The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.
2019 Winner. Our story starts with a boy named Paul, who lives in a cozy treehouse in a big city with his family. And then something unexpected happens—Paul befriends a wise, friendly fox on a walk home from the bakery. The fox gives Paul a space to think about what makes him happy and what friendship means.
2018 Winner. Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she’s an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja’s turban, this gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.
2017 Winner. Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss to life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.
2016 Winner. Eddie is five and a half, and thinks she is the only one in her family who isn’t really good at something. So when she hears her little sister say “birthday—Mommy—fluffy—little—squishy,” it’s extra important for her to find this amazing present before anyone else does. So, gregarious, charming, clever little Eddie goes all around the neighborhood to all her fabulous friends—the florist, the chic boutique owner, the antiques dealer, and even the intimidating butcher—to find one. It’s a magical adventure that draws on Eddie’s special gifts, ones that she herself learns to appreciate.
Mikis and the Donkey
by Bibi Dumon Tak; Philip Hopman (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2014-10-06
2015 Winner. One day, Mikis’s grandfather has a surprise for him: a new donkey waiting! Mikis falls in love with the creature, but his grandparents tell him that the donkey is a working animal, not a pet. However, they still let Mikis choose her name -- Tsaki -- and allow the two of them to spend their Sundays together. Mikis and Tsaki soon become fast friends, and together the two have some grand adventures. Eventually, both Mikis and his grandfather learn a bit more about what exactly it means to care for another creature.
by Truus Matti
Publication Date: 2013-01-29
2014 Winner. The year: 1945. The place: Manhattan. Mr. Orange is told from the perspective of Linus Muller, the third of six children, whose parents own a grocery store. Linus' oldest brother Albie volunteers to fight in World War II, and it's his departure that sets the story in motion. When Albie leaves, Linus takes on new responsibilities, including grocery deliveries to customers. Among his customers is a man who has come from Europe and is an artist, but Linus never quite catches his name, so he names him Mr. Orange for the crate of fruit he delivers to him each week. The book revolves around Linus' experience of the war through his brother's departure and the conversations he has with Mr. Orange about war, heroes, the future, and the freedom to create. Only at the end, after Mr. Orange's death, does Linus learn that the artist was Piet Mondrian. Linus thus discovers that the incredible influence Mr. Orange has had on him and the sense of possibility that he has given to him is also a gift that he has given to others and to the future through his work.
My Family for the War
by Anne G. Voorhoere; Anne C. Voorhoeve
Publication Date: 2012-02-16
2013 Winner. Escaping Nazi Germany on the kindertransport changes one girl's life forever. At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, the train that secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in England. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn't know when or if she'll see her true family again. Against the backdrop of war-torn London, Frances struggles with questions of identity, family, and love, and these experiences shape her into a dauntless, charming young woman.
by Bibi Dumon Tak; Bibi Dumon Tak; Philip Hopman (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2011-08-22
2012 Winner. Based on a real series of events that happened during World War II, Soldier Bear tells the story of an orphaned bear cub adopted by a group of Polish soldiers in Iran. The soldiers raise the bear and eventually enlist him as a soldier to ensure that he stays with the company. He travels with them from Iran to Italy, and then on to Scotland. Voytek's mischief gets him into trouble along with way, but he also provides some unexpected encouragement for the soldiers amidst the reality of war: Voytek learns to carry bombs for the company, saves the camp from a spy, and keeps them constantly entertained with his antics.
A Time of Miracles
by Y. Maudet (Translator); Anne-Laure Bondoux
Publication Date: 2010-11-09
2011 Winner. Blaise Fortune, also known as Koumaïl, loves hearing the story of how he came to live with Gloria in the Republic of Georgia: Gloria was picking peaches in her father’s orchard when she heard a train derail. After running to the site of the accident, she found an injured woman who asked Gloria to take her baby. The woman, Gloria claims, was French, and the baby was Blaise. When Blaise turns seven years old, the Soviet Union collapses and Gloria decides that she and Blaise must flee the political troubles and civil unrest in Georgia. The two make their way westward on foot, heading toward France, where Gloria says they will find safe haven. But what exactly is the truth about Blaise’s past? Bits and pieces are revealed as he and Gloria endure a five-year journey across the Caucasus and Europe, weathering hardships and welcoming unforgettable encounters with other refugees searching for a better life. During this time Blaise grows from a boy into an adolescent; but only later, as a young man, can he finally attempt to untangle his identity.
2010 Winner. It's the summer of 1939. Two Jewish sisters from Vienna—12-year-old Stephie Steiner and 8-year-old Nellie—are sent to Sweden to escape the Nazis. They expect to stay there six months, until their parents can flee to Amsterdam; then all four will go to America. But as the world war intensifies, the girls remain, each with her own host family, on a rugged island off the western coast of Sweden. Nellie quickly settles in to her new surroundings. She’s happy with her foster family and soon favors the Swedish language over her native German. Not so for Stephie, who finds it hard to adapt; she feels stranded at the end of the world, with a foster mother who’s as cold and unforgiving as the island itself. Her main worry, though, is her parents—and whether she will ever see them again.
2009 Winner. You've never read a fantasy novel like this one! The deep well of Japanese myth merges with the Western fantasy tradition for a novel that's as rich in place and culture as it is hard to put down. Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire. Then she rescued a boy flung into a raging river -- and at that moment, her destiny changed. Now Balsa must protect the boy -- the Prince Chagum -- on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to its source in the sea. As they travel across the land of Yogo and discover the truth about the spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga...and the prince's own father.
2008 Winner. Young Wataru Mitani's life is a mess. His family has problems they never told him about, a new student at school upsets everything he knows about the world, and a girl's voice rings in his mind all hours of the night. Desperately he searches for some way to change his life; a way to alter his fate.To achieve his goal, he must navigate the magical world of Vision, a land filled with creatures both fierce and friendly. And to complicate matters, he must outwit a merciless rival from the real world. Wataru's ultimate destination is the Tower of Destiny where a Goddess of fate awaits. Only when he has finished his journey and collected five elusive gemstones will he possess the Demon's Bane; the key that will unlock his future. Charity, bravery, faith, grace and the power of darkness and light: these are the provinces of each gemstone. Brought together, they have the immeasurable power to change Wataru's life.
The Pull of the Ocean
by Jean-Claude Mourlevat; Y. Maudet (Translator)
Publication Date: 2006-11-14
2007 Winner. On a stormy night, little Yann Doutreleau wakes up his six older brothers, all twins. He lets them know that they must flee their home--or risk being killed by their violent father. Without question, the siblings follow Yann into the wet darkness. And so begins their remarkable odyssey toward the ocean--as well as an unforgettable story of brotherhood. The social worker investigating the Doutreleau family, the truck driver who gives the boys a lift, the police officer who believes they've run away, the baker who gives them bread--each of the many people the seven boys encounter gives a stirring account of what he or she witnesses. The twins themselves add their voices, as do the Doutreleau parents; but not until the end of the journey does little Yann express his reasons for his galvanizing actions.
An Innocent Soldier
by Josef Holub; Michael Hofmann (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
2006 Winner. A naive country boy grapples with life in the army during Napoleon's disastrous campaign against Russia. Adam is a farmhand conscripted by Napoleon's army, which is gathering strength for its campaign against Russia. Sergeant Krauter makes Adam the victim of his most sadistic urges. But when an aristocratic young lieutenant spots Adam and requisitions him as his personal valet, Adam's life seems to take a turn for the better. As Adam and Lieutenant Konrad Klara draw closer to Moscow, they encounter a panoply of wartime horrors. THE RUSSIAN SOLDIER - both poignant and funny - explores the importance of friendship in persevering against overwhelming odds.
2005 Winner. In the Libyan city of Ghadames, Malika watches her merchant father depart on one of his caravan expeditions. She too yearns to travel to distant cities, and longs to learn to read like her younger brother. But nearly 12 years old, and soon to be of marriagable age, Malika knows that—like all Muslim women—she must be content with a more secluded, more limited life. Then one night a stranger enters her home . . . someone who disrupts the traditional order of things—and who affects Malika in unexpected ways.
2004 Winner. Run, Boy, Run is the extraordinary account of one boy’s survival of the Holocaust. Srulik is only eight years old when he finds himself all alone in the Warsaw ghetto. He escapes into the countryside where he spends the ensuing years hiding in the forest, dependent on the sympathies and generosity of the poor farmers in the surrounding area. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, several chases, captures, attempted executions, and even the loss of his arm, Srulik miraculously survives.
2003 Winner. Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here, hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelters runaways and children with incredible secrets....After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, The Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny... forever.
2002 Winner. In 1902 in a small German town a traveler turns up spouting catchy songs about adventures in America. To the townspeople, the land sounds like paradise, and ten-year-old Johann Bonfert is excited when his own family begins planning a life overseas. His father and brother leave early to find jobs in the steel mills of Ohio, and the rest of the family follows later in a long, miserable sea journey. Johann soon discovers, however, that it’s not easy to start life from scratch. America’s not paradise, and assimilation can be difficult, especially for grown-ups. Author Karin Gundisch’s American debut is a heartwarming and finely observed book that speaks to the enduring struggles all immigrants face, whether in 1902 or 2002.
Samir and Yonatan
by Daniella Carmi; Yael Lotan (Translator, Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2002-11-01
2001 Winner. Nothing could be more frightening to Samir, a Palestinian boy, than to be where he is now: an Israeli hospital ward, trapped among the very people he blames for his brother's death. Amid this explosive atmosphere, Samir begins to learn about the Israeli kids around him. He discovers their hurts and conflicts - and hesitantly begins to share his own.
This is a story of violence and healing - the story of a boy facing the enemy he has been taught to fear.
The Baboon King
by Anton Quintana; John Nieuwenhuizen (Translator)
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
2000 Winner. Morengaru, a strong young hunter, has been cast out by both his mother's people, the Kikuyu, and his father's people, the Masai. Every day he misses human companionship, and soon he feels as though he's becoming more like the animals around him. When Morengaru has the chance to belong again, he seizes the opportunity. Then he faces the greatest challenge of his life: living among the baboons, still clinging to his humanity, hoping someday to return to his people.
Thanks to My Mother
by Schoschana Rabinovici; James Skofield (Translator)
Publication Date: 2000-03-01
1999 Winner. Susie Weksler was only eight when Hitler's forces invaded her Lithuanian city of Vilnius. Over the next few years, she endured starvation, brutality, and forced labor in three concentration camps. With courage and ingenuity, Susie's mother helped her to survive--by disguising her as an adult to fool the camp guards, finding food to add to their scarce rations, and giving her the will to endure. This harrowing memoir portrays the best and worst of humanity in heartbreaking scenes you will never forget.
The Robber and Me
by Josef Holub; Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)
Publication Date: 1999-02-09
1998 Winner. When Boniface Schroll, a shy orphan, is left all alone in a cold, dark forest, a big man in a black hat rescues him. The next day he awakens in his Uncle Emil's house. Boniface, who wants a place to call home, likes the people in the small farming village. But when he hears about the many robberies committed by a man wearing a big black hat, Boniface wonders if he should risk telling his uncle what he knows about the mysterious man.
by Kazumi Yumoto; Cathy Hirano (Translator)
Publication Date: 1996-10-21
1997 Winner. Curious about death, three sixth-grade boys decide to spy on an old man waiting for him to die, but they end up becoming his friends.
The Lady with the Hat
by Uri Orlev; Hillel Halkin (Translator)
Publication Date: 1997-11-01
1996 Winner. Yulek, a seventeen-year-old concentration camp survivor, makes his way to Palestine after World War II ends. There he meets Theresa, who was saved from the Nazis by Catholic nuns. Together they struggle to re-adjust to life after war.
The Boys from St. Petri
by Bjarne Reuter; Anthea Bell (Translator)
Publication Date: 1996-03-01
1995 Winner. In 1942, a group of young men begin a series of increasingly dangerous protests against the German invaders of their Danish homeland.
by Juan Ramón Alonso (Illustrator); Robin Longshaw (Translator); Pilar Molina Llorente
Publication Date: 1994-08-30
1994 Winner. In Renaissance Florence, thirteen-year-old apprentice Arduino's dreams of being a painter are challenged after he discovers the extreme measures the Maestro Cosimo di Forlç will take in the name of jealousy. Arduino faces a decision that could cost him his only chance to realize his life's dream.
1993 - No Award Given
Man from the Other Side
by Uri Orlev; Hillel Halkin (Translator)
Publication Date: 1995-01-01
1992 Winner. The true story of a teenager's experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, as he discovers his own heritage and finds himself caught up in the war through underground dealings.
A Hand Full of Stars
by Rafik Schami; Rika Lessker (Translator)
Publication Date: 1992-08-01
1991 Winner. A teenager who wants to be a journalist in a suppressed society describes to his diary his daily life in his hometown of Damascus, Syria.
by Bjarne Reuter
Publication Date: 1989-09-14
1990 Winner. Buster Oregon Mortensen, son of a conjurer and street singer, proud grandson of Oregon the Cannon King, manages to fill a bleak, adverse world with comedy and love in the course of his hilarious antics.
by Peter Härtling; Elizabeth D. Crawford (Illustrator); Wendell Minor (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 1988-10-19
1989 Winner. Translated from the German by Elizabeth D. Crawford. Based on the author's own wartime experiences, a gripping and affecting novel of friendship between twelve-year-old Thomas and a man who has lost his leg and asks to be called Crutches.
If You Didn't Have Me
by Ulf Nilsson; Eva Eriksson (Illustrator); Lone T. Blecher (Translator); George Blecher (Translator); Lone Blecher (Translator)
Publication Date: 1987-03-31
1988 Winner. Spending most of a year with relatives on a farm in southern Sweden while his parents are busy building a new house in town, a young boy finds inner strengths and unexpected sources of entertainment.
No Hero for the Kaiser
by Rudolf Frank; Patricia Crampton (Translator); Klaus Steffans (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 1986-06-01
1987 Winner. Jan, a fourteen-year-old Polish boy whose town is invaded in World War I, joins a German battalion and experiences the horrors of battle.
by Roberto Innocenti (Illustrator); Roberto Gallaz
Publication Date: 1985-09-01
1986 Winner. A young German girl watches as the streets of her town fill with soldiers and tanks. Then, one day, she follows a truck into the woods and discovers a terrible secret.
The Island on Bird Street
by Uri Orlev; Hillel Halkin (Translator)
Publication Date: 1992-01-20
1985 Winner. During World War II a Jewish boy is left on his own for months in a ruined house in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he must learn all the tricks of survival under constantly life-threatening conditions.
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
by Astrid Lindgren; Patricia Crampton (Translator)
Publication Date: 1985-02-05
1984 Winner. Ronia, who lives with her father and his band of robbers in a castle in the woods, causes trouble when she befriends the son of a rival robber chieftain.
Hiroshima No Pika
by Toshi Maruki (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 1982-08-01
1983 Winner. August 6, 1945, 8:15 a.m. Hiroshima. Japan. A little girl and her parents are eating breakfast, and then it happened. HIROSHIMA NO PIKA. This book is dedicated to the fervent hope the Flash will never happen again, anywhere.
by Harry Kullman
Publication Date: 1982-12-01
1982 Winner. The children on a Stockholm street engage in a modern-day jousting tournament in which the rich are knights and the poor are the horses who bear them.
The Winter When Time Was Frozen
by Els Pelgrom; Maryka Rudnik (Translator); Raphael Rudnik (Translator)
Publication Date: 1980-10-01
1981 Winner. In Holland during the last months of World War II a 12-year-old girl and her father find shelter with a farm family who courageously give sanctuary to all in need of it.
The Sound of the Dragon's Feet
by Alki Zei; Edward Fenton (Translator)
Publication Date: 1979-10-01
1980 Winner. The time spent with her "revolutionary" tutor opens 10-year-old Sasha's eyes to more of life in turn-of-the-century Russia than her somewhat sheltered existence had previously allowed her to experience.
by Christine Nöstlinger
Publication Date: 1999-10-01
1979 Winner. Mrs. Bartolotti finds a factory-made child, who never does anything wrong, in the post--delivered by mistake. The factory men try to reclaim Conrad but he doesn't want to go.
by Jorg Steiner; Ann C. Lammers (Translator); Jörg Müller (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 1985-01-01
1978 Winner. The adventures of two rabbits who escape from the rabbit factory.
by Cecil Bødker
Publication Date: 1975-01-01
1977 Winner. An Ethiopian boy finds his life endangered when he discovers that a disguised blacksmith, not a leopard, is responsible for a great many missing cattle in the area.
Cat and Mouse in Partnership
by Jacob Grimm; Wilhelm K. Grimm
Publication Date: 2012-05-11
1976 Winner. Once a cat and mouse shared a house and had a pot of butter to last them through the winter. Then the cat tried to get all the food for herself.
An Old Tale Carved Out of Stone
by A. Linevski; Maria Polushkin Robbins (Translator)
Publication Date: 1973-09-01
1975 Winner. A teenage shaman runs into conflict with the members of his tribe when he relies on the power of logic instead of magic in Neolithic Siberia.
by by Alki Zei, Edward Fenton (Translator)
Publication Date: 1972
1974 Winner. For ten-year-old Petros, the day World War II began seemed to him like a festival. Petros—with images in his mind from his many books of heroes and their deeds—decided this would be his heroic war filled with deeds of valor about which he could tell his own children. His work for the Resistance, however, did not require much heroism as he had imagined it, and liberating a dog from a German soldier and secretly painting slogans on walls did not seem dramatic. In time, however, brutality, loss of freedom, famine, depression and the death of his friends mature him and convince him that survival is the greatest heroic deed of all.
by by S.R. van Iterson, Alexander Gode (Translator), Alison Gode (Translator)
Publication Date: 1971
1973 Winner. For a fifteen-year-old boy from the slums of Bogota, Colombia, being taken on as a truck driver's helper is an unbelievably good break.
by Edite Kroll (Translator); Hans Peter Richter
Publication Date: 1987-05-01
1972 Winner. Friedrich and his best friend were growing up in Germany in the early 1930s. At first, Friedrich seemed to be the more fortunate, but when Hitler came to power, things began to change. Friedrich was expelled from school and became an orphan when his mother died and his father was arrested and deported.
In the Land of Ur
by Hans Baumann
Publication Date: 1969-09-01
1971 Winner. Describes archaeological finds in Mesopotamia and what they have revealed of the ancient civilizations of that area.
Wildcat Under Glass
by by Alki Zei, Edward Fenton
Publication Date: 1968
1970 Winner. The story is set on an island in Greece during the 1930's as the nation is forced into a Fascist dictatorship. It is told through the eyes of a young girl named Melia, who relates the experiences of her family as they are forced to accept life under a repressive government. The book provides an interesting look at an important period of Greek history and tells it from a child's unsophisticated perspective. The naturalness and liveliness of the dialogue is combined with the seriousness and depth of the meaning. In a playful atmosphere, the reader is aware of and enjoys a mature thought that deals with and analyses social visions while trying to discover the threads that move them. The value of the book consists in precisely this combination. One of its virtues and what makes it universal is that the narration, although set in Greece at a particular period of time, seems somehow spaceless and timeless.
Don't Take Teddy
by by Babbis Friis-Baastad, Lise Sømme McKinnon (Translator)
Publication Date: 1964
1969 Winner. When Mikkel's older handicapped brother accidentally hurts someone and is threatened by that boy's friends, Mikkel resolves the situation in an unusual and interesting way.
The Little Man
by by Erich Kästner
Publication Date: 1963
1968 Winner. Maxie Pichelsteiner is only two inches tall, but longs to be a circus performer. When he teams up with the magician Hokus Von Pokus, their fame spreads around the world, but then Maxie gets into big trouble when he's kidnapped by dastardly villains. By the author of Emil and the Detectives.