The 15th annual Outstanding International Books List was announced at the USBBY session of ALA Midwinter on Friday, January 24.
Throughout the course of the year, committee members get the opportunity to cull through hundreds of titles of countries and publishers from all over the world, whose books have been imported by U.S. houses for domestic distribution. Committee members in attendance gave book talks regarding themes that connected many of the chosen books. Chair Patrick Gall shares the following about the list:
Notably, the 2020 OIB List expresses the complexity found within the designation international. Many titles on the 2020 OIB List overtly reflect their countries of origin in both setting and story; however, this straightforward representation is regularly disrupted across the list. Young readers, as well as the adults in their lives, will find that many titles on the 2020 OIB List defy prevailing stereotypes and geographical expectations. Through such stories readers are offered titles that honestly reflect a world in which borders and conceptions of culture are ever-changing, often as a result of unjust histories and present-day realities. The titles on the 2020 OIB List can serve as an example to young readers that just as all people’s experiences in and of a place are varied and complex—so too is literature.
The 2020 OIB Committee includes Anamaría Anderson (VA), Betty Parsons Barger (NC), Susan Corapi (IL), Deanna Day (WA), Patrick Gall (IL), Doris Gebel (VA), Amy McClure (OH), Mary Napoli (PA), and Quentin Russell (OH).
USBBY board member Karen Perry attended the session and shared this response:
I must say that Patrick Gall and the committee did a splendid, cogent, and thoughtful job presenting the new Outstanding International Books list. And our author speakers Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed wowed the crowd -- it was their first time speaking about the book WHEN STARS ARE SCATTERED, which comes out in April from Penguin.
Reminder - When you click on OIB cover images from the USBBY website and purchase from Amazon or Indiebound, USBBY gets a percentage of each sale!
Enormous thanks and credit to Marion Rocco and Christina Hoover Moorehead for their support and work on the OIB page of the USBBY website and the upcoming School Library Journal feature on the 2020 OIB list.
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