Posted on 06/25/2018 at 11:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The Association for Library Service to Children Board voted on Saturday to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

The ALSC announced it would review the name back in February, citing “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments” in Wilder’s iconic Little House on the Prairie series.

Pushback against that content has increased in recent years, though Caroline Fraser, author of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, argued against removing Wilder’s name.

In a March column for The Washington Post, she wrote:

Each generation revises the literary canon. While the answer to racism is not to impose purity retroactively or to disappear titles from shelves, no 8-year-old Dakota child should have to listen to an uncritical reading of Little House on the Prairie

 

But no white American should be able to avoid the history it has to tell.

The ALSC has a statement and supporting information on its website, and you can read more about the change in The Washington Post.

The award honors authors or illustrators who have made “significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature.” It began in 1954, going first to Wilder and later to notable authors such as E.B. White and Theodor S. Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

Categories: Today in Books

Comments
Why Why Why? Laura Ingalls Wilder is an iconic figure in American Literature. This is all due to the language of the time and her racist comments? I think people of today are a little more intelligent then you give them credit for. People are not so easily offended and entities that presume to project their own fears onto others need to check themselves. This award should have remained in her name. Her books kept me entertained as a child and when the series came on TV, it brought the books to life. People know to put things into context. Such was the case with the Washington Redskins. White America said it was offensive to the native Americans while they in turn said...we don't really care, it doesn't bother us. Go figure.
Konelio Pele | 06/25/2018 at 08:52 PM
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