Freeman Book Awards

Honoring East And Southeast Asian Titles for Children and Young Adults

The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), the Committee on Teaching about Asia (CTA) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), and Asia for Educators (AFE) at Columbia University sponsor the annual Freeman Book Awards for new young adult and children’s literature. The awards recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of East and Southeast Asia. Awards are given in two categories: Children’s and Young Adult on the several countries of East and Southeast Asia. See awards for 2016, 2017, 20182019 and 2020.


Awards for 2021 will be announced January 2022. Click on image or title for details and resources for each book.

2020 Winner – Children’s Literature 
No Steps Behind: Beate Sirota Gordon’s Battle for Women’s Rights in Japan by Jeff Gottesfeld, Illustrated by Shiella Witanto (Creston Books)
Nonfiction: biography, set in Japan

 

 

 

2020 Honorable Mention – Children’s Literature 
A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story by Caren Stelson, Illustrated by Akira Kusaka, (Carolrhoda Books)
Nonfiction, set in Japan

 

 

 

2020 Honorable Mention – Children’s Literature 
Rice by Hongcheng Yu (Reycraft Books)
Nonfiction, set in China

 

 

2020 Honorable Mention – Children’s Literature 
The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, Illustrated by Jess X. Snow (Kokila Press)
Fiction, set in South Korea

 

 

2020 Winner – Young Adult/Middle School Literature 
Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee (Holiday House)
Fiction, set in North Korea

 

 

 

 

2020 Honorable Mention – Young Adult/Middle School Literature 
Beyond Me by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu (Simon & Schuster)
Fiction, set in Japan

 

 

 

 

2020 Of Note – Young Adult/Middle School Literature 
All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat (Candlewick Press)
Nonfiction, set in Thailand

 

 

 

2020 Winner – Young Adult/High School Literature 
Crossing the Farak River by Michelle Aung Thin (Annick Press)
Fiction, set in Myanmar

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Winner – Young Adult/High School Literature (Graphic)
Year of the Rabbit by Tian Veasna, Translated by Helge Dascher (Drawn & Quaterly)
Nonfiction, set in the Cambodia

 

 

 

 

2020 Honorable Mention – Young Adult/High School Literature 
The Silence of Bones by June Hur (Macmillan)
Fiction, set in Korea

 

 

 

 

2020 Honorable Mention – Young Adult/High School Literature (Graphic)
Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes by Lun Zhang and Adrien Gombeaud, Illustrated by Ameziane (IDW Publishing)
Nonfiction, set in China

 

 

 

2020 Of Note – Young Adult/High School Literature 
Almond by Won-pyung Sohn, Translated by Sandy Joosun Lee (Harper Collins)
Fiction, set in South Korea

 

 

 

 

2020 Of Note – Young Adult/High School Literature 
Like Spilled Water by Jennie Liu (Lerner Publishing Group)
Fiction, set in China

 

 

 

 

2020 Of Note – Young Adult/High School Literature (Graphic)
Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada, Illustrated by Hyung-Ju Ko (Iron Circus Comics)
Nonfiction, set in South Korea