21 March, 2023

Tata Trusts’ Parag Initiative Announces 4th edition of Parag Honour List 2023

The Parag Honour List for 2023 features a curated collection of 52 books for children and young adults from 33 Indian publishers, 31 in English and 21 in Hindi

India, February 21, 2023: Parag initiative of Tata Trusts announced the 4th edition of the Parag Honour List (PHL) today. The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts believes in the transformative power of reading for pleasure and works towards ensuring that children across India get access to good quality children’s literature in Indian languages. The aim of the Parag Honour List is to curate a comprehensive collection of remarkable literature each year to bring them wider readership and also make it accessible to librarians, teachers, and parents. Indian children require to read literature written in the country and this helps recognise the work of emerging publishers and writers while promoting access to quality literature for all.

Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of Karnataka, Uma Mahadevan, literary agent, and publishing commentator Kanishka Gupta and children’s writer, educator and PHL English jury member Mini Srinivisan launched the Parag Honour List 2023 in an online event.

Applications for Parag Honour List 2023 received over 250 submissions from 33 Indian publishers, of which 52 original titles were selected to be part of the final list. This year’s list features books for Early Readers, Young Readers and Young Adults in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry categories. The list features a wide gamut of themes including books on arts, environment and climate change, gender, history, and even lesser explored themes like philosophy for children.

The English jury for PHL 2023 consisted of children’s writer and teacher Mini Srinivasan; storyteller and professor at Delhi University, Prachi Kalra; and book curator and library educator Thejaswi Shivanand.  The Hindi jury consisted of poet and essayist Arun Kamal; educator and Executive Editor of Azim Premji University’s “Paathshala - Bhitar aur Baahar”, Gurbachan Singh; and artistic director of Gillo Repertory Theatre, Shaili Sathyu.

Curated recommended book lists are widely developed and used internationally and help readers and libraries to access quality collections. Parag Honour List is the first of its kind effort to carefully curate, select and recommend outstanding original books published in Hindi and English in the past one year in India. We are pleased to release the 4th edition of PHL and enhance readership of good books in the country.” Amrita Patwardhan, Head, Education, Tata Trusts.

Lakshmi Karunakaran, Lead, Parag Initiative, shared her views, she said, The Parag Honour List is a unique initiative by Tata Trusts that attempts to fill an important gap in the children’s literature sector - access to a curated collection of outstanding books. This year we received over 300 entries and are proud to present this year's list featuring 52 outstanding children’s books in Hindi and English, selected by an expert Jury after a year-long review process. Through this list we celebrate the commendable work done by over 85 authors and illustrators and 15 publishers who bring to you the very best that children’s literature has to offer this year. We hope books from the list will find a wide readership among children and young adults in schools, libraries, and homes.”

Thejaswi Shivanand, Book Curator and Library Educator adds, “There is only one way to know good books - read widely and read deeply and decide for yourself. If you are not confident about this process, get into the Parag Honour List - it is a wonderful starting point for good books written for children this year. For me, the PHL selection process was an exciting and absorbing one. I got to read a whole range of books for children in English published across one year. The time frame of the process gave me the space to deep dive into each book, share it with children, investigate their responses and document my thoughts.”

Shaili Sathyu, Artistic Director of Gillo Repertory Theatre said, “Parag Honour List is a unique attempt to bring a new energy to the world of Children's literature, writing and publishing in Hindi. Not only does it have the potential to increase access to quality literature, but it also gives parents and teachers an opportunity to connect with children through the best contemporary children's literature. We hope that through PHL many more writers, illustrators and publishers will be inspired to get involved with children's literature in Hindi in the years to come.”

Click here to view the Parag Honour List 2023 and Jury Bios

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Parag Honour List is a curated collection of outstanding books in English and in Hindi, for children and young adults, by the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts. This list, published annually, comprises noteworthy books of the year with brief information about each title. It has been created with careful screening and multiple reviews by experts in the children’s literature sector. The list aims to promote access to a comprehensive curated list of good quality children’s literature that librarians, teachers, parents and children can refer to and read. Parag Honour List was first launched in January 2020 at the New Delhi World Book Fair.

Since inception in 1892, Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organisation, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, digital transformation, migration and urban habitat, social justice and inclusion, environment and energy, skill development, sports, and arts and culture. The Trusts’ programmes, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations relevant to the country.

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