Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name removed from children’s book award

Controversy The board voted unanimously to remove Wilder's name at their annual meeting over the weekend due to her anti-black and anti Native writings

Laura Ingalls Wilder has always been a prominent author in children's literature thanks to her well-known and -loved series Little House on the Prairie, but conflict has arisen in association with her books' offensive depiction of Native Americans. The racial content in her books "should be discussed in our modern perspective and addressed directly", the group said, "rather than hidden or avoided".

And where "there were no people. Only Indians lived there".

The cabin at the "Little House on the Prairie" site is a re-creation built in 1977. In recent years, her books have come under fire for racist depictions of Native Americans.

The decision to nix her name on the award, changing it from the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" to the "Children's Literature Legacy Award" comes after a unanimous vote by the Association of Library Service to Children's board. Columbus Day is now Indigenous Peoples' Day in some places.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award will become the Children's Literature Legacy Award for the 2018 award cycle.

A number of commentators disagreed with the change, with one, history and economics author Lori Ann LaRocco, saying Wilder "inspired me to be an author and to be fearless".

It will now be called the Children's Literature Legacy Award.

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An iconic author's name has been stripped from a prestigious literary award because of themes some are describing as racially offensive.

Until her death in 1957 she was beloved for the semi-autobiographical "Little House" children's books, fictionalised versions of her family's adventures travelling the western frontier in their covered wagon and its encounters with Native Americans.

At issue is the fact that those stories sometimes reflected the era's prevailing attitudes about blacks and Native Americans, particularly the hatred and fear between settlers and natives.

She also wrote that her mother believed that "the only good Indian was a dead Indian".

In addition, in another scene, Wilder depicts white men wearing blackface for the entertainment of others - including her father.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of the best-known children's authors.

"Laura Ingalls Wilder's books have been and will continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers", the presidents of the ALSC and ALA, Nina Lindsay and Jim Neal, said in a joint statement on Monday. In 1952, she apologized amid criticism for the opening sentences of "Little House on the Prairie", which state, "there were no people".

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