Bala  Newsletter

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Bala*, an
email newsletter published by Africa Access         


  •  Join our Bala Mailing list to keep informed about K-12 literature on Africa.  Bala is focused, informative, and free!  This first issue of Bala features the 2012 Children's Africana Book Awards.            


   Brenda Randolph, Senior Editor

*Bala means "Read" in Setswana, a language that is widely spoken  in Southern Africa


In This Issue
Best Book
Honor Book
Notable Books
Promotion Partners
About CABA
Nomination Guidelines
Featured Article
This issue highlights the winners of the 2012 Children's Africana Book Awards


Best Book for Older Readers 2012

Stones for My Father
SuIn Stones for my Father novelist Trilby Kent reveals the way South African Boers were targets for large-scale extermination during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), and how Africans were maligned and oppressed by the Boers. Through the eyes of twelve-year-old Corlie Roux, the narrator, we trace the suffering of Boer farmers; for example, the "scorched earth" strategy that allowed British troops to seize livestock, poison wells, destroy reservoirs, bury salt in the soil, and burn homes. The horrifying conditions in a British concentration camp make up the second half of the novel. Read Review 


Author Trilby Kent was born in Toronto and grew up in London, Miami and Boston. Currently she lives in London. Stones for My Father is her second novel for young people.    


Honor Book for Older Readers 2012

Street Level: A collection of drawings and creative writing inspired by Dar es Salaam
   Street Level  takes the reader on a tour of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city located on the Indian Ocean coastline.  The book is illustrated by Sarah Markes and includes prose and poetry by various Dar residents. Markes has traveled and lived in both Tanzania and Malawi. She uses her knowledge and love for Dar to pay homage to the city's cultural and architectural elements while effectively capturing Dar's movement and energy. She concludes with a discussion of recent demolitions that put Dar's historic center at risk.   Read Review 


Notables 2012

Akosua's Gift. Angela Christian and Kathy Knowles. Edmund Opare (illus). Osu Children's Library Fund, 2011.

Akosua, a young Ghanaian potter, makes a special gift for her sister's wedding.

No. 1 Car Spotter. Atinuke. Warwick Johnson Cadwell (illus.) Kane Miller, 2011.
 Number 1, whose hobby is car spotting, is good at solving all sorts of problems for his village. When the family's cart breaks down and there's no way of bringing goods to market, it's Number 1 who devises the Toyota Cow-rolla and saves the day.

Let's Play, Tucheze Numbody. Barzile Amishiki. (Masayo). Mkuki na Nyota / African Books Collective (dist.), 2011

A charmingly original counting book for young children that is both text and musical play in Swahili and English, expertly designed to fire the young imagination. Each number is given, with a fold-out page to illustrate how to make the number shape by twisting your body. There is an accompanying CD.

Songs from the Baobab: African Lullabies & Nursery Rhymes. Chantal Grosleziat (compiler), Paul Mindy (musical arrangements). Elodie Nouhen (illus.)  The Secret Mountain, 2011. 
A collection of rhymes and lullabies from Central and Western Africa, accompanied by a CD of 29 songs.


Become a CABA Publicity Partner  


Tell us you want to be a CABA Publicity Partner and we will send you CABA postcards to distribute in your community.

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About the Awards  


The Children's Africana Book Awards were established in 1991 by the Outreach Council of the  African Studies Association to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children's materials on Africa in U.S. schools and libraries.The award jury includes Outreach Council members, specialists in children's literature and university-based scholars.  


Visit the our CABA webpage to learn more about CABA. Download lists of previous awards for Young Children and for Older Readers.




Nomination Guidelines 


Publishers of children's and young adult books on African themes copyrighted in 2012 are invited to review Nomination Process Guidelines for the 2013 awards. Titles submitted for 2013 award consideration should be mailed to the award committee by December 31, 2012.

Reviews of nominated titles are published online in 
Africa Access Review.  Essays on the winning titles and selected reviews are published each year in Sankofa:  A Journal of African Children's and Young Adult Literature. 



Please contact the publicity director for the Children's Africana Book Awards,

Harriet McGuire by phone at 703.549-8208 or by e-mail:  

Brenda Randolph, Chair of Awards Committee,  




Thank you