South Asia Book Award

The South Asia Book Award, administered by the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, is given annually for up to two outstanding works of literature, from early childhood to secondary reading levels, which accurately and skillfully portrays South Asia or South Asians in the diasporas, that is the experience of individuals living in South Asia, or of South Asians living in other parts of the world. Up to five Honor Books and Highly Commended Books will also be recognized by the award committee for their contribution to this body of literature on the region.

Rationale

In recent years an increasing number of high-quality children's and young adult fiction books have appeared that portray South Asia or South Asians living abroad. To encourage and commend authors and publishers who produce such books, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium (SANOC) will offer a yearly book award to call attention to outstanding works on South Asia.

Criteria

Up to two awards will be given in recognition of a recently published work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or folklore, from early childhood to secondary reading levels, published in English (translations into English will also be accepted) which accurately and skillfully portrays South Asia or South Asians in the diasporas, that is the experience of individuals living in South Asia, or of South Asians living in other parts of the world. The culture, people, or heritage of South Asia should be the primary focus of the story. The countries and islands that make up South Asia are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the region of Tibet. We will also consider stories that take place in the Caribbean Islands that focus on a South Asian subject. In determining the award, books will be judged for: 1) quality of story; 2) cultural authenticity; and 3) potential for classroom use.

Eligibility

Eligible books include those that are published in the US, UK, Canada, and countries in South Asia. Consideration will be given to the ease with which school teachers and librarians in the United States would be able to order multiple copies. Books may be submitted by publishers or individuals, although the judges may consider any eligible book that comes to their attention.