IBBY SA is the South African national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international body with 74 national sections around the world.
The organization has announced that the following books have been selected for the IBBY Honour List to be presented at the IBBY World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2016 as having made a special contribution to recent South African literature for children and young people:
Fanie Viljoen: ‘Uit’ (LAPA Uitgewers, Pretoria) – for making it easy for all teenagers to experience and emphathise with a young man’s growing realisation of his sexual orientation.
Charmaine Kendal: ‘Miscast’ (Junkets Publisher, Cape Town) – for its sensitive exploration of the inner journey of a trans boy; probably the first South African teen novel about transgender.
Translator: into Afrikaans
Kobus Geldenhuys: ‘Hoe om jou draak te tem’ (Protea Boekhuis, Stellenbosch) translated from Cressida Cowell’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ – for capturing the spirit and sense of the fantastical in his translation.
Translator: into isiXhosa
Sindiwe Magona: ‘Umculo neentsomi zase-Afrika’ (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg) translated from Gcina Mhlophe’s ‘Stories of Africa’ – for transmitting the magic of the original folktales so faithfully.
Translator: into seSotho
Selloane Khosi: ‘Baile le Moketa’ (Jacana Media, Johannesburg), translated from Gerard Sekoto’s ‘Shorty and Billy Boy’ – for a clear and lively version of the 1973 story of Sekoto’s, only recently published for the first time.
Dale Blankenaar: ‘Olinosters op die dak/ Rhinocephants on the roof’ by Marita van der Vyver (NB Publishers, Cape Town) – for his rendering of the eerily atmospheric world of the writing.
The above announcements were made at an event hosted by IBBY SA at the SASNEV building in Pinelands, Cape Town, on Thursday, September 17.
The announcements were made by Lona Gericke, former children’s librarian, former chair and vice-chair of IBBY SA, and a former member of the international Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury. She holds the Awards portfolio on the Executive Committee of IBBY SA. IBBY SA’s current Chairperson Professor Genevieve Hart handed over the certificates.
Five of the six people nominated were able to attend the event and receive their IBBY SA certificates in person. Likewise, five of the six publishers involved were the happy recipients of IBBY SA certificates.
“We are really glad that the six categories were spread among six different publishers,” said Lona Gericke. “It means that more and more publishers are doing excellent work in the field of literature for children and young people.”
Is there anything especially noteworthy about this year’s Honour List nominees? “Isn’t it striking,’ comments Genevieve Hart, “that the two ‘Author’-category nominees have both written books about sexual diversity? It is a very significant area of teenager experience, and one welcomes such careful and sensitive treatments.”
What lies ahead for these six books? Copies have been despatched to the head office of IBBY in Basle, Switzerland. At next year’s IBBY World Congress they will be on display, will appear in the Honour List of Books brochure, and will be the subject of a screened presentation in a plenary session of the Congress, after which they will move on to be displayed at the famous Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
So, the recognition and the exposure for these writers, translators and illustrators could be very significant for their careers.