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Associate professor appointed to international books award committee

Kathryn Kao

March 16, 2020

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Jennifer Graff

Jennifer Graff, an associate professor in the UGA Mary Frances Early College of Education's department of language and literacy education, was recently appointed to serve on the U.S. Board on Books for Young People's (USBBY) Outstanding International Books Award Committee.

USBBY is a nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing international relations through children's and young adult books and serves as the U.S. national section of the International Board on Books for Young People.

Every year, the Books Award Committee reads over 400 international books and is charged with selecting the most outstanding of those published during the calendar year.

"This opportunity is a significant honor and a serious responsibility I am eager to pursue with my fellow committee members," said Graff, who will serve on the committee for two years. "We hope to contribute to the cultivation of joyful reading, global awareness and understanding, as well as personal and collective transformation."

Through these awards, Graff hopes to shine a stronger light on the importance of international children's literature for readers of all ages as well as for educators who work with children. By serving as "mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors," books can inspire children to continue creating their own stories in whatever language, format and perspective they desire, she said.

"I hope that the literature we select will help showcase the immense amount of intellect and ingenuity available to children in narrative form on a global scale," added Graff. "I hope we can offer children international perspectives on important topics that affect the heart and mind while also offering opportunities to bask in the joy of a well-told and well-illustrated story."