Blueberry Awards honor excellence in environmental literature for children
EVANSTON, ILL. – The Evanston Public Library is pleased to announce that the 3rd Annual Blueberry Awards, recognizing excellence in children’s literature about nature and climate stewardship, will be announced live on Thursday, March 14, with an awards ceremony and party celebrating the authors, their work, and our earth.
The Blueberry Awards Announcement Party will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, at the Robert Crown Community Center.
See this year’s winning books as they’re announced, watch acceptance videos from the authors, vote on an Audience Choice Award, roast marshmallows over our bonfire and eat s’mores, and take a book walk through our Robert Crown Reading Garden featuring the installation of the newest Blueberry Award winning title.
Staff from the Evanston Ecology Center and the Evanston Public Library will host Evanston’s climate dignitaries along with representatives of the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the Morton Arboretum, not to mention lots of happy kids and parents!
Seats for the Blueberry Award Announcement Party are limited. Register now.
The Blueberry Awards honor children’s literature that strengthens kids’ connections with nature and fosters action for the planet. The Blueberry List, which features books primarily for children ages 3-10, names one overall Blueberry Award Winner, 24 Honor books, and 10 Changemaker books recognized for their outstanding achievements in rallying kids to climate action.
The Evanston Public Library created the Blueberry Award in 2021 to fill a nationwide vacuum – no other children’s literature awards were focused exclusively on celebrating the best nature and climate books.
Last year’s Blueberry Award winner was Listen to the Language of the Trees, by Tera Kelley, illustrated by Marie Hermansson about how the mycorrhizal network gives trees the chance to communicate with each other. Kelly and Hermansson’s book, for kids ages 4-8, was selected for its ability to convey via story and inventive pictures complex scientific ideas to kids as young as five.
Find a list of all our previous year’s winners on our Blueberry Awards page.
The Blueberry selection committee includes Evanston Public Library staff, the City of Evanston’s Sustainability Manager, D65’s Sustainability Coordinator, and staff from the Evanston Ecology Center.
The creation of the Blueberry Awards was spearheaded by Library Assistant Martha Meyer, who said that, in a world threatened by climate change and ecological disaster, it’s crucial to give children the chance to form a joyous relationship with the environment and learn from the very best writers, illustrators and photographers in children’s literature.
“I’m so excited to share the 2023 Blueberry Award winners with Evanston’s families and teachers,” Meyer said.
Note: A press preview will be held for members of the media to get a sneak preview of the books and interview Blueberry authors on Thursday, Feb. 29. For access, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Blueberry Awards Reach and Impact
In addition to honoring the books and their authors, the Blueberry Awards committee works to advocate for the books and their environmental themes. This year, the Blueberry Committee will present the 2023 Blueberry Awards on Friday, March 15, for Natural Start Alliance, a nationwide organization for people who work with young kids in the outdoors.
On Tuesday, March 20, they’ll present the books for Early Childhood Investigations Webinars, a nationwide organization for the training of early childhood teachers and staff.
And on Friday, March 22, the Blueberry committee alongside Evanston Ecology Center staff, will also present at the Environmental Education Association of Illinois in Decatur.
Do you represent an organization of educators working to connect kids with ideas about nature and climate? Contact Martha Meyer at email@example.com.