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Winners of the 2017 Children’s Africana Book Awards Announced

September 22, 2017

The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.   CABA awards are presented annually to the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa available in the U.S. The awards were created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA) to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials about Africa. Over the past 25 years, CABA has recognized 90 books for children and older readers.

Reviewers read 30 to 40 books a year, nominated by publishers and copyrighted in the year preceding each awards ceremony. Books must be available in English in the United States. The number of awards varies each year depending on the quality of what has been published.

In addition to honoring a total of 90 books set in 24 countries, the Africa Access’ website (africaaccessreview.org) provides scholarly reviews and criteria for evaluating books.

The 2017 CABA Winners are:

  • Gizo-Gizo! A tale from the Zongo Lagoon (Ghana) by Emily Williamson with the students and teachers of the Hassaniyya Quranic School in Cape Coast Ghana/Sub-Saharan Publishers / available via African Books Collective
  • The Storyteller (Morocco) by Evan Turk/Atheneum
  • Amagama Enkululeko! Words for Freedom: Writing Life Under Apartheid (South Africa) Anthology/Cover2Cover/ available via African Books Collective

2017 CABA Honor Books

  • Aluta (Ghana) by Adwoa Badoe/Groundwood Books
  • The Bitter Side of Sweet (Ivory Coast) by Tara Sullivan/Putnam
  • The Boy Who Spat in Sargrenti’s Eye (Ghana) by Manu Herbstein / self-published for international distribution via Ingram Publishing Services /Techmate in Ghana

2017 CABA Notable Book

  • The World Beneath (South Africa) by Janice Warman/Candlewick


The authors of all seven books will receive their awards at a 25th anniversary dinner November 3, 2017, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, at St Francis Hall, 1340 Quincy Street NE, Washington, DC.   Ten previous winners are also attending the dinner, including Kathleen Wilson winner of the first CABA, five-time CABA winner E.B. Lewis and two-time winners Liz Zunon, Baba Wague Diakité and Ifeoma Onyefulu coming from the U.K. Ntshadi Mofokeng, representing the NGO Equal Education will be coming from South Africa, author Manu Herbstein will be traveling to the celebration from Ghana, Adwoa Badoe from Canada and Janice Warman from the U.K.  Tickets and more information about the CABA Awards may be obtained at africaaccessreview.org

On Saturday, a free CABA family festival will be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC. From 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. children can learn to spin a yarn and weave a story, based on tales from Ghana, Morocco and Ivory Coast.  A panel of CABA authors/illustrators is featured from 11:30 – 12:30. Current and past CABA winners will be signing their books after the panel discussion. The museum is also opening its newest exhibit, Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts. The event is free and open to the public.Registration is requested.


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