The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has removed famed author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from an award citing “expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values.”
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The ALSC decided to change the name on Saturday, changing it from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.
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Historically, Wilder’s work was met with racially conscious criticism during the author’s lifetime. The books themselves were not written with people of color in mind and are filled with phrases that are unacceptable today. Wilder has apologized for her own work and amended a line in Little House on the Prairie that said Kansas had “no people, only Indians,” changing it to “no settlers, only Indians.”
The ALSC’s decision to remove Wilder’s name from the award is not a call to censor or remove her books from shelves, but an acknowledgement of the fact that the Little House books are not for everyone, and never have been. The award will continue to highlight and award children’s literature, just without Wilder’s name and legacy attached to it.
Featured Image Via Smithsonian Magazine.