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Children’s literature
anthology considered for international award

The anthology Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature (2021) has been nominated for the IRSCL Book Award 2022-23 in the category edited books. The prize, awarded by the International Research Society for Children’s Literature, is one of the most prestigious awards for children’s literature research.

“The fact that children’s literature research at Åbo Akademi University was involved in organizing IRSCL’s international congress in 2019 was a milestone. The society was celebrating its 50th anniversary and as many as 530 participants attended. Since the congress made a profit, we wanted to invest the surplus in something lasting and chose to collect a selection of lectures and keynotes in book form,” says Mia Österlund, research director at the Department of Literature at ÅAU and one of the editors of the anthology.

The volume consists of keynotes and selected articles from the very successful IRSCL Congress held 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. In the award nomination, the book’s theme, silence and being silenced, is highlighted and praised as generously inclusive. The editors are also praised for courageously including alternative academic formats, such as a mediation/performance/text and a cartoon. They are also commended for their excellent work in framing, organizing, and editing the included essays so that they merge into a coherent study.

The cover of the anthology Silence and Silencing in Children´s Literature was designed by Linda Bondestam.

“We are very honoured and delighted to be nominated for the IRSCL Book Awards, not least because our book will now be more visible and hopefully reach more people. The book contains a number of contributions worth reading. For example, Professor Emerita Boel Westin, Stockholm University, writes about silence in Tove Jansson’s Moominvalley,” Österlund continues.

The nomination also highlights the anthology’s cover, which is described as charmingly coloristic, mimicking the care for the visual and tactile that is typical of children’s books.

“The book weighs 1.3 kg and the beautiful cover has been illustrated by Finnish-Swedish picture book artist Linda Bondestam, who was also one of the author guests at the international congress at a Nordic evening at Junibacken in Stockholm,” Österlund says.



The anthology Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature (2021) was edited by Elina Druker, Björn Sundmark, Åsa Warnqvist and Mia Österlund. Read more about the book here.

Mia Österlund is Head of Subject and Research Director at the Department of Literature at Åbo Akademi University while leading the research project The Swedish Children’s Literature Criticism and Research in Finland, also known as Tippelill at the Swedish Literature Society in Finland.

Read more about the Tippelill project here (in Swedish).