2x2 – Best books for age 2 through 2nd grade
School’s First day of School by Adam Rex
It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?
The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.
Tejas Star – best bilingual books for ages 5-12
Los Matices de Matisse (The Iridescence of Birds) by Patricia MacLachlan
If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France, what would your life be like? Would it be full of color and art? Full of lines and dancing figures?
Find out in this beautiful, unusual picture book about one of the world’s most famous and influential artists by acclaimed author and Newbery Medal-winning Patricia MacLachlan and innovative illustrator Hadley Hooper.
Lone Star – best books for 6-8th grades
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
What does it mean to be fully alive? Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots.
(Photo: © Victoria Jamieson)
Texas Bluebonnet Award - voted on by students in grades 3 -6th from across the state (you know these books will appeal to your child!)
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson.
For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school... in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.
All these great lists created in Texas got me curious about what was available in other states. If you want to know what’s available in your state, check with your school or public librarian. Here are some fun examples.
The Young Hoosier Book Award strives to “stimulate recreational reading among elementary and middle school/junior high school children”. This award also allows students to vote for the statewide winners, which for 2016-17 included:
Dog vs. Cat by Chris Gall
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
The Florida Book Awards were established to “celebrate the best Florida literature” written by authors living in Florida. Winners for 2016 include:
Big Cat by Ethan Long
The First Last Day by Dorian Cirrone
Named for the statue atop the Nebraska State Capitol, The Nebraska Golden Sower Award is a children’s choice award meant to “…sow seeds which stimulate children’s thinking, introduce different types of literature, encourage independent reading, increase library skills, and foster an appreciation for excellence in writing and illustrating.” Students vote for their favorites and the 2017 winners include:
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award honors the best beginning and transitional fiction and nonfiction for children. The 2017 winners include:
Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon
Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s SuperSoaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban
Named for the Oregon born children’s book author, the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award is chosen by students and “…includes books targeted to the reading ability of 2nd and 3rd graders or transitional readers.” The 2017 and 2016 winners are:
Quinny & Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen
Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year by Bill Harley
The Missouri Association of School Librarians presents several awards, voted on by students, including the Show Me Reader Awards (Grades 1-3) and the Mark Twain Readers Award (Grades 4-6). The 2016-17 winners are:
A Million Ways Home by Dianna Dorisi-Winget
Strongheart: The World’s First Movie Star Dog by Emily Arnold McCully
The Grand Canyon Reader Award is voted on annually by students in six categories including Picture Books, Intermediate Books, Tween Books and Non-Fiction Books. 2017 winners include:
Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Stubby the Dog Soldier by Blake Hoena