, under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody, strives to bring to light self-published and small press published titles by, for, and about people in poverty, on the streets, in custody, or otherwise living in the margins. Books from larger publishers are also considered if they fit our charge. Teens are the target audience for the lists we create and promote.
We hope our book list will empower librarians working in difficult situations to legitimize their book choices in order to promote positive reading and literacy activities for teens in the margins.
See also the Top Ten list
and the full In The Margins Official List
In the Margins strives to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody - or a cycle of all three.
To seek out and highlight fiction and non-fiction titles (PreK through adult) of high-interest appeal to youth, ages 9-21, that reflect marginalized and/or street culture with a preference for marginalized books (books that are self-published or from small independent publishers).
The 7-11 member committee selects and reviews best books of the year and creates an official list, Top Ten list, top fiction and non fiction title. Titles of interest will be unusual, possibly un-reviewed, have multicultural characters, address topics dealing with difficult situations including (but not limited to) street life, marginalized populations, crime, justice, war, violence, abuse, addiction, homelessness and gangs. The committee highlights self-published titles as much as possible. The committee places a high preference on books representing African-American and Latino protagonists, books reflecting teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody - or a cycle of all three - and books of high interest appeal to reluctant readers. Youth feedback is a critical factor in book nomination and selection.
One title is chosen for the Advocacy Award.
The In the Margins Advocacy Book Award chooses the best book that illuminates issues of race, class and incarceration or otherwise highlights the reality of people of color living in the margins of society. The Advocacy award goes to the best book for adults to read in order to increase, deepen, affirm and clarify their understanding of the issues facing poor people or poor children of color in America. Higher consideration is given to a book that teens also read, but teen feedback is not essential to the choosing of this award. All publishers, including self published books are considered equally.