Catherine Jones wins 2016 Grace Abbott Book Prize

The Society for the History of Children and Youth Grace Abbott Book Prize for the best book on the History of Children and Youth published in English in 2015

The 2016 Grace Abbott Book Prize committee has selected Catherine Jones’s Intimate Reconstructions: Children in Postemancipation Virginia (University of Virginia Press) as the best book on the history of children, childhood or youth published in English in 2015. In their citation, the Committee wrote:

“Jones’ study is an outstanding example of what happens when a researcher approaches a familiar historical narrative from a child-centered perspective. Based on meticulous, extensive and creative archival research, and successfully blending traditional social history with novel analytic categories, Intimate Reconstructions reveals not only how children in Virginia were affected by the process of Reconstruction, but also how Reconstruction itself was shaped by concerns and debates about the treatment, training, reformation and protection of children.

Jones convincingly claims that children, both as direct participants and as cultural symbols, were central to postemancipation struggles over the meaning of freedom, victory and defeat; kinship and citizenship, and the interplay of public and private life.

By attending to the diversity of children’s postwar experiences (in the households of formerly enslaved people and former slaveholders, as apprentices or institutionalized orphans, in the new public schools), to whatchildren had in common as a group (age) and what divided them (race, class, and gender), Jones offers a rich and subtle account ofthe social, political and emotional gains and costs of emancipation. Intimate Reconstructions is an original contribution to the histories of Reconstruction and children, but its detailed storytelling, compelling and clear arguments, and important lessons on the interdependence of private and public—of families and the political and economic contexts in which they are embedded—give it a much broader appeal as well.”

Thank you to the members of the Grace Abbott Prize Committee for their service, Adriana Benzaquén (chair, Mount St. Vincent University), Nara Milanich (Barnard College), and Hugh Morrison (University of Otago).

by Mona Gleason, President, Society for the History of Children and Youth

Call for Nominations: 2016 Grace Abbott Book Prize

The Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) is pleased to call for nominations for the best book published in English on the history of children, childhood, or youth (broadly construed) published in 2015.

The award of a plaque and a check for $500 will be made by mid-summer 2016.

Nominations are invited from publishers, editors, scholars, and authors. Current members of the SHCY award committee are ineligible. Nominations must be postmarked by April 15, 2016.

Send a copy of the book, physical or electronic (PDF only), for consideration to each of the book award committee members at the following addresses:

CORRECTION (2/8/16): Please note that current officers of the Society, including Executive Committee, ARE ELIGIBLE for nominations.

Adriana Benzaquén (Chair)
Department of History
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3M 2J6
Canada
adriana.benzaquen@msvu.ca

Nara Milanich
Department of History
Barnard College/Columbia University
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
USA
nmilanic@barnard.edu

Hugh Morrison
College of Education
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
hugh.morrison@otago.ac.nz