By Iminza Keboge
Published March 4, 2017
The winner of the world’s largest award for literature for children and youth in 2017 shall be announced on April 4, 2017.
Known as the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) and founded on the United Nation’s Convention of Rights of the Child, the winner shall come from among 226 nominees from 60 countries.
A Press Statement from ALMA says Alice Bah Kuhnke, the Minister for Culture and Democracy of Sweden, shall give a speech from the National Library in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, at 1:00 PM CET. Boel Westin, the Jury Chair, will then announce the laureate of 2017 followed by a presentation of the laureate by the jury.
The event will be broadcast live on alma.se and via a link to Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the leading international book fair for children and youth.
Those eligible for the US$6 Million ALMA are authors, illustrators, storytellers and individuals and organisations that promote reading among children and youth.
Among the nominees whose names were unveiled at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany on October 20, 2016 are Zambia’s Lubuto Library Partners and South Africa’s Biblionef and multi-award-winning author and illustrator Niki Daly ‘whose picture books celebrate the imaginative powers of children and their day-to-day lives’. Can they bring the prize to the Mother Continent, as did South Africa’s Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) do two years ago?
Cape Town-based PRAESA won the ALMA in 2015 for providing children with high-quality literature in the various South African languages; collaborating with and fostering new networks among publishers and organisations that promote reading; and for initiating and carrying out activities that “help sustain a living culture of reading and storytelling in socially vulnerable communities.”
The immediate past winner of ALMA, in 2016, is Meg Rosoff, a United States of America citizen who lives in Britain.
Boston (Massachusetts)-born, London (UK)-based Meg Rosoff, has written seven novels and several picture books for children and young adults, and a novel for adults since her authorial debut in 2004 with How I Live Now. The collected body of work by the 1956-born writer “is richly varied and profoundly affecting for readers of all ages,” an article in ArtMatters.Info says.
A jury of experts selects the laureate from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations based around the globe.
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The ALMA was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.