I saw this shared on N. N. Light’s blog today and had to reshare. If you haven’t visited their blog, should check it out! Go say “Hi” here.

 

“Friday Book Round-Up Explores the ALA/ALSC Decision to Strip Laura Ingalls Wilder from Award #FridayReads #LittleHouse #LauraIngallsWilder #books #kidlit

June 29, 2018

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, voted on Saturday to strip the name of Laura Ingalls Wilder from a popular children’s book award, months after a task force set out to consider the long-running scholarly discussion around “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments” in the author’s work.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books have made “a significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature.” It will now be called The Children’s Literature Legacy Award.  (citation: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/77362-ala-2018-ala-strips-laura-ingalls-wilder-name-from-children-s-book-award.html )

I normally shy away from controversial topics but as a reader, bookseller, author and book promoter, I must speak out. The ALA, while trying to be inclusive, is instead throwing out the baby with the bath water. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House series while living on the frontier in the 1870’s. Her books tell the real story of what it meant to grow up in the late nineteenth century on the frontier from someone who lived through it. Yes, she talks about her negative feelings about Native Americans and African Americans. It’s the world she lived. I mean, how would you feel living under the fear of a tribe of Native warriors coming in the night and killing your family? How else would you describe black people if you’re taught from your parents they’re different from you?

In an effort to whitewash history and completely erase what America was really like in the late 1800’s, the ALA and the ALSC are doing a disservice to children, their parents, teachers, educators and the future generations of readers. I grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder and I’m not a bigot. In fact, ask anyone and they’ll tell you I’m a great champion of equality and diversity. I firmly believe every person has a right to live, love and contribute to the world. I believe reading about the harsh frontier life Laura Ingalls Wilder goes through in her books gave me a greater appreciation of American History and the freedoms I cherish today. I had teachers and adults point out the beliefs of Wilder’s are not the same beliefs of today (contrary to what I see in the news and read online). They encouraged discussions and these discussions lit my passion for seeking equality for all.

So, I’ve dedicated this week’s Friday Book Round-Up to Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little house series. I love reading these books and they are worth a read, even as adults.

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

Little House in the Big Woods

The first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

This beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family begins in 1871 in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, but it is also exciting as they celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night Laura and her family are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle to send them off to sleep.

Farmer Boy

The second book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

While Laura Ingalls grows up on the prairie, Almanzo Wilder is living on a big farm in New York State. Here Almanzo and his brother and sisters help with the summer planting and fall harvest. In winter there is wood to be chopped and great slabs of ice to be cut from the river and stored. Time for fun comes when the jolly tin peddler visits, or best of all, when the fair comes to town. Almanzo wishes for just one thing—his very own horse—and he must prove that he is ready for such a big responsibility.

Farmer Boy is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of how her husband, Almanzo, grew up as a farmer boy far from the little house where Laura lived. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier history and as heartwarming, unforgettable stories.

Little House on the Prairie

The third book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

The adventures continue for Laura Ingalls and her family as they leave their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out for the big skies of the Kansas Territory. They travel for many days in their covered wagon until they find the best spot to build their house. Soon they are planting and plowing, hunting wild ducks and turkeys, and gathering grass for their cows. Just when they begin to feel settled, they are caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict.

On the Banks of Plum Creek

The fourth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave the prairie and travel in their covered wagon to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Here they settle in a new home made of sod beside the banks of Plum Creek. Soon Pa builds a wonderful new little house with real glass windows and a hinged door. Laura and her sister Mary go to school, help with the chores, and fish in the creek. At night everyone listens to the merry music of Pa’s fiddle. Misfortunes come in the form of a grasshopper plague and a terrible blizzard, but the pioneer family works hard together to overcome these challenges.

By the Shores of Silver Lake

The fifth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

Laura Ingalls and her family move from the banks of Plum Creek to the wilderness of the unsettled Dakota Territory. Here Pa works on the new railroad until he finds a homestead claim that is perfect for their new home. Laura takes her first train ride as she, her sisters, and Ma come out to live with Pa on the shores of Silver Lake. After a lonely winter in the surveyors’ house, Pa puts up the first building in what will soon be a brand-new town on the beautiful shores of Silver Lake. The Ingalls’s covered-wagon travels are finally over.

The Long Winter

The sixth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

The town of De Smet in the Dakota Territory is hit with terrible blizzards in the hard winter of 1880-81, and the Ingalls family must ration their food and coal. When the supply train doesn’t arrive, all supplies are cut off from the outside. Soon there is almost no food left, so young Almanzo Wilder and a friend must make a dangerous trip in search of provisions.

Little Town on the Prairie

The seventh book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

The settlement that weathered the long, hard winter of 1880-81 is now a growing town. With spring comes a new job for Laura, town parties, and more time to spend with Almanzo Wilder. Laura also tries to help Pa and Ma save money so that Mary is able to go to a college for the blind.

These Happy Golden Years

The eighth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but she knows that her earnings can help pay for her sister Mary’s tuition at the college for the blind. Only one thing gets her through the lonely weeks—every weekend, Almanzo Wilder arrives at the school to take Laura home for a visit. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo.

The First Four Years

The ninth and final book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, and their baby daughter Rose. They face storms, sickness, and other hardships. Their pioneer lives have prepared them well, however, and they are determined to succeed.

What do you think about the American Librarians Association stripping Laura Ingalls Wilder from one of their awards for Children’s Literature? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to share using the buttons below. See you next week!

MRS N, Book Addict”

To see the announcement from ALA/ALSC and their response to criticism for the name change go here

The Original Wilder Award:

 

“Wilder Award terms and criteria

The purpose of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award is to recognize an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have over a period of years made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The recipient is presented with a medal, designed by Garth Williams.

Terms

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal shall be awarded every year to an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have over a period of years made a substantial contribution to literature for children.”

The Original Announcement of the name change:

 

“At its meeting on Saturday, June 23, 2018, the Association for Library Service to Children Board voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness. Please read the background document that informs this decision (PDF). Additional background information is found in the 2018 Midwinter Board Action Request form (PDF).

Please read the ALA/ALSC statement regarding the Wilder Medal Name Change.

In the weeks following the ALA Annual Conference, these award webpages will be revised to reflect the new award name.”

And the follow-up response:

 

“ALA, ALSC respond to Wilder Medal name change

For Immediate Release
Mon, 06/25/2018

Contact:

Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Communications and Marketing Office

mmorales@ala.org

NEW ORLEANS – During the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, the Board of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. This award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature. ALA President Jim Neal and ALSC President Nina Lindsay released the following joint statement:

“Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been and will continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers. Although Wilder’s work holds a significant place in the history of children’s literature and continues to be read today, ALSC has had to grapple with the inconsistency between Wilder’s legacy and its core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness through an award that bears Wilder’s name.

“Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities.

“ALSC works within the context of our society as a whole, where the conversations taking place inform our work and help us articulate our core values and support of diverse populations.

“Changing the name of the award should not be viewed as an attempt to censor, limit, or deter access to Wilder’s books and materials, but rather as an effort to align the award’s title with ALSC’s core values.  This change should not be viewed as a call for readers to change their personal relationship with or feelings about Wilder’s books. Updating the award’s name should not be construed as censorship, as we are not demanding that anyone stop reading Wilder’s books, talking about them, or making them available to children. We hope adults think critically about Wilder’s books and the discussions that can take place around them.

“It also should be noted that changing the name of the ALSC award for significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature has no reflection on past winners or their achievements, and does not negate the honor they have received for making a ‘significant and lasting contribution to literature for children.’

“This decision was made after much consideration and fact-finding. It is one that we believe serves the best interests of ALSC and all of those they serve, not only now, in 2018, but also in the long-term.”

And my response:

When is all this insanity going to end?