Within the last 100 years or so, various organizations have chosen to honor outstanding books written for young people. Each award highlights the finest book within a particular category or which reflects a particular theme. Most are awarded annually.
The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award was developed by Texas State University in 1995. The award seeks to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American Experience.
Tomás Rivera was an author, poet and educator who began life in Crystal City, Texas the son of migrant farm workers. As a child he worked the fields along side his parents, but he achieved prominence in the literary and academic worlds due to his determination to be educated. He graduated from Southwest Texas State university, now known as Texas State, in 1958 with a degree in English. He went on to receive a PhD from the University of Oklahoma in Romance Languages. Throughout his career as a writer and educator, he championed education for Mexican Americans and consequently became a role model for Latino children across the United States. Since first awarded in 1996, the Tomás Rivera Award has been presented annually to authors and illustrators that create literature for children that depicts the Mexican American experience.
More information about the Rivera Award including a complete list of previous winners can be found on Texas State's Website.