Cover for The 13-Story Treehouse

This year's Bluestem Award winner is The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths.  Who wouldn't want to live in a treehouse? Especially a 13-story treehouse that has a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a tank full of sharks, a library full of comics, a secret underground laboratory, a games room, self-making beds, vines you can swing on, a vegetable vaporiser and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots your favourite flavoured marshmallows into your mouth whenever it discerns you're hungry. Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn't for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monster pretending to be a mermaid, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles!


The Bluestem Award, sponsored by the Illinois School Library Media Association, highlights books for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than those found in the Monarch Award list, but aren't yet ready for the themes or length of Caudill Award books.  For the full list of this year's books, check out the official Bluestem Award page.

Cover for Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

The 2016 Caudill Award winner, announced on Friday, March 18, is Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans.  Congratulations!  You can click on the title to request a copy for your reading enjoyment.

What it's about:

To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette's syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special--he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael's friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens--and through them, the world.

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.


The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2016 list of Notable Children’s Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity and value to children 14 years of age and younger.  The list, which is quite comprehensive and is divided by age groups, can be found on the ALSC website.

Happy reading!

This past week the American Library Association announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Boston.  For a full list of all awards, including Honor Books, check out the Youth Media Awards roundup.  You can click on the titles below to request a copy of these award-winning books.

Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature: Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Cover for Last Stop on Market Street

Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick

Cover for Finding Winnie

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: Gone Crazy in Alabama,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia

Cover for Gone Crazy in Alabama

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award: Trombone Shorty,” illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor

Cover for Trombone Shorty

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: Hoodoo,” written by Ronald L. Smith

Cover for Hoodoo

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award: Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Carole Boston Weatherford

Cover for Voice of Freedom

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience: Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah,” written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10

Cover for Emmanuel's Dream

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States: The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy,” written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna and translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

Cover for The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States: The War that Saved My Life,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Jayne Entwistle

Cover for The War that Saved My Life

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience: Drum Dream Girl,” illustrated by Rafael López and written by Margarita Engle

Cover for Drum Dream Girl

Pura Belpré (Author) Award: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir,” written by Margarita Engle

Cover for Enchanted Air

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras,” written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Cover for Funny Bones

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience: George,” written by Alex Gino

Cover for George

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book: Don’t Throw It to Mo!,” written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks

Cover for Don't Throw It to Mo