November 2006 Archives

Why, Yes There Are! (many thanks to our readers)

Well, I was wrong. The Chinese American Librarians Association awards a Best Book Award every year in the categories of Adult and Young Readers. I'm looking into this and will post more information as I find it.

There is also an award sponsored by the Asian/Pacific American Libraries Association (APALA) called the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, or APAAL. According to their press information, this award is to honor and recognize individual work about Asia/Pacific Americans and their heritages based on literary merit and artistic merit. The books are chosen among those by or about Asian Pacific Americans.

This is great news, and I've gotten our submissions for the 2007 award out to them today. If you're curious, here were last year's winners in their three categories:

Adult Title:

Aloft by Chang-rae Lee

Young Readers Text only:

Kira Kira by Cynthia Kahodata

Young Readers Illustration only:

Firekeeper's Son by Linda Sue Park and Julie Downing (Illustrator)

For the entire list of winners and honor books, click here.

Thanks to Grace Lin for the information.

Are there any awards for children's books about Asia?

I was working on submitting The Day the Dragon Danced to various children's book awards today, when it suddenly occurred to me that there weren't any awards on my list given to the best children's book either about Asia or written by Asian authors. There are plenty of general multicultural awards given to children's books. There are awards for Latin American books, African American books, Native American books, and Jewish books. But no Asian.

This doesn't seem right. Maybe I'm just not well-informed enough. I hope that's it, because given the long history of Asians in the United States, you'd think someone would want to honor and recognize Asians and Asian children's literature as well.

So tell me, what am I missing? Does anyone know of any awards or recognition given to books about Asia or by Asian authors?

Great Stuff at

| always has an abundance of information, author interviews, and essays about Asian children's literature. Right now, they are featuring interviews with Debjani Chatterjee as well as Cynthia Chin-Lee.

Cynthia Chin-Lee has also written an essay entitled, "Why I Write Multicultural Books," in which she talks about her family's background and her childhood in Washington, D.C..

"In my small way, I hope my books communicate a vision that all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, can give something of value to our communities. I don't know if every book I write or publish will have a multicultural theme, but I am grateful that I can share this value with my readers."

From the Show Floor

It's true what they say on Cheers: there's nothing like going to a place where everybody knows your name.

The California School Library Association conference began today. I set up our booth and opened for business tonight at the evening exhibits reception. I had been pretty stressed about this conference all week, but now that the first day is over, I'm pretty jazzed despite my fatigue.

I always seem to forget, in the intervening year between conferences, how enthusiastic all these attendees are and how wonderful it is to watch people walk up to the booth, look upward to read the banner, and then exclaim, "Shen's Books! I love Shen's Books!" Most of these librarians already receive our catalog in the mail, and most of them have bought books from us in the past. It's a weird hybrid of pleasure at seeing old friends again with the excitement of meeting new ones.

Meet Me At the CSLA

Going to the California School Library Association conference in Sacramento this weekend? Come by our booth and say hello. I'd love to meet you. We'll be at booth #337.

Multicultural Festival Debriefing from Grace Lin

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the annual Multicultural Festival in Washington D.C., and now that it has come and gone, I was glad to see that Grace Lin had posted about the experience of being an author there, along with some pictures, at the Blue Rose Girls blog.

Grace says that the turnout was high, and all the authors involved signed for five hours straight for a steady stream of visitors. Now that's a great event.

Read Grace's post here.

Restaurants Are Boring Without Books

This is my cousin-in-law with his daughter, reading The Day the Dragon Danced this weekend at my cousin's birthday lunch. She's two years old. Already loves books.

Shen's Blog Request a Catalog Events

Blog Contributors

Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.


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