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Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award
WHAT IS THE REBECCA CAUDILL YOUNG READERS' BOOK AWARD?
"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." ~ rebeccacaudill.org
HOW CAN I VOTE?
Read or listen to at least three of the nominated books. Vote for your favorite in February.
2021 Caudill Award Winner
The Winner of the 2021 Rebecca Caudill Award is:
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Front Desk by
Publication Date: 2018-05-29
Four starred reviews and over ten best-of-year lists!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewWinner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewMia Tang has a lot of secrets.Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
Adapted with permission from a LibGuide created by Carrie Stump at Grant Community High School
2022 Caudill Nominees
Be Prepared by "Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can't stand it." --Raina Telgemeier, author ofSmile InBe Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in--but that's not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera's single mother can't afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range--Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
Publication Date: 2018-04-24
City of Ghosts by From #1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of "Stranger Things" and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.A New York Times bestseller!Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.So things are already pretty strange. But they're about to get much stranger.When Cass's parents start hosting a TV show about the world's most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her "gift," she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil -- and herself.And she'll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.#1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab delivers a thrillingly spooky and action-packed tale of hauntings, history, mystery, and the bond between friends (even if that friend is a ghost . . .).
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
Clean Getaway by From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a timely middle-grade road-trip story through landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and the map they lay for contemporary race relations. How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma: Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED. Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either. Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home. What Not to Bring: A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual. Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included. "Truly a delight." -Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Newbery Medal winner Bud, Not Buddy
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
Free Lunch by Instead of giving him lunch money, Rex's mom has signed him up for free meals. As a poor kid in a wealthy school district, better-off kids crowd impatiently behind him as he tries to explain to the cashier that he's on the free meal program. The lunch lady is hard of hearing, so Rex has to shout.Free Lunch is the story of Rex's efforts to navigate his first semester of sixth grade--who to sit with, not being able to join the football team, Halloween in a handmade costume, classmates and a teacher who take one look at him and decide he's trouble--all while wearing secondhand clothes and being hungry. His mom and her boyfriend are out of work, and life at home is punctuated by outbursts of violence. Halfway through the semester, his family is evicted and ends up in government-subsidized housing in view of the school. Rex lingers at the end of last period every day until the buses have left, so no one will see where he lives.Unsparing and realistic, Free Lunch is a story of hardship threaded with hope and moments of grace. Rex's voice is compelling and authentic, and Free Lunch is a true, timely, and essential work that illuminates the lived experience of poverty in America.
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by #1 Kids Indie Next List * Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year * SLJ Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * Junior Library Guild Selection * Edgar Award Nominee * Four Starred Reviews From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating story full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition. Zoe Washington isn't sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she's never met, hadn't heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who's been in prison for a terrible crime? A crime he says he never committed. Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe's worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she's worthy of auditioning for Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge. But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus's conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn't know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies. "When Marcus tells Zoe he is innocent, and her grandmother agrees, Zoe begins to learn about inequality in the criminal justice system, and she sets out to find the alibi witness who can prove his innocence." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
Publication Date: 2020-01-14
Genesis Begins Again by A Newbery Honor Book Winner of the Correta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award A Morris Award Finalist An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself. There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant--even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence. What's not so regular is that this time they all don't have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It's not that Genesis doesn't like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight--Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she'd married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren't all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she's made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show. But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won't the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they're supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?
Publication Date: 2019-01-15
Ghost Boys by A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better. Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing. Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions. Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
Publication Date: 2018-04-17
I Can Make This Promise by In her debut middle grade novel--inspired by her family's history--Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family's secrets--and finds her own Native American identity. All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn't have any answers. Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic--a box full of letters signed "Love, Edith," and photos of a woman who looks just like her. Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?
Publication Date: 2019-10-01
Inkling by "Astonishing"--The New York Times Book Review A brilliantly funny, highly illustrated story about how a little ink splot changes a family forever. Perfect for those who love Hoot, Holes, or Frindle! The Rylance family is stuck. Dad's got writer's block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school--even though he can't draw. Sarah's still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance's sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together--and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything. Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book--not good--and the story he's supposed to be illustrating for school--also not good. But Inkling's also started drawing the pictures to go with the story--which is amazing! It's just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too--for Sarah he's a puppy. And for Dad he's a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It's exactly what they all want. It's not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they--and Inkling--truly need. * A New York Times Notable Book * A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year -- top ten selection * "A true-to-life family, some can't-put-it-down excitement, a few deep questions, and more than a little bit of magic. This book is everything, and I loved every page." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medalist for When You Reach Me
Publication Date: 2018-11-06
It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, shares his personal story and the injustices he faced while growing up half black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this New York Times bestselling young readers' adaptation of his adult memoir. "A piercing reminder that every mad life--even yours--could end up a masterpiece." --JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling author We do horrible things to one another because we don't see the person it affects. . . . We don't see them as people. Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child to exist. But he did exist--and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself thanks to his mom's unwavering love and indomitable will. This honest and poignant memoir adapted from the #1 New York Times bestseller Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood will astound and inspire readers as well as offer a fascinating perspective on South Africa's tumultuous racial history. BORN A CRIME IS SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING OSCAR WINNER LUPITA NYONG'O!
Publication Date: 2019-04-09
2022 Caudill Nominees
King of the Dragonflies by A 2021 Coretta Scott King Honor Book! Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature! Winner of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry! In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself. FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! Booklist School Library Journal Publishers Weekly The Horn Book Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?" But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death. The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one's identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
The Line Tender by Heartbreaking but also filled with wit and hope, The Line Tender is the story of Lucy, the daughter of a marine biologist and a rescue diver, and the summer that changes her life. If she ever wants to lift the cloud of grief over her family and community, she must complete the research her late mother began. She must follow the sharks. Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart's marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water-thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white-and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was 'meaningful' but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother's unfinished research on the Great White's return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she'll finally be able to look beyond what she's lost and toward what's left to be discovered. Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature's enduring mystery and the people willing to seek meaning and connection within it.
Publication Date: 2019-04-16
Maybe He Just Likes You by A 2020 ALA Notable Children's Book A Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2019 Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching--and ultimately uplifting--novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates. For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few days later, at recess, one of the boys (and fellow trumpet player) Callum tells Mila it's his birthday, and asks her for a "birthday hug." He's just being friendly, isn't he? And how can she say no? But Callum's hug lasts a few seconds too long, and feels...weird. According to her friend, Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn't she know what flirting looks like? But the boys don't leave Mila alone. On the bus. In the halls. During band practice--the one place Mila could always escape. It doesn't feel like flirting--so what is it? Thanks to a chance meeting, Mila begins to find solace in a new place: karate class. Slowly, with the help of a fellow classmate, Mila learns how to stand her ground and how to respect others--and herself. From the author of Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice."
Publication Date: 2019-10-01
The Okay Witch by A School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2019 A YALSA 2020 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers A YALSA 2020 Great Graphic Novel for Teens Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl in this hilarious, one-of-a-kind graphic novel about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town and is doing her best to survive middle school now that she knows everything! Magic is harder than it looks. Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she's about to discover that witches aren't just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder's Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth's family is at the center of it all! When Moth's new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself. In this spellbinding graphic novel debut, Emma Steinkellner spins a story packed with humor and heart about the weird and wonderful adventures of a witch-in-progress.
Publication Date: 2019-09-03
Orange for the Sunsets by * A Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books of 2019 Selection * A Canadian Children's Book Center Best Books for Kids & Teens Pick * From debut author Tina Athaide comes a soaring tale of empathy, hope, and resilience, as two best friends living under Ugandan President Amin's divisive rule must examine where--and who--they call home. Perfect for fans of Half from the East and Inside Out and Back Again. Asha and her best friend, Yesofu, never cared about the differences between them: Indian. African. Girl. Boy. Short. Tall. But when Idi Amin announces that Indians have ninety days to leave the country, suddenly those differences are the only things that people in Entebbe can see--not the shared after-school samosas or Asha cheering for Yesofu at every cricket game. Determined for her life to stay the same, Asha clings to her world tighter than ever before. But Yesofu is torn, pulled between his friends, his family, and a promise of a better future. Now as neighbors leave and soldiers line the streets, the two friends find that nothing seems sure--not even their friendship. Tensions between Indians and Africans intensify and the deadline to leave is fast approaching. Could the bravest thing of all be to let each other go?
Publication Date: 2019-04-02
Other Words for Home by New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book! A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is. This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.
Publication Date: 2019-05-28
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by "Sometimes a story comes along that just plain makes you want to hug the world.The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is Dan Gemeinhart's finest book yet -- and that's saying something. Your heart needs this joyful miracle of a book." --Katherine Applegate, acclaimed author ofThe One and Only IvanandWishtree A 2020 ILA Teachers' Choice A 2019 Parents' Choice Award Gold Medal Winner Winner of the 2019 CYBILS Award for Middle Grade Fiction An Amazon Top 20 Children's Book of 2019 A Junior Library Guild Selection Five years. That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash. Coyote hasn't been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished--the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box--she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it. Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys... Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her "once upon a time" into a "happily ever after." This title has common core connections.
Publication Date: 2019-01-08
They Called Us Enemy by A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. New York Times Bestseller! A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.
Publication Date: 2019-07-16
To Night Owl from Dogfish by From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters. Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads. When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters. But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will Bett and Avery (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
Publication Date: 2019-02-12
Torpedoed by From award-winning author Deborah Heiligman comesTorpedoed, a true account of the attack and sinking of the passenger ship SSCity of Benares, which was evacuating children from England during WWII. Amid the constant rain of German bombs and the escalating violence of World War II, British parents by the thousands chose to send their children out of the country: the wealthy, independently; the poor, through a government relocation program called CORB. In September 1940, passenger liner SSCity of Benares set sail for Canada with one hundred children on board. When the war ships escorting theBenaresdeparted, a German submarine torpedoed what became known as the Children's Ship. Out of tragedy, ordinary people became heroes. This is their story. This title has Common Core connections.
Publication Date: 2019-10-08