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Home > About AGHE > Recognition (Awards)  > AGHE Book Award for Best Children's Literature on Aging
April 5, 2013




The purpose of the AGHE Book Award for Best Children’s Literature on Aging is to recognize positive portrayals of older adults in children’s literature.


There will be two categories:(a) Primary Reader (pre K- 2) and (b) Elementary Reader (3rd -5th grade).  There will be one “Honoree” and one “Honorable Mention” in each category.


The Co-Chairs of the AGHE K-12 Committee shall appoint a chair and 2-3 members to a Children’s Book Award Subcommittee.  The chair of this Subcommittee will be a member of the AGHE Awards Committee.

The Children’s Book Award Subcommittee will identify books in the Primary Reader and the Elementary Reader categories that address aging from the lists of the previous year’s honorees selected by the American Library Association (published in January) and the Illinois University School of Library Science Center for Children’s Books (published in February).  The Subcommittee will further solicit nominations of books in both categories from AGHE members through the AGHE Exchange and other communication avenues. It will inform publishers of the nominated books about the awards-selection process and request a review copy for each member of the Children’s Book Award Subcommittee.  This letter must be approved by the AGHE Awards Committee and AGHE President prior to it being sent.

The Children’s Book Award Subcommittee will review the nominations. Each member of the Subcommittee will read each book and rate it on a scale of 3 (1= Poor, 2= Acceptable, and 3=Outstanding) on these five criteria:

a.  Portrayal of meaningful aging
b. Portrayal of positive intergenerational relations
c.  Diversity e.g, gender, race, ethnicity, disability
d.  Appeal
e.  Realism of story line

Children’s Book Award Subcommittee members will be expected to excuse themselves from the judging if they have a conflict of interest related to any of the nominated books, and a replacement will be identified from the K-12 Committee.

The chair of the Children’s Book Award Subcommittee shall tabulate the ratings to determine the rankings. The Honoree and Honorable Mention awards will be given respectively to the books with the highest and second highest ratings in each category. The results will be shared with the K-12 Committee  and the AGHE Awards Committee before being forwarded to the AGHE Executive Committee for approval.

For questions about this award, please contact the AGHE office at (202) 289-9806(202) 289-9806 or via email:



Following the selection of the winners, the K-12 Committee shall send announcement letters to both the American Library Association and the Illinois University School of Library Science Center for Children’s Books. Announcement letters will be sent to the publisher of the Honoree and Honorable Mention books and the Task Force will work with the publishers to inform the authors and to affix the AGHE Book Award seal to the books.

Press releases about the award will be issued to the regional and local media of the AGHE Annual Conference location.

Authors of the Honoree and Honorable Mention books in each category will receive certificates from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). The certificates will be presented during the Business Meeting at the AGHE Annual Meeting. The award recipients also will be announced at the reception for the annual essay contest sponsored at the Annual Meeting by the K-12 Committee.


2014 Award Winners
Mary Brigid Barrett
Primary Reader
Shoebox Sam
Claire Rudolf Murphy
Secondary Reader
Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women's Suffrage
2011 Award Winner
Gayle Byrne 
Primary Reader
2010 Award Winners
Caitlin Dale Nicholson
Primary Reader
Ann Grifalconi and Jerry Pickney
  Elementary Reader

2009 Award Winners
Sheila Bair
Primary Reader
Ilene Cooper
  Elementary Reader