Illinois Kids and Teens Pick Winning Books

Each year, across Illinois, children in kindergarten to 12th grade get the chance to vote for their favorite books in four levels. Sponsored by the Illinois School Library Media Association, the Monarch Award, the Bluestem Award, the Rebecca Caudill Award and the Abraham Lincoln Award are selected from a master list of books chosen by school and public librarians across the state. They make their choices based on nominations submitted by librarians, teachers and kids.

This March, three outstanding books were chosen to receive awards.

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, written by Laura Murray and illustrated by Mike Lowery, won the 2014 Monarch Award. This clever retelling of the classic tale of a runaway cookie has the gingerbread man running after the children—not away from them. Told in a comic book style, this rhyming romp will have you begging for a cookie of your own, or try these activities for even more fun.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio won both the 2014 Bluestem Award and the 2014 Rebecca Caudill Award. Born with a severe facial deformity, Auggie hasn’t attended school until he starts the fifth grade at a private school in New York. Wonder follows Auggie through his first year of school and tells his story from multiple perspectives, which gives a unique look inside this amazing story of finding your inner strength and beauty. Find more resources on Author of the Month: R.J. Palacio.

Wonder is available in multiple formats.

Illinois teens picked The Fault in Our Stars by John Green as the 2014 Abraham Lincoln Award winner. Clinically depressed and terminally ill Hazel joins a weekly support group for teens with cancer, where she meets and falls in love with another cancer survivor. Based on John Green’s experience with terminally ill teen cancer patients, The Fault in Our Stars is both heart-wrenching and uplifting. Watch for the movie in theaters this fall.

The Fault in Our Stars is available in multiple formats.

Looking to read for this year’s vote? Check out the Master list for: