James Krüss Award for International Children’s and Youth Literature

„Those who write for children, write for the most open-minded, most curious and least doctrinaire audience of the world.” James Krüss

The James Krüss Award for International Children’s and Youth Literature is awarded in memory of James Krüss, language artist and citizen of the world. Its aim is to honour and promote cosmopolitanism and the art of narration. The award is granted for the oeuvre of a living children’s and youth author as well as – in the case of a foreign awardee – the translation of his or her work into German. The works’ presence on the German book market is compulsory. The awarded work needs to stand out for its linguistic brilliance, originality, imaginative storytelling, and humanity. Furthermore, an affinity with the works of James Krüss should be evident.

© Conrad Piepenburg

James Krüss (1926 – 1997) is one of the classics of German children’s and youth literature. As a narrator, poet, and translator he contributed tremendously to the German cultural heritage His perception of “texts as sounding textiles” emphasises the important role he attributed to language. Continuously, he referred to the existential function of language and narration for the child’s exploration of the world. His works show a preference for and an awareness of carefully composed texts in various forms such as poetry, prose, or picture book. At the same time, James Krüss understood writing as a moral mission to communicate human values such as tolerance, humanity, and the ability to live peacefully together.

The James Krüss Award for international Children’s and Youth Literature, which is offered by the author’s heirs, will be awarded every two years.

The second award ceremony will take place on July 2nd at the International Youth Library in Munich.

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