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Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Book Award to Be Renamed Due to ‘Stereotypical Attitudes’ in ‘Little House’ Books

Association for Library Service to Children voted to change name to The Children’s Literature Legacy Award

Laura Ingalls Wilder will have her name taken off a major children’s book award due to “stereotypical attitudes” of her portrayal of minorities in “Little House on the Prairie,” The Association for Library Service to Children voted on Saturday.

“This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness,” the organization wrote on its website.

The award will be renamed The Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

Per the ALSC, the award “honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences.”

Wilder’s “Little House” books, first published in 1932, have been criticized for its depiction of minorities, especially Native Americans, and for its use of racial epitaphs. The ALSC board announced in February it would review whether or not Wilder’s name should remain on the award, stating that her legacy was “complex” and her worked is “not universally embraced.”

The board continued: “It continues to be a focus of scholarship and literary analysis, which often brings to light anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments in her work. The ALSC Board recognizes that legacy may no longer be consistent with the intention of the award named for her.”