The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award will be presented on January 19, 2012 at the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) international conference in Miami Beach, Florida. The intermediate/young adult award will be presented to Kathryn Erskine, author of Mockingbird and Beverley Brenna, author of Waiting for No One. In the picture book category, the awards go to Rebecca Elliott, author/illustrator of Just Because, and Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete (authors) and Shane W. Evans (illustrator) for My Brother Charlie.
The Dolly Gray Award recognizes high quality fiction/biographical books for children, adolescents, and young adults that authentically portray individuals with developmental disabilities. Special Needs Project, a worldwide leader in the distribution of books related to disabilities, co-sponsors this award.
Fran Prezant, disability consultant, author, presenter, and Dolly Gray Award panelist notes, “Engaging books that feature people with disabilities as individuals with personalities, strengths and talents as part of the story line, have the exponential power to change attitudes and promote inclusion in education, jobs and community life. These are important, not only for young readers with and without disabilities, but for parents and teachers who read books to them and model societal attitudes through words and actions. This year, it is wonderful to see so many positive contributions to the literature choices compared to a decade ago when people with disabilities were rarely featured in positive ways if at all, in children’s books. The Dolly Gray Award has been a positive vehicle to call attention to this and authors and progressive publishers should be commended and encouraged to put more of these books into the hands of readers.”
A list of all books eligible for the award, procedures, and submission guidelines are available on the DADD website: http://daddcec.org/Awards/DollyGrayAwards.aspx.