Bookish Discussions

The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2017

I don’t typically participate in bookish tournaments, but this month I’m trying to read as many books that made the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2017 list. Twenty books are nominated by students, teachers and librarians each year in Illinois. The books must be published within five years, for grades 4-8, have literary merit, and other requirements here. The coolest thing about this award is that ultimately the winner is chosen by the students.

“The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools. The award is named in honor of Rebecca Caudill who lived and wrote in Urbana, Illinois, for nearly 50 years. The award is given in recognition for her literary talent and the universal appeal of her books which have touched the hearts of many children and young adults.”

Many of the students I work with at the middle school dislike reading. They tell me often.  During silent reading, when I notice a few looking around the room instead, I take them to the school library to try and find something that will change their minds. I’ve always been fond of middle grade books. It’s that time in life when kids feel too old for children’s books, but not quite ready for some of the topics in YA. So I decided to participate in this year’s RCYRBA not only to rekindle my love for middle grade books, but to also replenish my recommendation vault for the students in my life who struggle to find that meaningful book.

rcyrba-2017-pics

Voting takes place all through the month of February. I’m on my fifth book and hope to get through the other fifteen before the voting closes. I have a feeling, though, that The Crossover will win. It blew me away. Maybe I’ll do mini-reviews of five at a time each week. We’ll see. Here are my past reviews of Stella by Starlight and The Fourteenth Goldfish. The 2018 list comes out tomorrow, but check out the fabulous list above for 2017.

“The first essential in any book is that it have something significant to say –a book that leaves the reader with bigger ideas than when he began reading – that stimulates his thinking, stretches his mind, deepens his feelings. A good book sticks to your ribs.”   – Rebecca Caudill

Do you read middle grade books? Have you read any on this list?

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