Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Owned by the UMD Library with Abstract
The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is awarded to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States. ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children) gives the award to encourage American publishers to seek out superior children’s books abroad and to promote communication among the people's of the world.
As of 1979, the award has been given annually to a publisher for a book published in the preceding year. Before 1979, there was a lapse of two years between the original publication date and the award date; to convert to the new system, two awards were announced in 1979: one for 1978 and one for 1979. Beginning in 1994, honor recipients were selected and announced as well. In a year that the committee is of the opinion that no book of that year is worthy of the award, none is given. The award is decided on and announced at the Midwinter Meeting of ALA, and the winning publisher receives a citation and commemorative plaque. The presentation used to be made on April 2, International Children’s Book Day, but is now given at the ALA Annual Conference held each summer.
Tak, Bibi Dumon. (2014). Mikis and the donkey. (Illustrated by Philip Hopman; translated by Laura Watkinson). Grand Rapids, Michigan : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
"Mikis is thrilled when his grandfather buys a new donkey, but soon begins to worry that he is overworking the animal.
Matti, Truus. (2012). Mister Orange. (Translated by Laura Watkinson). New York : Enchanted Lion Books. INTR-FIC M4441mi
When Linus Muller takes over making deliveries for his family's Manhattan grocery store in 1943, including bringing a crate of oranges every other week to an artist from Europe, the two become friends as they discuss war, the future, freedom, and imagination.
Dial Books : Voorhoeve, Anne C. (2012). My family for the war. (Translated by Tammi Reichel). New York : Dial Books. INTR-FIC V951my
Before the start of World War II, ten-year-old Ziska Mangold, who has Jewish ancestors but has been raised as a Protestant, is taken out of Nazi Germany on one of the Kindertransport trains, to live in London with a Jewish family, where she learns about Judaism and endures the hardships of war while attempting to keep in touch with her parents, who are trying to survive in Holland.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers : Tak, Bibi Dumon. (2011). Soldier bear. (Illustrated by Philip Hopman ; translated by Laura Watkinson). Grand Rapids, Mich. : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC T1361so
An orphaned Syrian brown bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II and serves for five years as their mischievous mascot in Iran and Italy. Based on a true story.
Delacorte Press : Bondoux, Anne-Laure. (2010). A time of miracles. (Translated from the French by Y. Maudet). New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC B7117ti
In the early 1990s, a boy with a mysterious past and the woman who cares for him endure a five-year journey across the war-torn Caucasus and Europe, weathering hardships and welcoming unforgettable encounters with other refugees searching for a better life.
Delacorte Press : Thor, Annika. (2009). A faraway island. (Translated by Linda Schenck). New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC T4871fa
In 1939 Sweden, two Jewish sisters wait for their parents to flee the Nazis in Austria, but while eight-year-old Nellie settles in quickly, twelve-year-old Stephie feels stranded at the end of the world, with a foster mother who is as cold and unforgiving as the island on which they live.
Arthur A. Levine : Uehashi, Nahoko. (2008). Moribito : guardian of the Spirit. (Translated by Cathy Hirano; Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu). New York : Arthur A. Levine Books. INTR-FIC U223mo
The wandering warrior Balsa is hired to protect Prince Chagum from both a mysterious monster and the prince’s father, the Mikado.
VIZ Media : Miyabe, Miyuki. (2007). Brave story. ( Translated from the Japanese by Alexander O. Smith). San Francisco, Calif. : VIZ Media. INTR-FIC M6855br
Wataru Mitani’s father has abandoned him and his mother is in the hospital after an attempted suicide. Alone, he searches for a way to change the pattern of his life, and finds one. First he must travel through the land of Vision to the Tower of Destiny where a goddess awaits him, but the way is fraught with dangers and delusions and a pitiless rival.
Delacorte Press : Mourlevat, Jean-Claude. (2006). The pull of the ocean. (Translated from the French by Y. Maudet). New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC M9315pu
Loosely based on Charles Perrault's "Tom Thumb," seven brothers in modern-day France flee their poor parents' farm, led by the youngest who, although mute and unusually small, is exceptionally wise.
Arthur A. Levine Books : Holub, Josef. (2005). An innocent soldier. (Translated by Michael Hofmann). New York : A.A. Levine Books. INTR-FIC H7585in
A sixteen-year-old farmhand is tricked into fighting in the Napoleonic Wars by the farmer for whom he works, who secretly substitutes him for the farmer’s own son.
Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books : Stolz, Joëlle. (2004). The shadows of Ghadames. (Translated from the French by Catherine Temerson). New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC S8764sh
At the end of the nineteenth century in Libya, eleven-year-old Malika simultaneously enjoys and feels constricted by the narrow world of women, but an injured stranger enters her home and disrupts the traditional order of things.
Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin Company : Orlev, Uri. (2003). Run , boy , run : a novel . (Translated from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC O714ru
Based on the true story of a nine-year-old boy who escapes the Warsaw Ghetto and must survive throughout the war in the Nazi-occupied Polish countryside.
The Chicken House/Scholastic Publishing : Funke, Cornelia Caroline. (2002). The Thief Lord. (English translation, Oliver Latsch). New York : Scholastic. INTR-FIC F9828th
Two brothers, having run away from the aunt who plans to adopt the younger one, are sought by a detective hired by their aunt, but they have found shelter with--and protection from--Venice’s " Thief Lord ."
Cricket Books/Carus Publishing : Gündisch, Karin. (2001). How I became an American. (Translated from the German by James Skofield). Chicago : Cricket Books. INTR-FIC G9753HO
In 1902, ten-year-old Johann and his family, Germans who had been living in Austria-Hungary, board a ship to immigrate to Youngstown, Ohio, where they make a new life as Americans.
Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic Press : Carmi, Daniella. (2000). Samir and Yonatan. (Translated by Yael Lotan). New York : Arthur A. Levine Books. INTR-FIC C2875SA
Samir, a Palestinian boy, is sent for surgery to an Israeli hospital where he has two otherworldly experiences, making friends with an Israeli boy, Yonatan, and traveling with him to Mars where Samir finds peace over his younger brother's death in the war.
Walker and Company : Quintana, Anton. (1999). The baboon king. (Translated by John Nieuwenhuizen). New York : Walker and Co. INTR-FIC Q78BA
Son of a Kikuyu mother and a Masai herdsman father, Morengáru the hunter lives on the edges of tribal society until an actual banishment forces him to make a life for himself among a troop of baboons.
Dial : Rabinovits, Shoshanah. (1998). Thanks to my mother. (Translated from the German by James Skofield). New York : Dial Books. 940.53 R116T
Susie Weksler was only eight in 1941 when Hitler’s forces invaded her Lithuanian city of Vilnius, a great center for Jewish learning and culture. Soon her family would face hunger and fear in the Jewish ghetto - but worse was to come. When the ghetto was liquidated, some Jews were selected for forced labor camps; the rest were killed. Susie would live - because of the courage and ingenuity of her mother . It was her mother who carried Susie, hidden in a backpack, to the group destined for the labor camps; who disguised her as an adult in makeup and turban to fool the camp guards; who fed her body and soul through gruesome conditions in three concentration camps and a winter "death march"; who showed her the power of the human spirit to endure.
Henry Holt : Holub, Josef. (1997). The robber and me. (Translated from the German by Elizabeth D. Crawford). New York : H. Holt. INTR-FIC H7585BO
Because he knows that the man accused of robbery is innocent, an eleven-year-old orphan struggles to find the courage to reveal the truth to his uncle in their small German village in 1867.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux : Yumoto, Kazumi. (1996). The friends . (Translated by Cathy Hirano). New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC Y953fr
Curious about death, three sixth-grade boys decide to spy on an old man waiting for him to die, but they end up becoming his friends.
Houghton Mifflin : Orlev, Uri. (1995). The lady with the hat. (Translated from Hebrew by Hillel Halkin). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC O714La
In 1947, seventeen-year-old Yulek, the only member of his immediate family to survive the German concentration camps, joins a group of young Jews preparing to live on a kibbutz in Israel, unaware that his aunt living in London is looking for him.
Dutton : Reuter, Bjarne B. (1996). The boys from St . Petri. (Translated by Anthea Bell). New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Penguin Books. INTR-FIC R4473bo
The St . Petri group opposes the German occupation of Denmark. One of them, Lars, finds a gun and that changes what risks they take.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux : Molina Llorente, Pilar. (1993). The apprentice . (Pictures by Juan Ramon Alonso ; translated by Robin Longshaw). New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC L7926ap
Working as an artist’s apprentice in Renaissance Florence, thirteen-year-old Arduino makes a discovery which may cost him the chance to become a painter.
No award given.
Houghton MIfflin Company : Orlev, Uri. (1991). The man from the other side . (Translated from Hebrew by Hillel Halkin). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC O714ma
Living on the outskirts of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, fourteen-year-old Marek and his grandparents shelter a Jewish man in the days before the Jewish uprising.
E.P. Dutton : Schami, Rafik. (1990). A hand full of stars. (Translated from German by Rika Lesser). New York : Dutton Children’s Book. INTR-FIC S2993ha
A teenager who wants to be a journalist in a suppressed society describes to his diary his daily life in his hometown of Damascus, Syria.
E.P. Dutton : Reuter, Bjarne B. (1989). Buster's world. (Translated by Anthea Bell). New York : Dutton. INTR-FIC R4473BU
Buster's magic tricks get him in and out of trouble.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard : Härtling, Peter. (1988). Crutches . (Translation by Elizabeth D. Crawford). New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. INTR-FIC H3323kr
A young boy, searching vainly for his mother in post-war Vienna, is befriended by a man on crutches and together they find hope for the future.
McElderry Books : Nilsson, Ulf. (1987). If you didn’t have me . (Illustrated by Eva Eriksson ; translated from the Swedish by Lone Thygesen Blecher and George Blecher). New York : M.K. McElderry Books. INTR-FIC N7125if
Spending most of a year with relatives on a farm in southern Sweden while his parents are busy building a new house in town, a young boy finds inner strengths and unexpected sources of entertainment.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard : Frank, Rudolf. (1986). No hero for the kaiser . (Translated from the German by Patricia Crampton ; illustrations by Klaus Steffens). New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. INTR-FIC F8287no
Jan, a fourteen-year-old Polish boy whose town is invaded in World War I, joins a German battalion and experiences the horrors of battle.
Creative Education : Innocenti, Roberto. (1985). Rose Blanche. (Text by Christophe Gallaz and Roberto Innocenti ; English translation, Martha Coventry and Richard Graglia). Mankato, MN : Creative Education. INTR-FIC I585RO
During World War II, a young German girl's curiosity leads her to discover something far more terrible than the day-to-day hardships and privations that she and her neighbors have experienced.
Houghton Mifflin : Orlev, Uri. (1984, c1983). The island on Bird Street. (Translated from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC O714IS
During World War II a Jewish boy is left on his own for months in a ruined house in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he must learn all the tricks of survival under constantly life-threatening conditions.
Viking Press : Lindgren, Astrid. (1983). Ronia, the robber's daughter. (Translated by Patricia Crampton). New York : Viking Press. INTR-FIC L7455RO
Ronia, who lives with her father and his band of robbers in a castle in the woods, causes trouble when she befriends the son of a rival robber chieftain.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard : Maruki, Toshi. (1982, c1980). Hiroshima no pika. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. 940.54 M389h
A retelling of a mother's account of what happened to her family during the Flash that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Bradbury Press : Kullman, Harry. (1981). The battle horse . (Translated from Swedish by George Blecher and Lone Thygesen-Blecher). Scarsdale, N.Y. : Bradbury Press. INTR-FIC K965ba
The children on a Stockholm street engage in a modern-day jousting tournament in which the rich are knights and the poor are the horses who bear them.
William Morrow & Co. : Pelgrom, Els. (1980). The winter when time was frozen. (Translation from the Dutch by Maryka and Raphael Rudnik). New York : Morrow. INTR-FIC P3828wi
In Holland during the last months of World War II a 12-year-old girl and her father find shelter with a farm family who courageously give sanctuary to all in need of it.
E.P. Dutton : Zee, Alke. (1979). The sound of the dragon's feet. (Translated from the Greek by Edward Fenton). New York : Dutton. INTR-FIC Z432so
The time spent with her "revolutionary" tutor opens 10-year-old Sasha's eyes to more of life in turn-of-the-century Russia than her somewhat sheltered existence had previously allowed her to experience.
1979 (2 awards)
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. : Steiner, Jörg. (1984). Rabbit Island . (Pictures by Jörg Müller). , New York : Bergh Pub. Group. PRIM-FIC S8224ka
The adventures of two rabbits who escape from the rabbit factory.
Franklin Watts,Inc. : Nöstlinger, Christine. (1977). Konrad. (Translated by Anthea Bell ; illustrated by Carol Nicklaus). New York : Avon. INTR-FIC N8985ko
By mistake, an unconventional lady receives a perfectly behaved factory-made child in the mail. To escape being returned, he must learn "normal" child behavior.
No award given.
Atheneum : Bødker, Cecil. (1975). The leopard. (Translated by Gunnar Poulsen). New York, Atheneum. INTR-FIC B6678Le
An Ethiopian boy finds his life endangered when he discovers that a disguised blacksmith, not a leopard, is responsible for a great many missing cattle in the area.
Henry Z. Walck : Hürlimann, Ruth. (1973). The cat and mouse who shared a house. (Retold with pictures by Ruth Hürlimann. Translated from the German by Anthea Bell). New York : Henry Z. Walck.
Once a cat and mouse shared a house and had a pot of butter to last them through the winter. Then the cat tried to get all the food for herself.
Crown : Linevskii, A. (1974). An old tale carved out of stone. (2nd ed). (Translated from the Russian by Maria Polushkin). New York : Crown. INTR-FIC L7544ol
Liok becomes shaman for his tribe even though he has no gifts or magical powers. When he is found out , he flees only to lose his place in his new home as well. If he returns to his tribe, his people may not accept him and his unusual behaviors.
E.P. Dutton : Zee, Alke. (1972). Petros' war. (Translated from the Greek by Edward Fenton). New York : E.P. Dutton. INTR-FIC Z45pe
A ten-year-old boy and his family endure the Fascist occupation of Athens during World War II.
William Morrow & Co. : Iterson, Siny Rose van. (1971). Pulga. (Translation from the Dutch by Alexander and Alison Gode). New York : Morrow. INTR-FIC I886pu
For a fifteen-year-old boy from the slums of Bogotá, Colombia, being taken on as a truck driver's helper is an unbelievably good break.
Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc. : Richter, Hans Peter. (1970). Friedrich. (Translated from the German by Edite Kroll). New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston. INTR-FIC R5355fr
A young German boy recounts the fate of his best friend, a Jew, during the Nazi regime.
Pantheon Books : Baumann, Hans. (1969). In the Land of Ur; the discovery of ancient Mesopotamia. (Translated by Stella Humphries). New York : Pantheon Books. 913.5 B347i
Describes archaeological finds in Mesopotamia and what they have revealed of the ancient civilizations of that area.
Holt, Rinehart & Winston : Zee, Alke. (1968). Wildcat under glass. ( Translated from the Greek by Edward Fenton ). New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston. INTR-FIC Z45wi
The Fascist dictatorship of Greece in 1936 changes the lives and divides the loyalties of a ten-year-old girl and her family.
Charles Scribner's Sons : Baastad, Babbis Friis. (1967). Don't take Teddy. (Translated from the Norwegian by Lise Sømme McKinnon). New York : Scribner. INTR-FIC B1114do
Probes the world and problems of a retarded child and his family.
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. : Kästner, Erich. (1966). The Little Man . (Translated from the German by James Kirkup. Pictures by Rick Schreiter). New York : Knopf. INTR-FIC K1955Li
Maxie Pichelsteiner is unusual. He is two inches tall and he wants to be a circus performer.
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Revised and updated 2/10/15