e-mail address, and phone number.
  • Mail a copy of the cover letter and each nominated book to each member of the Selection Subcommittee and NCSS Staff liaison (a list of committee mailing addresses can be found at bottom of this page).
  • All nominated books must be received postmarked no later than September 30, 2019.
  • No application fee is required for nominations.

How are books evaluated?

Generally, nominated books are evaluated for five key traits:

  • Respect for ethnic and racial differences and the worth and importance of individual(s)/group(s) presented;
  • Focus on individuals and issues that provide insight into the experiences of racial and ethnic groups;
  • Focus on the interactions among racial/ethnic groups;
  • Avoids portraying the group(s) as "problem oriented;" presentation of positive, balanced with negative; and
  • Avoids patronizing, distorting, and stereotyping in text and illustrations.

In addition, elementary books (grades K-6) are also evaluated for:

  • Readability
  • Suitability to age level
  • Curriculum enhancement
  • Illustrations
  • Pluralistic values

Middle school books (grades 5-8) are also evaluated for:

  • Stylistic excellence
  • Suitability to middle-level students
  • Curriculum enhancement
  • Illustrations
  • Exploration of pluralistic values

Secondary books (grades 7-12) are also evaluated for:

  • Stylistic excellence
  • Suitability
  • Scholarship
  • Illustrations
  • Pluralistic values

How to Submit a Book

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