Laurie Halse Anderson Named 2023 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Laureate | News Bites

Laurie Halse Anderson is the 2023 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate; People includes Carolyn Foote and Becky Calzada on its list of "Women Changing the World," and more in this edition of News Bites.

Laurie Halse Anderson is the 2023 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate; People magazine includes Carolyn Foote and Becky Calzada on its list of "Women Changing the World," and more in this edition of News Bites.

Laurie Halse Anderson named 2023 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate

Laurie Halse Anderson is the 2023 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate. The honor, administrated by the Swedish Arts Council, is given annually to a person or organization for “outstanding contribution to children’s and young adult literature.”

In announcing the decision, the jury wrote of the author of Speak and SHOUT, "In her tightly written novels for young adults, Laurie Halse Anderson gives voice to the search for meaning, identity, and truth, both in the present and the past. Her darkly radiant realism reveals the vital role of time and memory in young people’s lives. Pain and anxiety, yearning and love, class and sex are investigated with stylistic precision and dispassionate wit. With tender intensity, Laurie Halse Anderson evokes, moods, and emotions and never shies from even the hardest things."

Anderson is the first American to win the award since Jaqueline Woodson in 2018 and the fifth American in the 20-year history of the award.

FReadom Fighters included in People Magazine’s “2023 Women Changing the World”

Carolyn Foote and Becky Calzada, who created the grassroots campaign to fight book banning FReadom Fighters, were named among People magazine’s 2023 Women Changing the World. The Texas duo—Foote, a retired librarian, and Calzada, a library coordinatorwere part of the list that includes actors Michelle Yeoh and Sheryl Lee Ralph, LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, and chemists Clarice Phelps and Candice Halbert, who teach STEM to underserved youth.

People wrote: When Carolyn Foote, 63, and Becky Calzada, 57, saw Texas lawmakers threaten to ban books pertaining to race, racism and LGBTQ+ themes, they formed FReadom Fighters to rally an army of booklovers on social media and in their communities. "Books shouldn't be contraband," says Foote, a retired librarian. "We've lost our way in this contentious environment. We forgot what's at the core of libraries: getting kids excited about reading."

Adds Calzada, a library coordinator for an Austin-area school district: "Sometimes you need a book to bring reassurance and to validate."

The group's Twitter account and website reach thousands, offering support for embattled colleagues and guides for action campaigns. And although it can sometimes feel like a losing battle—last year more than 1,600 titles were banned in schools across the country, with Texas leading the nation—their fight continues. "I hope we inspire others to get involved," says Foote. "We need to keep speaking up."

New children’s librarian award

The Frances Lincoln Children’s Librarian Prize will be presented annually to a public or school children’s or teen librarian “who champions diversity and inclusion in their collection and community.” The winner will receive a book donation, $1,500 for their library, and an all-expenses paid trip to American Library Association’s annual conference in June.

Nominations can be submitted by the librarian or anyone 13 or older. Nominees must be employed in children’s librarianship for at least 12 months in the United States or Canada. An MLS or professional degree is encouraged but not required. Nominees will be judged on criteria including commitment to diversity and inclusion, leadership in the profession, professional activities, commitment to creating space for neurodivergent patrons, promoting an accessible and positive climate in the library, initiating a new library service or program, and more.

The award is administered by the Quarto Group, Inc., on behalf of its Frances Lincoln Children's Books imprint. Applications are due April 5 and must be submitted to


Follett seeks proposals for ReadingCon conference

Follett School Solutions is seeking proposals from teachers, librarians, principals, superintendents, curriculum coordinators, literacy coaches, and other educators for 45-minute, in-person sessions to be presented at the 2023 ReadingCon conference on June 22 in Naperville, IL.

The conference will address trending topics preK-12 and focus on literacy, diversity, and making a difference in the lives of students.

Submissions, which are due by 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 10, should include at least one learning objective and address best practices and successes in leading literary achievement. Proposals must be submitted by 4 p.m. CST on Friday, March 10. Submissions will only be accepted through the online form.

For more information or questions, email

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