Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award Winners (For Portrayals of “Individuals with Developmental Disabilities”)

Source: Tina Taylor Dyches, Ed.D.
Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award Chair
Brigham Young University
at Cynsations

The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award was presented Jan. 19 at the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) international conference in Miami Beach, Florida.

The intermediate/young adult award was presented to Kathryn Erskine, author of Mockingbird (Philomel, 2010) and Beverley Brenna, author of Waiting for No One (Red Deer, 2011).

In the picture book category, the awards went to Rebecca Elliott, author/illustrator of Just Because (Lion, 2011), and Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete (authors) and Shane W. Evans (illustrator) for My Brother Charlie (Scholastic, 2010).

The Dolly Gray Award recognizes high quality fiction/biographical books for children, adolescents, and young adults that authentically portray individuals with developmental disabilities. Special Needs Project, a worldwide leader in the distribution of books related to disabilities, co-sponsors this award.

Fran Prezant, disability consultant, author, presenter, and Dolly Gray Award panelist notes, “Engaging books that feature people with disabilities as individuals with personalities, strengths and talents as part of the story line, have the exponential power to change attitudes and promote inclusion in education, jobs and community life. These are important, not only for young readers with and without disabilities, but for parents and teachers who read books to them and model societal attitudes through words and actions.

“This year, it is wonderful to see so many positive contributions to the literature choices compared to a decade ago when people with disabilities were rarely featured in positive ways if at all, in children’s books. The Dolly Gray Award has been a positive vehicle to call attention to this and authors and progressive publishers should be commended and encouraged to put more of these books into the hands of readers.”

New this year is the Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award Special Collection at the Harold B. Lee Library on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah. This collection will house all books considered for the award since its inception in 2000, and is likely to be the most complete collection of children’s books that include individuals with developmental disabilities. A list of all books eligible for the award, procedures, and submission guidelines are available on the DADD website.

7 thoughts on “Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award Winners (For Portrayals of “Individuals with Developmental Disabilities”)

  1. I am so grateful that you've given a shout-out to the Dolly Gray Award winners.

    My cousin Bev Brenna's YA novel "Waiting for No One" was one of the winners this year. This book is such a realistic and warm portrayal of a girl dealing with Asperger's Syndrome. I hope the award will not only focus a spotlight on Bev's book, but also on Asperger's.

    Thank you for this post.

  2. My pleasure, Beth! How exciting about your cousin's novel. Maybe she'd want to visit us here at Cynsations?

    Me, too, Caroline! I'm glad Mockingbird has received such lovely recognition.

  3. As one of the invited reviewers on the review panel this year, I can say that there were some great books submitted and both "Mockingbird" and "Waiting for No One" deserve the recognition they are getting.
    Fran Prezant

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