Finalists named for Astrid Lindgren children’s literature award

Nearly 170 authors and organizations from the world of children’s literature were named on Thursday as finalists for the world’s largest prize in the genre, named for the late Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

Lindgren, who died in 2002, became a giant in the world of children’s literature, largely on the international success of books about Pippi Longstocking, the iconic young girl with stick-straight red pony-tails.

Following Lindgren’s death, the Swedish government founded a prize in her name, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, to recognize the best contemporary children’s and young adult literature from all over the world.

Each year, the finalists vie for the prestigious 5 million kronor ($727,000) prize, which is awarded by a jury of children’s literature experts, including a member of Lindgren’s family.

The prize is administered by the Swedish Arts Council (Statens kulturråd).

The first prize, which was awarded in 2003, was shared by American author Maurice Sendak, creator of “Where the Wild Things Are”, and by Austria’s Christine Nöstlinger.

In 2009, the award went to the Tamer Institute, an independent organization which promotes reading to children and young people in the West Bank and Gaza.

The 2010 list of nominees includes the names of 168 authors and organizations from 61 countries. The winner will be announced on March 24th, 2010 in Lindgren’s hometown of Vimmerby in central Sweden.

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