International Prize of Young Readers
Gütersloh. The German reading foundation Lesen has joined with Arvato, the German Working Committee of Publishers of Juvenile Literature and the Leipzig Book Fair to create a literary prize for books. About 19,000 pupils have now decided which books are to be nominated for the International Prize of Young Readers. The result: 15 titles ranging from fantasy and young people’s mysteries to timeless classics.
These 15 titles are the talk of school yards and classrooms
Harry Potter is in good company: The 15 candidates for the new International Prize of Young Readers include several titles that reflect the unbroken fantasy trend in juvenile literature. In addition to books like Inkheart and Eragon, young readers are enthralled by the exciting stories that their siblings or even their parents secretly read under the covers – like Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story, Erich Kästner’s Emil and the Detectives and Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. No matter whether the books are fantastic or realistic, the new list clearly shows one thing: Young people are particularly interested in puzzles, mysteries – and other realities besides the one we know.
The International Prize of Young Readers is an initiative of the reading foundation Lesen that is being supported by Arvato and conducted in partnership with the German Working Committee of Publishers of Juvenile Literature and the Leipzig Book Fair. It invites all fifth- and sixth-graders in Germany to select their personal literary favorites. The basis for this is the current list of nominees compiled by about 19,000 pupils. Beginning in September, young readers across Germany will vote on the 15 nominated titles in a school campaign. The Lesen foundation is providing teachers with tips and ideas to incorporate juvenile literature into classroom instruction. The winning titles will be honored at a major celebration that will be held at the Leipzig Book Fair in the spring of 2009.
Outlook: During the competitive round to be held in 2009/2010, an increased focus will be placed on newly published books. The scope of the project will be expanded step by step: The International Prize of Young Readers is starting in Germany. It will be gradually introduced in other countries in the years ahead. The vision: An international jury consisting of tens of thousands of pupils will select those books that produce the greatest joy of reading among children and adolescents in individual countries – this joy forms the critical foundation for learning to read and, as a result, the creation of educational opportunities.