Born in 2017, the Neev Literature Festival (www.neevliteraturefestival.org) aims to recognize great literature for children of all ages, grow readers for life, and make reading part of every home. The festival includes conversations between authors, publishers, educators, parents, and children, as well as numerous events and workshops centered around books and reading.

In 2018, Neev Literature Festival (NLF) extended the vision of the festival by introducing the Neev Book Award for recognizing and growing outstanding children’s literature from India. The 2018 Neev Book Award for three categories of books was awarded to ‘I Will Save My Land’ by Rinchin and illustrated by Sagar Kolwankar, and published by Tulika Books in the Picture Book category; ‘Tiger Boy’ by Mitali Perkins and published by Duckbill in the Young Readers category; ‘Queen of Ic’e by Devika Rangachari and published by Duckbill in the Young Adult category. The Neev Book Award honoured the author and illustrators’ contributions to stories about India, Indian lives & Indian stories with a citation, trophy, and cash award of Rs. 100,000 per winner.

NLF 2019 will be another year of reading, conversations between children, adults and authors, Indian authors sharing their experiences, workshops, the much anticipated Neev Book Award and lots more. This year’s Neev Book Award will include 4 distinct categories.

Award categories and criteria

Picture Books – Illustrated books for children up to age 6 that display an understanding and respect for a young child’s sensibilities. A picture book must be a maximum of 48 pages in length, and it should provide the reader with a visual experience. Picture books can narrate a story through both text and images, or only images.

Emerging Readers – Books for audiences between the ages of 7 and 9. The book must address this audience both in terms of the appropriateness of the content, the level of the language, the length, and the age of the protagonist. These books may or may not have illustrations; they may be picture books or chapter books. We recommend that these books be between 7,000 and 20,000 words, with a maximum length of 20,000 words. Children in grades 1 to 3 should be able to read these books independently. Examples of books for emerging readers include “The Hole Books” by Duckbill or “The Magic Treehouse” books.

Junior Readers – Books for audiences between the ages of 10 and 12. The book must address the audience both in terms of the appropriateness of the content, the level of language, and the age of the protagonist. Children in grades 4 to 7 should be able to read these books independently. Examples of books for this category include Tiger Boy, by Mitali Perkins, and books such as Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.

Young Adult – Books for audiences between the ages of 13 and 16. The book must address this audience both in terms of the appropriateness of the content, the level of the language, and the age of the protagonist. Young Adult books may explore more mature content appropriate for younger teenagers. Examples of books in this category include Queen of Ice, by Devika Rangachari, and What Maya Saw, by Shabnam Minwalla.

Neev Literary Award Selection Committee – 2019