The Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader have announced a change in the selection process for the Children’s Choice Book Awards, and have phased out previous awards to usher in new ones, on the heels of a controversy that flared up last year when Rush Limbaugh won the 2014 Children’s Choice Author of the Year award.
Previously, the selection for finalists was aggregated from performances on various bestseller lists. The CBC and ECAR are replacing the previous awards, Author and Illustrator of the Year, with new awards determined by a new selection process to reflect the choice of children aided by industry professionals, rather than drawing simply on sales performance.
For 2015 there will be three new award categories: Children’s Choice Debut Author, Teen Choice Debut Author, and Children’s Choice Illustrator Award. The finalists – five in each category – will be selected, according to a joint CBC-ECAR press release, by “committees comprised of librarians, educators, booksellers, and children’s literature experts appointed by Every Child a Reader; winners will be determined by votes from kids and teens.”
In the release, CBC and ECAR interim director Nicole Deming added: “As always, kids and teens will decide who wins – this program gives them the unique opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them on a national scale.” Participants are able to vote online from March 17–May 3, 2015, and the award will be announced during the 96th annual Children’s Book Week, which takes place May 4–10, 2015.