Neev Book Award 2019

Neev Academy’s Serious Love for Reading

Neev Academy, an IB/ICSE school in Bangalore, takes children’s literature seriously. They focus on reading, which is good. But what cements their commitment is the annual Neev Literature Festival (since 2017) and the Neev Book Award.

Neev Literature Festival

The upcoming 2019 edition of the Fest (Sep 20, 21st) will have a whopping 68 speakers, including some big names. The festival has workshops (for parents, students and educators), interactive sessions, panel discussions and book readings. The schedule is really packed, see for yourself: Day 1 and Day 2 schedule.

There are a few kidlit festivals across the country – Bookaroo, Peek-a-Book, Kukdukoo Lit Fest, The Hindu LFL Children’s Fest, etc. Among these, Neev’s is the only one solely organised by a school.

Neev Book Award

The Neev Lit Fest also organises a Book Award that recognises outstanding writing in four different categories – Picture Books, Emerging Readers, Junior Readers and Young Adults. It carries a cash prize of ₹ 1,00,000. Last year’s winners were:

If you follow our writing regularly and have read Amrut’s piece on the BICW Origin Story, then you would know that we believe that awards make sense only if they are able to benefit the publisher in a meaningful way. The Neev award comes with a 1L cash prize. And the festival bookstore sells the shortlisted books. Given the footfall, it’s expected to generate good sales. Neev also convinced Flipkart to put the books on sale. So full marks to Neev.

Reviews of Shortlisted Books

We here at Multistory admire the mission to create life-long readers and the effort behind the litfest. We wanted to do our bit in promoting this Festival and so we have reviewed the books on the Neev Award shortlist in the Picture Books and Emerging Readers categories. Read all our reviews here.

The shortlisted books have a common theme that tied them all together – inclusivity and diversity. Three of the shortlisted picture books, Machher Jhol (set in Bengal), Thukpa for All (set in Ladakh) and Neel on Wheels, all have differently-abled protagonists. Their disability does not hold them back. Some of the other books deal with difficult topics like death (Ammuchi Puchi) and war (Red). The award also acknowledges the importance of folktales by shortlisting two of Karadi Tales’s adapted folktales – The Clever Tailor and Babban Hajjam (set in Rajasthan). 

If you have the time, do take a look at the long list too. Some gems in there, such as The Very Wiggly Tooth, which made it to the BICW Award list, and we recommend most of these books as part of our reading program (BLPS).

Conclusion

We are counting down the days to the festival and are looking forward to meeting all our favourite authors and illustrators. What about you? Do say hi if you spot us, we’ll be there.

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