The winner of the 2016 edition of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALM) for children and youth literature, Meg Rosoff of the United States of America, accepted the prize on May 30, 2016.
Alice Bah Kuhnke, Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy, presented ALM,the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature, to Rosoff.
Rosoff expressed pleasure and pride at being recognised for her work as an author. She also described a sense of sorrow for today’s world of child refugees, leaders who know too little about the importance of art, music, and literature for young people, and societies that value lawyers and bankers more than teachers and librarians.
Rosoff emphasised the importance of the imagination, quoting Astrid Lindgren: “Everything great that happened in this world happened first in someone’s imagination.”
Saying it was a “great honour and a great responsibility to carry on the work that Astrid Lindgren began,” Rosoff said she was not just grateful for the recognition the prize brings, but also for the “country that puts such tremendous value on children’s books and children’s imaginations.”
In her congratulatory speech, Minister Bah Kuhnke mentioned difficulties facing young people today: Teenage-years are a bit like no man´s land. No one is invited to come close and there are no clear sign posts for direction. It is comfortable for the rest of us to keep it on a certain distance. And it can be awfully difficult to dig into our teenagers’ emotions since it forces us to reflect on our own lives. Someone who doesn’t fear this is this year’s laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award; Meg Rosoff.