Since 1936, the Carnegie medal has celebrated excellence in children’s literature. Past recipients include the likes of C.S. Lewis and Neil Gaiman. And now, for the first time in 83 years, a writer of color has won the UK’s most prestigious children’s book award. In her acceptance speech, Dominican-American slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo describes being a middle school teacher, trying to make her students fall in love with literature. She started writing The Poet X because she was angered and inspired by the lack of representation in the books her students were reading. The Poet X (also the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature) is a story told in verse that follows Xiomara, a quiet Dominican girl raised in Harlem, who pours all her frustration into poetry.
Curious about what the critics had to say? You can read more over on Book Marks.
You can also read an interview with Elizabeth Acevedo here.