About the Award
History of the Award (Sobre el Premio Américas)
CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles.
Up to two awards (for primary and secondary reading levels) are given in recognition of U.S. published works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By linking the Americas, the intent is to reach beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere.
Books are judged for: 1) distinctive literary quality; 2) cultural contextualization; 3) exceptional integration of text, illustration and design; and 4) potential for classroom use.
The 2016 award ceremony celebrating books published in 2015 was held on September 22, 2016 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. A K-12 teacher workshop followed the ceremony. Webcasts, photos, and press releases from past events can be viewed from our Award Ceremony page.
See current members of the Américas Award committee.
The awards are administered by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and coordinated by both Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies. Generous support is also provided by Florida International University, Stanford University, University of Florida, University of New Mexico, University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.