Guidelines, Schedule, & Committee


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

Transformational Change in the Award Process

The Jane Addams Peace Association Board of Directors is excited to announce a transformational shift in the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award (JACBA) selection process. The award remains grounded in our established guidelines for book eligibility and criteria while stepping into an intersectional, representative, accessible, and more public process.

  • The award year begins on November 1 of one year to October 31 of the next. 
  • A year-long selection process will be followed with shortlists announced for Younger and Older Children in October of each year.
  • Winning and honor titles in each category will be announced at the end of January.
  • To facilitate this transition, books published between January 2019 and October 31, 2019 will NOT be considered for the award.

The 2021 JACBA Selection Committee seeks review copies for books published between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. 

Advance and electronic copies are welcome!

For a list of addresses for selection committee members please contact: