Danielle Binks’ debut middle-grade novel The Year the Maps Changed has been recognised for Outstanding Merit in the 2023 Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee’s Best Children’s Books of the Year list, in the 12-14 year-old, Historical fiction category.
The list includes more than 600 titles chosen by the Children’s Book Committee as the best of the best published in 2022. In choosing books for the annual list, committee members consider literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes.
And according to Bank Street College; ‘Readers have a developmental need—and right—to access books encompassing the varied and unique identities, experiences, perspectives, and cultures of a book’s main and supporting characters. The CBC honors representations of characters who are change agents and advocates for social justice, inclusivity, and equity. Access to historical accuracy is vital to understanding our world. Erasing uncomfortable truths serves no one.’
For this reason in particular, the recognitions of Maps is a great honour and deeply important, as the book is about; ‘In 1999, 11-year-old Winifred, aka Fred, sees her nuclear family expand as Australia starts to receive Albanian refugees from Yugoslavia.’
Binks’ The Year the Maps Changed originally published in Australia and New Zealand in 2020 with Hachette, and was published in North America via HarperCollins imprint, Quill Tree Books.