Guidelines & Criteria


The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people. 


Books eligible for this Award:

  • Should be suitable for children ages five through fourteen.
  • May be books of any length, genre or format.
  • Must be published in the United States or Canada in the calendar year preceding the Award year.


Books commended by the Addams Award meet the following two criteria:

  • Exemplify literary, visual and aesthetic excellence
  • Invite dialogue, passionate response, purposeful reflection, and deep questioning related to one or more of the following:
    1. How can people work with compassion, empathy and activism to advance Jane Addams’ belief that achieving true peace means more than ending war; it means ensuring justice for all people?
    2. How can people of all racial identities, gender identities, religions, abilities, classes, and cultures live and work together equitably and peaceably?
    3. How can people, especially young people, break cycles of fear? How can they respond creatively, nonviolently and humanely to injustice and conflict?
    4. How can people work together to address problems and oppression caused by prejudice, war, violence, social injustice, racism, sexism, heteronormativity, ageism, classism, ableism and all hierarchies of power and opportunity?
    5. How can people build respect and understanding for differences and for the worth and importance of all individuals and groups?
    6. How can people work for power and equality for women throughout the world?

-Adopted by the Jane Addams Peace Association, December 2016