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2017 Grace Abbott Prize Winner: Richard Ivan Jobs

We are pleased to announce this year’s winner of the Grace Abbott Book Prize:  

Richard Jobs of Pacific University.

Richard Ivan Jobs, Backpack Ambassadors: How Youth Travel Integrated Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017)

richard jobs headshotSHCY’s book award committee wrote these words of commendation:  

“This beautifully written, rigorously researched book, embodies the spirit of the Grace Abbott Book Prize by placing youth at the center of regional—and indeed global—political processes in a way that fundamentally revises historical interpretations of European unification.  He uses materials in five different languages from eight different countries, and uses the theater of Europe to project the dynamics of youth cultures from around the world.  While he acknowledges “youth” as a socially constructed category of identity, he is also attentive to the ways in which young people themselves played an active role in shaping that social construction.  The young people that trek their way across this book’s pages, geographies, and decades are agents of their own destinies, but also articulate their awareness of the impact that their mobility had on transforming social and political realities.  Not only is Backpack Ambassadors a compelling and persuasive historical narrative, it is also a timely contribution to resurging discourses about European identity.” 

Elena Jackson Albarrán, Chair
Abigail Van Slyck
David Pomfret
2017 SHCY Grace Abbott Prize Committee

The Grace Abbott Book Prize is offered annually by the SHCY for the best scholarly book published in English on the history of childhood and youth.  

Previous Grace Abbott Book Prize Winners:

2016: David Pomfret, Youth and Empire: Trans-Colonial Childhoods in British and French Asia (Stanford UP)

2015: Catherine Jones, Intimate Reconstructions: Children in Post-emancipation Virginia (University of Virginia Press)

2014: Ellen Boucher, Empire's Children: Child Emigration, Welfare, and the Decline of the British World, 1869–1967 (Cambridge UP)

2013: Daniel Rivers, Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the U.S. since World War II (UNC Press) 

2012: Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (New York UP)

2011: Nara B. Milanich, Children of Fate: Childhood, Class, and the State in Chile, 1850-1930 (Duke UP)

2009: Catriona Kelly, Children's World: Growing Up in Russia, 1890-1991 (Yale UP)

2007: Julia L. Mickenberg, Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (Oxford UP)