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West Virginia Children's Choice Book Awards: Past Nominees Lists

History and description of WVCCBA including past winners and current nominees.

2011 -- 2012 Nominees

West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Awards Nominees

School Year 2011 -- 2012

1.    Clements, Andrew and Mark Elliot, illus. Extra Credit. New York: Atheneum books for young readers, 2009. As letters flow back and forth--between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of Afghanistan, across cultural and religious divides--sixth-grader Abby, ten-year-old Amira, and eleven-year-old Sadeed begin to speak and listen to each other. Grades 4 to 7

 2.    Croza, Laurel and Matt James, illus.  I Know Here.  Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2010. When she finds out that her family will be moving from northeastern Saskatchewan to Toronto, a young girl tries to find a way to hang on to the things that she has seen in her old home when she moves to this new city. Grades 2 to 5

 3.    DeFelice, Cynthia.  Signal.  New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.  After moving with his emotionally distant father to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, twelve-year-old Owen faces a lonely summer until he meets an abused girl who may be a space alien. Grades 5 to 8

 4.    Dowell, Frances O’Roark.  Falling In.  New York: Atheneum, 2010. Middle-schooler Isabelle Bean follows a mouse's squeak into a closet and falls into a parallel universe where the children believe she is the witch they have feared for years, finally come to devour them. Grades 3 through 6

 5.    Erskine, Kathryn.  Mockingbird.  New York: Philomel Books, 2010. Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.  Grades 4 through 6

 6.    Gaiman, Neil and Brett Helquist, illus.  Odd and the Frost Giant. New York: Harper, 2009. An unlucky twelve-year-old Norwegian boy named Odd leads the Norse gods Loki, Thor, and Odin in an attempt to outwit evil Frost Giants who have taken over Asgard. Grades 3 through 6 

 7.    Holm, Jennifer L. Turtle in Paradise. New York: Random House, 2010. In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.  Grades 3 through 6

 8.    Isaacs, Anne and Paul O. Zelinsky, illus.  Dust Devil. New York: Schwartz & Wade, 2010. Having moved to Montana from Tennessee in the 1830s, fearless Angelica Longrider--also known as Swamp Angel--changes the state's landscape, tames a wild horse, and captures some desperadoes. Grades K through 4 

 9.    Kehret. Peg. Runaway Twin. New York: Dutton, 2009. Thirteen-year-old Sunny, accompanied by a stray dog, takes advantage of a windfall to travel from her Nebraska foster home to Enumclaw, Washington, to find the twin sister from whom she was separated at age three. Grades 5 through 7

 10. Kidd, Ronald.  The Year of the Bomb. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young People, 2009. In 1955 California, as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is filmed in their hometown, thirteen-year-old Paul discovers a real enemy when he and three friends go against a young government agent determined to find communists at a nearby university or on the movie set.  Grades 4 through 7

 11. MacLachlan, Patricia. Word after Word after Word.  New York: Katherine Tegan Books, 2010. A visiting author teaches five friends about the power of words and writing.  Grades 2 through 5

 12. O’Connor, Barbara. The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010. After Owen captures an enormous bullfrog, names it Tooley Graham, then has to release it, he and two friends try to use a small submarine that fell from a passing train to search for Tooley in the Carter, Georgia, pond it came from, while avoiding nosy neighbor Viola. Grades 4 through 7

 13. O’Malley, Kevin. Animal Crackers Fly the Coop. New York: Walker & Co., 2010. In this humorous take-off of "The Bremen Town Musicians," four animals that aspire to make it big as comedians leave their owners and seek their fortunes.  Grades 3 and up

 14. Paulsen, Gary.  Woods Runner. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2010.  From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. Includes historical notes. Grades 4 and up

 15. Pennypacker, Sara and Yoko Tanaka, illus.  Sparrow Girl.  New York: Hyperion, 2009. When China's leader declares war on sparrows in 1958, everyone makes loud noise in hopes of chasing the hungry birds from their land except for Ming-Li, a young girl whose compassion and foresight prevent a disaster. Grades K through 4

 16. Phelan, Matt.  The Storm in the Barn. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2009. Facing his share of ordinary challenges, from local bullies to his father's failed expectations, eleven-year-old Jack Clark must also deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl in 1937 Kansas, including the rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Grim but hopeful, dramatic graphic novel with author afterword. Grades 5 through 7 Winner

 17. Orr, Wendy and Jonathan Bean, illus. Mokie and Bik Go to Sea. New York: Henry Holt and Co, 2010. With their father home from the sea, the rambunctious twins Mokie and Bik make the Bullfrog shipshape for a voyage out to sea, where they make friends with a scaredy-seal, save a runaway boat, and keep track of Waggles. Grades 2 through 4

 18.  Sparkes, Ali. Frozen in Time. New York: Egmont, 2009. In present-day England, thirteen-year-old Ben and his twelve-year-old sister Rachel find two children who have been cryogenically frozen in a bomb shelter since 1956, and must prevent them from being discovered while helping them adjust to modern life. Grades 4 through 7.

 19. Sullivan, Sarah and Barry Root, illus.  Passing the Music Down. Somerville, Ma: Candlewick, 2011. A boy and his family befriend a West Virginia old-time fiddler, who teaches the boy all about playing the old tunes, which the boy promises to help keep alive. Inspired by Melvin Wine and Jake Krack. Contains author’s not and resources. Grades k Through 4

 20. Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer. New York: Amistad, 2010. In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.  Grades 4 through 7


2010 -- 2011 Nominees

West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award Nominees

School Year 2010 – 2011

1. Almond, David and Polly Dunbar, illus.  My Dad’s a Birdman.  Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2007, U. S. edition, 2008.  In a small, rainy town in the north of England, Lizzie watches as her father, as well as other family members and friends, begin acting strangely as they prepare for the Great Human Bird Competition.  Grades 3 to 6.

 2. Anderson, Laurie Halse.  Chains.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008.  After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.  A riveting story.  Grades 4 to 12

 3. Appelt, Kathi.  The Underneath.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008.  A wonderful and moving story.  An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner’s rundown shack and two orphaned kittens born underneath the house endure separation, danger and other tribulations in their quest to be a free family.  Interwoven is a powerful story based on Native American mythology.  Grades 4 to 8

 4. Aston, Dianna Hutts and Jerry Pinckney, illus.  The Moon over Star.  New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008.  On her family’s farm in the town of Star, eight-year-old Mae eagerly follows the progress of the 1969 Apollo 11 flight and moon landing.  She dreams that one day she might be an astronaut too.  Grades 1 to 4

 5. Elliott, Zetta and Shadra Strickland, illus. Bird.  New York: Lee & Low Books, 2008.  Bird, an artistic African American boy, expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother’s drug addiction and death.  Uncle Son, a family friend provides guidance and understanding.  Grades 1 to 5 Winner

 6. Giff, Patricia Reilly.  Eleven.  New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2008.  When Sam, who can barely read, discovers an old newspaper clipping just before his eleventh birthday, it brings up memories of the past.  With the help of a new friend at school and the castle they are building for a school project his questions are answered.  Grades 3 to 8.

 7. Hale, Shannon and Dean and Nathan Hale, illus.  Rapunzel’s Revenge.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2008. Rapunzel is raised in a grand villa surrounded by towering walls. Rapunzel dreams of a different mother than Gothel, the woman she calls Mother. She climbs over the wall and finds out the truth. Her real mother, Kate, is a slave in Gothel's gold mine. In this graphic novel Old West retelling, Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso and to take on outlaws--including Gothel.  Grades 5 to 12

 8. Kelly, Jacqueline.  The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2009.  In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother.  She learns about love watching the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather. Grades 4 to 8

 9. Klise, Kate and M. Sarah Klise, illus.  Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetery Road: Book One.  Boston: Harcourt, 2009.  In this story, told mostly through letters, writer’s-blocked, children’s book author I. B. Grumply gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.  Grades 3 to 7

 10. Lowry, Lois and Bagram Ibatoulline, illus.  Crow Call.  New York: Scholastic Press, 2009.  Nine-year-old Lizzie accompanies her father, newly returned from the War, when he goes hunting crows in rural Pennsylvania.  Grades 3 to 8

11.  Marsden, Carolyn and Thay Phap Niem.  The Buddha’s Diamonds.  Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2008.  As a storm sweeps in, Tinh’s father tells him to tie up the family’s fishing boat but the storm frightens Tinh and he runs away.  When the damage to the boat is discovered, he realizes what he must do.  The afterword contains historical notes and a Vietnamese glossary.  Grades 4 to7

12.   Mass, Wendy.  11 Birthdays.  New York: Scholastic Press, 2009.  After celebrating their first nine birthdays together, friends Amanda and Leo have a falling out on their tenth and since not speaking to each other for a year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthdays separately, but peculiar things begin to happen.  The day of their birthdays begins to repeat itself over and over.  Can they set time back on the right path?  Grades 4 to 6.

 13.  Morris, Gerald and Aaron Renier, illus.   The Adventures of Sir Givret the Short.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.  While not the most intrepid knight of the Round Table, Sir Givret the Short helps King Arthur and the other knights with his cunning and cleverness.  Grades 3 to 6

14. Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  Faith, Hope and Ivy June.  New York: Delacorte Press, 2009.  During a student exchange program between a private school in Lexington and a rural public middle school in eastern Kentucky, seventh graders Ivy June and Catherine share their lives, homes and communities.  They find that although their lifestyles are different, they have a lot in common.  There is a reference to the Sago Mine disaster.  Grades 5 to 12

15. Nicholls, Sally.  Ways to Live Forever.  New York: Arthur E. Levine Books, 2008.  Eleven-year-old Sam McQueen, who has leukemia, writes a book about the last four months of his life, in which he tells what he would like to accomplish, how he feels and the things that happened to him. Following the text is a list of leukemia websites and books for young people about death and dying.  Grades 4 to 7

16. Peck, Richard.  A Season of Gifts.  New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009.  A companion novel to A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, this story relates the surprising gifts bestowed on twelve-year-old Bob Barnhart and his family who have recently moved to a small Illinois town by their larger than life neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel.  Grades 4 to 12

17. Reibstein, Mark and Ed Young, illus.  Wabi Sabi.  Boston: Little Brown and Company, 2008. Wabi Sabi, a cat living in the city of Kyoto, learns about the Japanese concept of beauty through simplicity as she asks various animals she meets about the meaning of her name.  Each page contains a haiku relating to the text and explanatory notes are included in the back.  Grades K to 4

18. Rumford, James.  Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad.  New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2008.  As bombs and missiles fall on Baghdad in 2003, a young boy uses calligraphy to distance himself from the horrors of war.  There is an author’s note on Arabic calligraphy in the back.  Grades 1 to 6

19. Smith, Charles R., Jr.  Winning Words: Sports Stories and Photographs.  Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2008. With their fast –paced narration and dynamic photos, these stories will pump up confidence regardless of the sport.  From saving a disastrous football season to sharing glory on the girls’ soccer field, the stories and inspirational quotes capture the striving for personal best and mastering fears. An author’s note is included. Grades 4 to 12

20.  Stead, Rebecca.  When You Reach Me.  New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2009.  As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid”, Miranda, a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy time and space.  Grades 4 to 9


2009 -- 2010 Nominees

West Virginia Children’s Choice Books Award

2009 – 2010 Nominees

 1. Birdsall, Jeanne.The Penderwicks on Gardam Street.  New York: Knopf, 2008. 320 pages. Grades 4 to 8.  The four Penderwick sisters are faced with the unimaginable prospect of their widowed father dating, and they hatch a plot to stop him.

 2. Connor, Leslie.  Waiting for Normal New York: Katherine Tegan Books, 2008. 290 pages. Grades 6 to 8.  Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.

 3.  Dowd, Siobhan.  The London Eye Mystery.  New York: David Fickling Books, 2007.  336 pages. Grades 5 to 8. When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye Ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

4. Fern, Tracey E. and Lauren Castillo, illus. Buffalo Music. New York: Clarion, 2008. 31 pages. Grades K. to 4.  After hunters kill off the buffalo around her Texas ranch, a woman begins raising orphan buffalo calves and eventually ships four members of her small herd to Yellowstone National Park, where they form the beginnings of newly thriving buffalo herds. Based on the true story of Mary Ann Goodnight and her husband Charles; includes author's note about her work, with websites and a bibliography. 

 5.  Fleischman, Sid.  The Entertainer and the Dybuk.  New York: Greenwillow, 2007. 108 pages. Grades 6 to 9.A struggling American ventriloquist in post-World War II Europe is possessed by the mischievous spirit of a young Jewish boy killed in the Holocaust. Author's note details the murder of over one million children by the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s.

 6. Haas, Jessie.  Chase.  New York: Greenwillow Books, 2007. 258 pages. Grades 5 to 9. In the coal mining region of mid-nineteenth century eastern Pennsylvania, Phin witnesses a murder and runs for his life, pursued by a mysterious man and a horse with the instincts of a bloodhound.  .

 7. Henkes, Kevin.  Bird Lake Moon.  New York: Greenwillow, 2008.  192 pages. Grades 4 to 7.  Twelve-year-old Mitch and his mother are spending the summer with his grandparents at Bird Lake after his parents separate, and ten-year-old Spencer and his family have returned to the lake where Spencer's little brother drowned long ago, and as the boys become friends and spend time together, each of them begins to heal.

 8. Holm, Jennifer L. and Elicia Castaldi, illus.  Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf.  New York; Atheneum, 2007. 128 pages. Grades 5 to 7.Ginny starts out with ten items on her to-do list for seventh grade, but notes, cartoons, and other "stuff" reveal what seems like a thousand things that go wrong between September and June, both at school and at home.

 9. Horvath, Polly.  My One Hundred Adventures.  New York: Random House, 2008.  160 pages. Grades 4 to 7.Twelve-year-old Jane, who lives at the beach in a run-down old house with her mother, two brothers, and sister, has an eventful summer accompanying her pastor on bible deliveries, meeting former boyfriends of her mother's, and being coerced into babysitting for a family of ill-mannered children.

 10. Kadohata, Cynthia.  Cracker: The Best Dog in Viet Nam.  New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007. 312 pages. Grades 5 and 8.  When Willie’s family moves to a new apartment that does not allow dogs, he must give up his beloved German Shepherd Cracker.  Given to the Army, Cracker gains a new master and life in Viet Nam sniffing out booby traps.  This is a moving story of devotion and duty told through the eyes of Cracker and her soldier partner Rick.

 11.  Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy KidNew York: Amulet Books, 2007. 224 pages.  Grades 5 to 8.Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship. Winner

 12. Korman, Gordon.  Swindle.  New York: Scholastic, 2008.  252 pages.  Grades 3 to 7.After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino's heavily guarded store and steal the card back; planning to use the money to finance his father's failing invention, the SmartPick fruit picker. 

 13.  Lowry, Lois.  The Willoughbys. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 174 pages. Grades 4 to 7.In this tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children's literature, the four Willoughby children set about to become "deserving orphans" after their neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.

 14. McGill, Alice and Judy Daly, illus.  Way Up and Over Everything.  Boston: Houghton.  32 pages. Grades 1-5. In this retelling of a folktale, five Africans escape the horrors of slavery by simply disappearing into thin air.

 15. Murphy, Pat.  The Wild Girls.  New York: Viking, 2007. 288 pages.  Grades 5 and 9.  When twelve-year-old Joan moves to California in 1972, she becomes friends with Sarah, who is timid at school but an imaginative leader when they play in the woods, and after winning a writing contest together they are recruited for an exclusive summer writing class that gives them new insights into themselves and others.

 16.  Rumford, James. Beowulf: A Hero’s Tale Retold.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.  48 pages.  Grades 5 to 8.  A simplified and illustrated retelling of the exploits of the Anglo-Saxon warrior, Beowulf, and how he came to defeat the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a dragon that threatened the kingdom.

 17. Seidler, Tor.  Gully’s Travels.  New York: Scholastic, 2008. 173 pages Grades 4 to 7.  When his beloved owner falls in love with a woman who is allergic to long-haired dogs, Gulliver is given away to his doorman and the pooch's wonderful life of leisure comes to a dramatic end after he moves in with his new owner's family in their cramped home in Queens.  

 18. Smucker, Anna Egan. Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Apple Story.  Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co., 2008.  Unpaged.  Grades 1 to 5.  When Paul and Lloyd Stark from Missouri were looking for the perfect apple, they found it in Anderson Mullins' shiny yellow apples from West Virginia, in a story based on real events about how the Golden Delicious apple came to be.

 19.  White, Ruth.  Little Audrey.  New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008. 160 pages .Grades 3 to 6. In 1948, eleven-year-old Audrey lives with her father, mother, and three younger sisters in Jewell Valley, a coal mining camp in Southwest Virginia, where her mother still mourns the death of a baby, her father goes on drinking binges on paydays, and Audrey tries to recover from the scarlet fever that has left her skinny and needing to wear glasses.

 20. Yep, Laurence and Kathleen, S. The Dragon’s Child: A Story of Angel Island. New York: Harper Collins, 2008. 133 pages.  Grades 3 to 6. In 1922, ten-year-old Gim Lew reluctantly leaves his village in China to accompany his father to America, but before they go he must prepare for a grueling test that he must pass--without stuttering--at California's Angel Island, where strict officials strive to keep out unwanted immigrants. An afterward includes facts about immigration from China and the experiences of the author's family.  


2008 -- 2009 Nomiees

2008 – 2009 West Virginia Children’ Choice Nominees

1.    Clements, Andrew. No Talking! New York: Simon and Shuster, 2007. The noisy fifth grade boys of Laketon Elementary School challenge the equally loud fifth grade girls to a "no talking" contest. Grades 3 to 6.

 2.    Collins, Ross. Medusa Jones. New York: Arthur A. Levin Books, 2008. In ancient Greece, Medusa Jones, a gorgon, and her friends, a minotaur and a centaur, are mocked and sneered at by the other Acropolis Academy children whose parents are kings and gods, but when they go on a school camping trip together, the "freaks" become true heroes. Grades 3 to 5.

 3.    Garland, Michael. King Puck. New York: Harper Collins, 2007.  With the help of fairies, Seamus the farmer and his scrawny goat win top honors at a festival in Killorglin, Ireland, and receive a lifetime supply of books. Grades K to 3.

 4.    Hart, Alison. Gabriel’s Horses. Atlanta: Peachtree, 2007. In Kentucky, during the Civil War, the twelve-year-old slave Gabriel, contends with a cruel new horse trainer and skirmishes with Confederate soldiers as he pursues his dream of becoming a jockey. Grades 5 to 8.

 5.    LaFevers, Robin L. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. Eleven-year-old Theo uses arcane knowledge and her own special talent when she encounters two secret societies, one sworn to protect the world from ancient Egyptian magic and one planning to harness it to bring chaos to the world, both of which want a valuable artifact stolen from the London museum for which her parents work. Grades 4 to 7.

 6.    Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. New York: Delacorte, 2006. After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe. Grades 6 to 8.

 7.    Levine, Ellen and Kadir Nelson, illus. Henry’s Freedom Box. New York: Scholastic, 2007. A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia. Grades 2 to 5.

 8.    McEwen, Jamie and John Margeson, illus. Rufus Scrub Does Not Wear a Tutu. Plain City, Ohio: Darby Creek Press, 2007. Rufus wants to be good at football, but although he is the right size, he is too clumsy, so he takes ballet lessons in order to improve his coordination, and when his classmates find out about it, they tease him relentlessly. Grades 2 to 3.

 9.    Pennypacker, Sara and Marla Frazee. Clementine’s Letter. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2007. When her favorite teacher goes away and leaves a strict substitute behind in his place, Clementine is torn between putting in motion her sneaky plan to coax Mr. D'Matz back to school and leaving him to enjoy his adventure. Grades 2 to 4.

 10. Porter, Tracey. Billy Creekmore. New York: Joanna Cotler Books, 2007. In 1905, ten-year-old Billy is taken from an orphanage to live with an aunt and uncle he never knew he had, and he enjoys his first taste of family life until his work in a coal mine and involvement with a union brings trouble, then he joins a circus in hopes of finding his father.  Very good book about conditions in the glass industry around Morgantown and the labor movement in southern West Virginia. Grades 4 to 7.

11. Regan, Dian Curtis. Cyberpals, According to Kaley. Plain City, Ohio: Darby Creek Press, 2006. For a school assignment, fourth-grader Kaley corresponds with different children from all over the world and tries out new nicknames as she learns about e-mail, Web site design, slang, friendship, and foreign languages. Grades 3 to 5

 12. Russell, Christopher. Dogboy. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2006. In 1346, twelve-year-old Brind, an orphaned kennel boy raised with hunting dogs at an English manor, accompanies his master, along with half of the manor's prized mastiffs, to France, where he must fend for himself when both his master and the dogs are lost at the decisive battle of Crecy. Grades 4 to 6.

 13. Salisbury, Graham. Night of the Howling Dogs. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2007. In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami. Based on true events. Grades 5 to 9.

 14. Speck, Katie and Paul Ratz de Tagyos, illus. Maybelle in the Soup. New York: Henry Holt, 2007. When Mr. and Mrs. Peabody invite a guest to dinner, Maybelle the cockroach, who lives under their refrigerator, ignores the warnings of Henry the flea to be sensible and ends up "splashing" into a big adventure. Grades 2 to 5. Winner

 15. Spinelli, Jerry. Eggs. New York: Little Brown, 2007. Mourning the loss of his mother, nine-year-old David forms an unlikely friendship with independent, quirky thirteen-year-old Primrose, as the two help each other deal with what is missing in their lives. Grades 4 to 7.

 16.  Tarshis, Lauren. Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2007. A quirky and utterly logical seventh-grade girl named Emma-Jean Lazarus discovers some interesting results when she gets involved in the messy everyday problems of her peers. Grades 5 to 7.

 17. Thompson, Kate. The New Policeman. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. Irish teenager JJ Liddy discovers that time is leaking from his world into Tir na Nog, the land of the fairies, and when he attempts to stop the leak he finds out a lot about his family history, the music that he loves, and a crime his great-grandfather may or may not have committed. Grades 6 to 12.

 18. Urban, Linda.  Crooked Kind of Perfect. Orlando, Harcourt, 2007. Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life. Grades 4 to 6.

 19. Wolf, Joan M. Someone Named Eva. New York: Clarion, 2007. From her home in Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in 1942, eleven-year-old Milada is taken with other blond, blue-eyed children to a school in Poland to be trained as "proper Germans" for adoption by German families, but all the while she remembers her true name and history. Grades 5 to 8.

2007 -- 2008 Nominees

West Virginia Children’s Book Award

2007-2008 Nominees

1. Anderson, M. T. and Kurt Cyrus, illus.  Whales on Stilts.  New York: Harcourt, 2005.  Tongue in cheek science fiction story about middle school studentLilly’s race to save the world from an army of whales controlled by her father’s maniacal boss. Grades 4 to 7. 

 2.  Armstrong, Alan.  Whittington.  New York: Random House, 2005.  Whittington, a feline descendant of Dick Whittington's famous cat of English folklore, appears at a rundown barnyard plagued by rats and restores harmony while telling his ancestor's story.  Grades 5 to 8. 

 3.  Bruchac, Joseph.  Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two.  New York: Dial, 2005.  After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.  Young Adult

 4.  Hahn, Mary Downing.  Witch Catcher.  New York: Clarion, 2006.  Arriving in the mansion house her dad has inherited in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, Jen discovers warring fairy forces and danger that could overwhelm her own mortal family.  Grades 4 to 7. Winner

 5.  Hopkinson, Deborah and James E. Ramsome, illus.  Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building.  New York: Schwartz and Wade Books, 2006. In 1931, a boy and his father watch as the world's tallest building, the Empire State Building is constructed, step-by-step, near their Manhattan home.  Grades 1 to 4, picture book. 

 6.  Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm.  Babymouse: Queen of the World.  New York: Random House, 2005.  An imaginative mouse dreams of being queen of the world, but will settle for an invitation to the most popular girl's slumber party.  Grades 4 to 6, graphic novel.

  7.  Lasky, Kathryn.  Broken Song.  New York: Viking, 2005.  In 1897, fifteen-year-old Reuven Bloom, a Russian Jew, must set aside his dreams of playing the violin in order to save himself and his baby sister after the rest of their family is murdered.  Grades 5 to 8. 

 8.  Lin, Grace.  Year of the Dog.  New York: Little, Brown, 2006.  Line drawings by the author add sparkle to this story of Lin, a Taiwanese-American fourth grader who sets out to apply the lessons of the Year of the Dog (making friends and finding oneself) to her own life.  Grades 3 to 5.

 9.  Lord, Cynthia. Rules.  New York: Scholastic, 2006.  Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.  Grades 4 to 7. 

 10.  Lowry, Lois.  Gossamer.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.  In turns charming and scary, this is a wonderful look at the nature of dreams and the little creatures who bring them. Ages 8 to 12. 

 11.  Pullman, Philip and Peter Bailey, illus.  The Scarecrow and His Servant.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. A scarecrow and Jack, his boy servant set off on a dangerous adventure to outwit the villains and claim their land. Grades 4 to 6.

 12.  Riordan, Rick.  The Lightning ThiefNew York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2005..   Young Percy Jackson learns his father was Poseidon, Greek god of the sea.  He is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demi-gods where he becomes involved in attempts to prevent a war among the gods. Grades 6 to 9

 13.  Shaw, Janet and Jean-Paul Tibbles, illus.  The Silent Stranger: A Kaya Mystery.  Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co., 2005.  An American Girl Mystery set in the northwest: 1765, the arrival of an injured stranger from another tribe, traveling alone and unable to speak, arouses suspicion in Kaya’s Nez Perce village. Grades 4 to 7.  

 14.  Smucker, Anna Egan.  To Keep to the South Manitou Light.  Detroit, MIWayne State University Press, 2004.  Set on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, this historical novel by West Virginia Author Anna Egan Smucker is a story of courage and responsibility. Ages 8 to 12.

 15.  White, Ruth. Way Down Deep.  New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2007. In the 1950’s West Virginia town of Way Down Deep a foundling named Ruby June lives happily at the local boarding house with Miss Arbutus. When a new family arrives the mystery of Ruby’s past begins to unravel.  Grades 4 to 7. 

2004 -- 2005 Nominees

West Virginia Children’s Choice 2004 – 2005 Nominees

1.    Ayres, Katherine. Silver Dollar Girl. New York: Delacorte: 2000. In 1885, unhappy living with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh, Valentine Harper disguises herself as a boy and runs away to Colorado determined to find her father who has gone there in search of gold. Grades 3 to 6.

 2.    Bledsoe, Lucy Jane. Cougar Canyon. New York: Holiday House, 2001. After hearing that people are planning to kill a mountain lion in the wilds near her neighborhood, twelve-year-old Izzie decides that it is her duty to protect the animal. Grades 4 to 6.

 3.    Clements, Andrew and Brian Selznick, illus. The School Story. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001. After twelve-year-old Natalie writes a wonderful novella, her friend Zoe helps her devise a scheme to get it accepted at the publishing house where Natalie's mother works as an editor. Grades 4 to 6.

 4.    Creech, Sharon. Ruby Holler. New York: Joanna Colter Books/Harper Collins, 2001 Thirteen-year-old fraternal twins Dallas and Florida have grown up in a terrible orphanage but their lives change forever when an eccentric but sweet older couple invites them each on an adventure, beginning in an almost magical place called Ruby Holler. Grades 4 to 7.

 5.    Delaney, Michael. Birdbrain Amos. New York: Philomel, 2002.  When Amos the hippopotamus advertises for a bird to help him with his bug problem, the tick bird who answers his ad creates a different set of problems for him by building a nest on Amos's head. Grades 2 to 4.

 6.    Duffey, Betsy. Fur-ever yours, Booker Jones. New York: Viking, 2001. Twelve-year-old Booker Jones turns to his writing once again to deal with the stress of his seemingly insensitive parents' decision to vacation together, leaving family and laundry behind. Grades 4 to 6.

 7.    Ellis, Deborah, A Company of Fools.  Markham, ON: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2002. Two boys become unlikely friends during a dangerous and deadly time in France, and look to each other for survival. Grades 4 to 8.

 8.    Shill, Elizabeth Starr and Lesley Lui, illus. Chang and the Bamboo Flute. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. Chang, a mute Chinese boy whose father uses cormorants to fish, becomes a hero when a heavy rain strands his father's fishing raft. Grades 2 to 5.

 9.    Hoeye, Michael. Time Stops for No Mouse. New York: Putnam, 2002. When Linka Perflinger, a jaunty mouse, brings a watch into Hermux Tantamoq's shop to be repaired and then disappears, Hermux is caught up in a dangerous search for eternal youth as he tries to find out what happened to Linka. Grades 5 to 8.

 10. Hurst, Carol Otis and James Stevenson, illus.  Rocks in His Head. New York: Green Willow, 2001. A young man has a lifelong love of rock collecting that eventually leads him to work at a science museum. Grades pre-K to 3.

 11. Hurwitz, Joanna and Mike Reed, illus. Oh No, Noah. New York: SeaStar Books, 2002. Noah struggles to impress the kids he meets when he and his family move to a new house. Grades 2 to 4.

 12. Ibbotson, Eva and Kevin Henkes, illus. Journey to the River Sea. New York: Dutton, 2001. Sent with her governess to live with the dreadful Carter family in exotic Brazil in 1910, Maia endures many hardships before fulfilling her dream of exploring the Amazon River. Grades 5 to 8.

 13. Lowry, Lois and Middy Thomas, illus. Gooney Bird Greene. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. A most unusual new student who loves to be the center of attention entertains her teacher and fellow second graders by telling absolutely true stories about herself, including how she got her name. Grades 1 to 3.

 14. Laurie Meyers and Michael Dooling, illus. Lewis and Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale.  New York: Henry Holt, 2002. Seaman, Meriwether Lewis's Newfoundland dog, describes Lewis and Clark's expedition, which he accompanied from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. Grades 3 to 6.

 15. Myers, Walter Dean and Ann Grifalconi, illus. Patrol: An American Soldier in Viet Nam. New York: Harper Collins, 2001. An award winning picture book. A frightened American soldier faces combat in the lush forests of Vietnam. Grades 3 and up.

 16. Pearsall, Shelley. Trouble Don’t Last. New York: Knopf, 2002. Samuel, an eleven-year-old Kentucky slave, and Harrison, the elderly slave who helped raise him, attempt to escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Grades 4 to 8.

 17. Seuling, Barbara and Paul Brewer, illus. Robert and the Great Pepperoni. Chicago, Cricket Books, 2001. Second-grader Robert, who desperately wants a dog of his own, starts a pet sitting business, but when he finds a stray dog, the best he can do is to keep him temporarily and train him so he can be adopted by someone else. Grades 2 to 3.

 18. Stanley, Diane. The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine. New York: Harper Collins, 2001. Noticing that a popular series of horror novels is having a bizarre effect on the behavior of its readers, Franny and Beamer set out to find the mysterious author. Grades 4 to 6 Winner

 19. Stuve-Bodeen, Stephanie and Aaron Boyd, illus. Babu’s Song. New York: Lee and Low, 2003. In Tanzania, Bernardi's mute grandfather makes him a wonderful music box and then helps him realize his dream of owning a soccer ball and going to school. Grades Pre-K to 3.

 20. Wait, Lea. Stopping at Home. New York: Margaret McElderry, Books, 2001. In 1806, orphaned eleven-year-old Abigail and her little brother Seth find a home with the young Widow Chase in the seaport of Wiscasset, Maine, and help her discover a way to support them all. Grades 4 to 6.

2000 -- 2001 Nominees

West Virginia Children’s Choice Books Awards Nominees 2000 – 2001

1.    Auch, Mary Jane. Journey to Nowhere. NY: Bantam Doubleday, 1997. In 1815, while traveling by covered wagon to settle in the wilderness of western New York, eleven-year-old Mem experiences a flood and separation from her family. Grades 4 to 7.

 2.    Avi.  Poppy and Rye. New York: Avon, 1998. When their home next to a brook is destroyed by beavers, a large family of golden mice is aided by Poppy the deer mouse and her grumpy porcupine friend, who in the process forges a relationship with the son he had abandoned. Part of the Poppy and Friends series. Grades 2 to 6.

 3.    Beard, Darleen Bailey. The FlimFlam Man. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998. In the summer of 1950, a man comes to Wetumka, Oklahoma, telling about his fabulous circus, and although he swindles the townspeople, two young girls grow from the experience. Grades 1 to 6.

 4.    Cowley, Marjorie. Anooka’s Answer. New York: Clarion Books, 1998. While living in a river valley in southern France during the Upper Paleolithic era, thirteen-year-old Anooka rejects the ways of her clan and sets out to make another kind of life for herself. Grades 5 to 8.

 5.    Danzinger, Paula and Ann Martin. P. S. Longer Letter Later. New York: Scholastic, 1998. Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara Starr continue their friendship through letter-writing after Tara Starr's family moves to another state. Grades 4 to 8.

 6.    Gauthier, Gail. A Year with Butch and Spike. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1998. Upon entering the sixth grade, straight-A student Jasper falls under the spell of the dreaded, irrepressible Cootch cousins. Grades 4 to 6.

 7.    Holch, Gregory J. The Things with Wings. New York: Scholastic, 1998. Twelve-year-old Newton and his classmate Vanessa, who is obsessed with butterflies and flying, undergo significant changes as they try to discover why the emerald rainbow butterflies return to Angel Falls every spring. Grades 4 to 8.

 8.    Holt, Kimberly Willis. Mister and Me. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1998. In a small Louisiana mill town in 1940, Jolene does not want her Momma to marry the logger who is courting her, but it seems that even her most defiantly bad behavior cannot make him go away. Grades 1 to 6.

 9.    Hurwitz, Johanna. Starting School. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1998. Lucas Cott's young twin brothers, who stole the show in School Spirit, now take center stage in a show all their own. Although placed in separate classes, twins Marius and Marcus prove to be double trouble for their kindergarten teachers. Grades 2 to 4.

 10. Hyppolite, Joanne. Ola Shakes It Up. New York: Delacorte Press, 1998. Nine-year-old Ola and her family are the first black people to move into Walcott Corners, a stuffy, suburban Massachusetts community that Ola wishes were a little bit more like the lively old Roxbury neighborhood she sorely misses. Grades 4 to 6.

 11. Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret of Platform 13. New York: Puffin, 1999. Odge Gribbie, a young hag, accompanies an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on their mission through a magical tunnel from their island to London to rescue their King and Queen's son who had been stolen as an infant. Grades 4 to 7.

 12. King-Smith, Dick.  The Water Horse. New York: Crown, 1998. In 1930, on the coast of Scotland, eight-year-old Kirstie finds a large egg which hatches into an unusual sea creature, and as he grows her family must decide what to do with him. Grades 3 to 5.

  13. Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie. As Long as There Are Mountains. New York: Cobblehill/Dutton, 1997. Thirteen-year-old Iris dreams of one day running the family farm in northern Vermont, but the summer of 1956 holds many shocking changes that threaten the life Iris loves. Grades 4 to 7.

 14. Klise, Kate and M. Sarah Klise, illus... Regarding the Fountain: A Tale in Letters, of Liars and Leaks. When the principal asks a fifth-grader to write a letter regarding the purchase of a new drinking fountain for their school, he finds that all sorts of chaos results. Grades 4 to 6.

 15. Petersen, P. J. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1998. After a sharp-tongued fifth-grader undergoes surgery for a brain tumor she is uncomfortable because suddenly everyone is unnaturally nice to her. Grades 3 to 4.

 16. Rodowsky, Colby The Turnabout Shop. New York: HarperTrophy, 1998. In conversations with her dead mother, fifth-grader Livvy records her adjustment to living in Baltimore, Maryland, with a woman she had never met, and she comes to see the wisdom of her mother's choice as she gets to know the woman's large, loving family. Grades 4 to 6.

 17. Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1997. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Why bother with the description, really? Grades 4 to 7. Winner

 18. Ryan, Pam Munoz and Brian Selznick, illus. Riding Freedom. New York Scholastic, 1998. A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, voted for President making her the first woman to vote in that state, and fooled everyone by her appearance. Grades 4 to 6.

 19. Rylant, Cynthia. The Islander. New York: 1998. Living with his grandfather on an island off British Columbia, ten-year-old Daniel feels deep loneliness until the night he meets a mermaid whose identity he tries to learn. Grades 4 and up.

20. Seabrooke, Brenda. The Care and Feeding of Dragons. New York: Cobblehill/Dutton, 1998. Follows the adventures of Alastair as he tries to protect his baby dragon, Spike, from dragonnappers while trying to adjust to his new fourth-grade teacher. Brenda Seabrooke is a former West Virginia resident and has set several of her books in the state. Grades 3 to 7.

  21. Velde, Vivian Vande. Smart Dog. New York: Dell Yearling, 1998. Fifth grader Amy finds her life growing complicated when she meets and tries to hide an intelligent, talking dog who has escaped from a university lab. Grades 3 to 6.

 22. Wright, Betty Ren. Too Many Secrets. New York: Scholastic, 1997. Nine-year-old Chad and his friend Jeannie try to discover who is breaking into their neighbor's house, while Chad also deals with his suspicions about why his father has been spending so much time away from home. Grades 3 to 5.


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