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'Little House on the Prairie' author's name cut from major award over book’s portrayal of minorities
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'Little House on the Prairie' author's name cut from major award over book’s portrayal of minorities

A division of the American Library Association is removing author Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a prestigious children's book award because of her portrayal of minorities — specifically blacks and Native Americans in the best-selling classic book.

What are the details?

According to the association's website, the board of the Association for Library Service to Children unanimously decided to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to the Children's Literature Legacy Award. The decision came Saturday at a meeting in New Orleans.

The ALSC said that Wilder "includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent" with the organization's "core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness" and noted that the author's "legacy is complex" and "not universally embraced."

According to the organization's website, "The Children's Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a significant and lasting contribution to children's literature through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children's lives and experiences."

Wilder received the first award in 1954. The award was subsequently presented as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal every five years between 1960 and 1980, every three years between 1980 and 2001, every two years between 2001 and 2016, and annually since.

A majority of the "Little House on the Prairie" books were published between 1932 and 1943 and were based on Wilder's upbringing in the Great Plains in the 1800s.

Anything else?

This isn't the first time a classic novel bore the brunt similar type of treatment in recent times.

In October, a school in a Biloxi, Mississippi, district pulled "To Kill a Mockingbird" from its eighth-grade English Language Arts curriculum after school officials determined the book featured problematic language and themes.

The 1960 novel by Harper Lee — which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction — is about dealing with racism in the American south.

The book — and subsequent film, which was released in 1962 — revolves around a southern attorney who defends a black man against a false rape charge and teaches his children about prejudices and racism.

To note, the American Library Association lists "To Kill a Mockingbird" as one of the most banned or challenged books in school curriculums.

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