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Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award 3rd – 5th Grade

March 9, 2010

Like many other states, Louisiana has its own young readers’ choice award program. I love this program because it give our young readers the chance to voice their own opinions about their favorite books. As is often the case, children have a different idea of what makes a great book than the grown up experts. Although it is a panel of adults – librarians, teachers, and others interested in literacy, who cull the list of suggestions and create the ballot.

In my school’s library, we promote this program through the fall semester of every year, and culminate in January with the students voting on real voting machines brought in from our secretary of state’s office. Not only is it great for literacy promotion, but it gives the kids some sense of the civic experience and responsibility they comes with voting.

Voting for the 2010 awards ended recently, and the winners will be announced at the Louisiana Library Association conference on March 10-12. The books in the two categories, 3rd – 5th, and 6th – 8th, are all outstanding and I’m anxious to see who this year’s winners will be.  I meant to do a review of each of these but, alas,  got behind in my posting, so I’ll just list them here. Next post will cover the 6th – 8th grade books. After the awards I will review some of my favorites. And so, without further ado:

LYRCA 2010 Ballot 3rd – 5th Grade

Casey back at bat by Dan Gutman. Illustrated by Steve Johnson. 32 pages.  HarperCollins Publishers 2007. Casey is at bat again and this time hits the ball so hard it travels across the world and back through time.

Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Florian, Douglas. 48 pages. Harcourt Children’s Books 2007. Through poetry and paintings poet Douglas Florian paints a colorful portrait of the astral bodies that make up our solar system.

Dolley Madison Saves George Washington by Brown, Don.  32 pages. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.  First lady Dolley Madison bravely refuses to leave behind her favorite painting of George Washington when the White House is captured during the War of 1812.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Jonell, Lynne.  Illustrated by Jonathan Bean.  346 pages. Henry Holt & Company 2007.  Wild adventures ensue when Emmy is bitten by the class rat and gains the ability to understand what he is saying.

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Fleming, Candace.  186 pages.  Random House Children’s books 2007. Brave Mr. Jupiter becomes the new teacher for the unruly 4th grade class.  The school year is told through twisted Aesop-like vignettes.

Hairy Hezekiah by King-Smith, Dick.  Illustrated by Nick Bruel.  89 pages.  Roaring Brook Press 2007.  Hezekiah is the only Bactrian camel at the zoo so he escapes in search of a friend.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Levine, Ellen.  Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.  40 pages.  Scholastic Incorporated 2007. Henry Brown is a slave with nothing left to lose, he was torn from his mother as a child and when he was older his wife and children were sold.  Henry resolves to escape slavery and with the help of some abolitionists is mailed to freedom in a box.

How to Steal a Dog by O’Connor, Barbara.  170 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2007.  Georgina and her family have been living in their car since her father left.  To help her mom raise cash for rent, Georgina decides to steal a dog for the reward money but things do not go according to her plan.

Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House by Pittman, Rickey.  Illustrated by Judith Hierstein.  26 pages. Pelican Publishing Company 2007.  This true story is about Jim, a free black orphan that the president of the Confederacy and his family adopted.

Lawn Boy by Paulsen, Gary.  88 pages.  Random House Children’s Books 2007.
A 12 year old boy receives his grandpa’s riding lawnmower and sets out to make money but things get out of control when he has a little too much success.

The Lemonade Club by Polacco, Patricia.  48 pages.  Penguin Group 2007.
Best friends Traci and Marilyn have been handed a lemon; Marilyn is diagnosed with leukemia.  Together with their 5th grade teacher they start the lemonade club and bravely and positively face the challenging times ahead.

Marley: A Dog Like No Other by Grogan, John.  196 pages.  HarperCollins Publishers 2008. The Grogan’s decide that a golden retriever puppy will be the perfect addition to their family.  They are in for a shock when he grows into a huge rambunctious dog with a mind of his own.

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Foktale by Deedy, Carmen Agra.  Illustrated by Michael Austin.  32 pages.  Peachtree Publishers, 2007.
Martina is ready to get married but takes to heart her grandfather’s advice on how to test her suitors in order to find the perfect mate.

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Gifford, Peggy.  Photographer Valorie Fisher.  91 pages.  Random House Children’s Books 2008.  When forth grader Moxy is assigned to read Stuart Little over the summer she finds every means possible to procrastinate while her twin brother read it on the first day of summer.

Satchel Paige: Don’t Look Back by Adlet, David A.  Illustrated by Terry Widener.  32 pages.  Harcourt Trade Publishers, 2007.  Satchel Paige was one of the best players in the Negro Baseball Leagues but he never gave up on his dream to play in the then segregated Major Leagues.

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