ILA-Notable Books for a Global Society

February 20, 2018

Imagine standing next to a stack of 427 books.

Imagine reading them one at a time, begin in January and end in December.

Now choose the twenty-five best from all these different books—picture books, novels for young readers and older readers, fiction and nonfiction, and poetry.

How would you choose the best?

As a member of the ILA-Notable Books for a Global Society that is our task each year.  What a wonderful job – reading books!  What a tough decision – choosing the top twenty-five books that promote awareness of our membership in a global world and invite understanding across “lines of culture, race, sexual orientation, values, and ethnicity.”

Selection Criteria

  • Accuracy and authenticity of the people depicted in terms of physical characteristics, social and economic status, intellectual and problem-solving abilities, and displays of leadership and cooperation
  • Richness of detail concerning the group or groups depicted
  • An approach that honors and celebrates diversity as well as the common bonds of humanity
  • In-depth treatment of issues
  • Depiction of substantive and authentic interaction among characters within and across groups
  • Inclusion of members of a “minority” group for purposes other than tokenism or fulfillment of any type of “quota”
  • Thought-provoking content that invites reflection, critical analysis, and response
  • Uniqueness of language or style
  • High quality as determined by evaluation in terms of generally accepted criteria for the genre
  • Appealing format
  • Enduring quality

Each year’s final list is presented at the CL/R-SIG’s session at the annual convention of the International Literacy Association (ILA).

Take a look at this year’s list and start reading.  You will be turning pages and staying up way too late as you laugh, cry, and pause to think about the powerful stories in these books.  Lists of books selected from each year can be found here.

For more information – or to apply to be a member of this wonderful committee – go to the Notable Books for a Global Society webpage.


Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, I have loved stories. I strongly believe that words – in poetry or prose – help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see the world. I was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following my passion – writing for children. Learn more...