The Lewis Carroll Shelf Award was an American literary award conferred on several books annually by the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education annually from 1958 to 1979. Award-winning books were deemed to "belong on the same shelf" as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, having enough of the qualities of his work.
Seventeen books were named in 1958, including only two from the 1950s. Seven were named in 1979, all except two from the 1970s.
Although short, the last class was also diverse, with one wordless picture book,
The Snowman (1978) by Raymond Briggs, and one fictionalized biography, The Road from Home (1979) by David Kherdian, about his mother's childhood during the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath.
The selection process included nominations by trade paperback editors, who were permitted to name one book annually from their trade catalogs. The Component Analysis Selector Tool rated tradebooks on authenticity, universality, insight, symbol systems–craftsmanship, impact, genre comparison, field setting of reader and test of time.
The purpose was to identify and promote outstanding thoughts among the mediocre communications available in an open society.The list was established by Dr. David C. Davis
with the assistance of Professor Lola Pierstorff, Director Instructional Materials Center, University of Wisconsin, and Madeline Allen Davis, WHA Wisconsin Public Radio. Awards were announced and presented at the annual Wisconsin Book Conference, which featured speakers such as Dr. Seuss, William Steig, Helga Sandburg, Arna Bontemps, Nat Hentoff, Paul Engle, Jean George, Ed Emberley, Charlemae Rollins, Watts poet Jimmy Sherman, Maurice Sendak, Holling C. Holling, Pamela Travers, Ann Nolan Clark, Louise Lemp, Frank Luther, and Ramon Coffman (Uncle Ray).
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