Hazel Edwards and I are thrilled that our novel ‘f2m: the boy within‘ has been selected for The White Ravens in 2011.
Every year 250 outstanding international books for children and young adults are selected for The White Ravens list from nearly 10,000 books sent to the International Youth Library at Schloss Blutenberg in Munich.
The books are presented at this year at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and become travelling exhibitions sometimes sponsored by cultural groups such as the Goethe Institute.
The International Youth Library at Schloss Blutenburg
As well as research facilities for internationals interested in children’s literature, the Schloss Blutenberg, a former Bavarian hunting lodge, houses the biggest International Youth Library of 540,000 books in 15 major languages. The castle is a short train and bus ride from central Munich.
The library was founded by Jella Lepman, the the US advisor on Children and Women, who started the post war first travelling exhibition with 4000 donated books. Many use animal parables as Lepman believed that by using animals to champion the cause of peace for children’s sake, the books would be more widely read.
Jella Lepman’s post-WWII concept was to collect children’s books to promote tolerance for strangers outside borders, as well as tolerance for those with whom we live daily.
The historical collection of 90,000 books are those up until 1950, and many rare Eastern European copies are no longer available elsewhere. Scholars come to research books no longer available in their own countries due to Communist censorship or wartime destruction. The Geneva Collection of 30,000 books from the League of Nations which was given to the Schloss archives in the 1960s is also carefully housed in the cellar stacks in temperature controlled areas.
The castle itself was built in 1432 also contains an historic chapel and a grassed courtyard, in addition to a picturesque lake with hundreds of ducks.