Special Collections

Bluebonnet Award Nominations

Description: A list of books selected by Texas librarians, teachers, parents, students and other interested persons for consideration for the current year's Texas Bluebonnet Awards. Titles are appropriate for grades 3-6. List updated annually. #award #kids


Showing 1 through 25 of 51 results
 
 

El Chupacabras

by Adam Rubin and Crash McCreery

A long time ago, a girl named Carla lived on a goat farm with her father, Hector. One night, a goat disappeared from the farm and turned up flat as a pancake. Only one creature could do that--El Chupacabras, the goatsucker! Legend has it that El Chupacabras is a fearsome beast, but you can't believe everything you hear...and sometimes the truth is even more interesting. Told in equal parts English and Spanish by bestselling author Adam Rubin, and cinematically illustrated by acclaimed Hollywood creature creator Crash McCreery, this lighthearted take on a modern legend is not told in the traditional bilingual style. Each sentence is half-Spanish/half-English followed by a repetition of the same line translated the other way around. This mirroring technique allows the languages to intermingle equally. A fun and unique way to introduce either Spanish or English to new readers.

Date Added: 11/15/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

The Boo-Boos That Changed the World A True Story About and Accidental Invention

by Barry Wittenstein

The true story of Earl Dickson inventing Band Aid for his injury prone wife, Josephine.

Date Added: 10/21/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Wishtree

by Katherine Applegate

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"--people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

This book has Common Core connections.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Watchdog

by Will Mcintosh

Thirteen-year-old twins Vick and Tara have built an incredible machine—a loyal robotic watchdog named Daisy.

But, when local crime boss Ms. Alba schemes to add Daisy to her robot army, Vick and Tara must go to great lengths to protect their prized pet. Because Daisy is more than just any robot—she’s their constant protector, and together the three make a great team.

Vick and Tara are determined to stop the mob from tearing their little family apart. And they might just succeed! Sure, the evil Ms. Alba has more robot watchdogs, but none are as smart—or as faithful—as their Daisy.

Plus, if things get too dangerous, Tara could always upgrade their pet. With her mechanical skills, she could make Daisy bigger, stronger, and a lot more intimidating!

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School

by Colin Jack and Julie Falatko

Sassy and Waldo are good dogs. They spend the day keeping their house safe. Has a squirrel ever gotten inside? No! But every day their boy, Stewart, comes home from this terrible place called school smelling like anxiety and looseleaf paper. Sassy and Waldo decide to save Stewart. But they don't let dogs into school. So Sassy and Waldo decide to get creative. They put on an old trench coat, and now everyone at Bea Arthur Elementary thinks they are a new student named Salty from Liver, Ohio. Well, everyone except Stewart. Sassy and Waldo love school! Everything smells like meat and dirty socks. And they discover a whole other way to help out Stewart!

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Shadow Weaver

by MarcyKate Connolly

Fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and The Night Gardener will devour Shadow Weaver, the first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology that's filled with shadows, danger, magic, and has the feel of a new classic. Emmeline's gift of controlling shadows has isolated her from the rest of the world, but she's grown to be content, hidden away in her mansion with Dar, her own shadow, as her only company. Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble's mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away. With the noble's guards on her trail, Emmeline's only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline's not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it's hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Saving Winslow

by Sharon Creech

An Indie Next List Pick!“A winning tale of love.” —Kirkus (starred review)Perfect for fans of Charlotte’s Web and The One and Only Ivan, Saving Winslow is an uplifting modern classic in the making about a young boy who befriends an ailing newborn donkey and nurses him back to health, from New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech.Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.Written in the spirit of Creech favorites Moo and Love That Dog, this standout tale about love and friendship and letting go will tug at the heartstrings.“This heartwarming story is sure to be a hit with fans of E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie.” —School Library Journal (starred review)“Creech packs a tremendous amount of emotion between the lines of her understated prose. Animal lovers in particular will relish Louie’s hard-won triumphs and find joy in Winslow’s strength.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Rebound

by Kwame Alexander

From the New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes Rebound, a dynamic novel in verse and companion to his Newbery Award-winner, The Crossover, illustrated with striking graphic novel panels.

Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. In this prequel to Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Chuck Bell takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to.

A novel in verse with all the impact and rhythm readers have come to expect from Kwame Alexander, Rebound will go back in time to visit the childhood of Chuck "Da Man" Bell during one pivotal summer when young Charlie is sent to stay with his grandparents where he discovers basketball and learns more about his family's past.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Mr. Gedrick and Me

by Patrick Carman

New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman delivers a modern reimagining of the classic Mary Poppins tale in this story about family, grief, and healing—with a dash of magic! Stanley Darrow isn’t sure what to expect when the mysterious Mr. Gedrick appears on his doorstep. He is certain, however, that his family could use Mr. Gedrick’s help: Their lives—and their house—have been a mess since Stanley’s dad died.The strange new nanny quickly helps them transform their cluttered home into a sparkling and spotless version of its former self, but it’s going to take more than a clean house to help the Darrow family learn to live and love again.Can Mr. Gedrick help Stanley, his brother, Fergus, his sister, Amelia, and his mom find their way back to each other? And what secrets of his own is Mr. Gedrick hiding behind his crooked grin?

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

by Stacy McAnulty

A lightning strike gave her a super power...but even a super genius can't solve the problem of middle school. This smart and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by Sevens.Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school!Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty's smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different."An engaging story, full of heart and hope. Readers of all ages will root for Lucy, aka Lightning Girl. No miscalculations here!" --Kate Beasley, author of Gertie's Leap to Greatness

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring

by Angela Cervantes

A room locked for fifty years.

A valuable peacock ring.

A mysterious brother-sister duo.

Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She's hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together.

While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Finding the ring means a big reward -- and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist!

But the brother and sister have a secret. Do they really want to return the ring, or are they after something else entirely?

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

The Magic Misfits

by Neil Patrick Harris and Lissy Marlin

From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.

(Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I'll let you in on a little secret... This book isn't just a book. It's a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll discover more than just a story--you'll learn how to make your own magic!)

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Harbor Me

by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat--by themselves, with no adults to listen in.

There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them--everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes.

When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Ghost Boys

by Jewell Parker Rhodes

The #1 Kids' Indie Next Pick 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.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Crown

by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Captain Superlative

by J. S. Puller

"Have no fear, citizens! Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!"

Red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, torn tights, high top sneakers and . . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why?

Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the mask. The answer pulls invisible Janey into the spotlight and leads her to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. Fearless even in the face of school bully extraordinaire, Dagmar Hagen, no good deed is too small for the incomparable Captain Superlative and her new sidekick, Janey.

But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what's truly at stake, she's forced to face her own dark secrets and discover what it truly means to be a hero . . . and a friend.

Debut author J.S. Puller delivers an inspirational story full of heart, humor, and breathtaking revelations.

Lexile Measure: 600

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

by Jonathan Bean and Christina Uss

A determined 12-year-old girl bikes across the country in this quirky and charming debut middle grade novel.

Introverted Bicycle has lived most of her life at the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, D.C. When her guardian, Sister Wanda, announces that Bicycle is going to attend a camp where she will learn to make friends, Bicycle says no way and sets off on her bike for San Francisco to meet her idol, a famous cyclist, certain he will be her first true friend.

Who knew that a ghost would haunt her handlebars and that she would have to contend with bike-hating dogs, a bike-loving horse, bike-crushing pigs, and a mysterious lady dressed in black.

Over the uphills and downhills of her journey, Bicycle discovers that friends are not such a bad thing to have after all, and that a dozen cookies really can solve most problems.

Date Added: 09/16/2019


Year: 2020

Category: Nominee

Grandpa's Ha-la-loo-ya Hambone!

by Joe Hayes and Antonio Castro L.

Kids today grow up knowing all about recycling. But when Joe Hayes was a kid, recycling hadn't been invented. Money was so tight for his family that they had to be inventive about reusing everything. And when the family splurged for a fat hambone to flavor their beans, Joe's mother was determined to make it last as long as possible.

Date Added: 12/27/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Sergeant Reckless

by Iacopo Bruno and Patricia McCormick

The inspiring true story of Reckless, the brave little horse who became a Marine.

When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they’d ever known. And one of the biggest appetites!

Soon Reckless showed herself more than willing to carry ammunition too heavy for the soldiers to haul. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle—again and again—becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank—becoming Sgt. Reckless—and receive two Purple Hearts.

Date Added: 12/27/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Step Right Up

by Daniel Minter and Donna Janell Bowman

William "Doc" Key had a special way with animals. Growing up an enslaved child in Tennessee, Doc was sent to plantations around the state to care for sick and wounded animals. When the Civil War ended and Doc was freed, he began to dream of breeding a winning racehorse. But those dreams were dashed when his colt was born weak and sickly. Although many people would have euthanized the colt, Doc nursed him back to health and named him Jim.

Noticing a level of curiosity and eagerness in the horse, Doc began teaching Beautiful Jim Key first to recognize letters, then to read, write, add, subtract, and more. Doc soon took his talented horse on the road, spreading a message of patience and kindness, over cruelty, to all animals.

With striking illustrations by Daniel Minter, Step Right Up is the inspiring story of one man and one horse who showed the world the power of kindness.

Date Added: 12/27/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Keith Haring

by Kay A. Haring

Iconic pop artist Keith Haring comes to life for young readers in this picture book biography lovingly written by his sister

This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist’s great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith's signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. This is a story to inspire, and a book for Keith Haring fans of all ages to treasure.

Date Added: 12/12/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Grand Canyon

by Jason Chin

Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon.

Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.

Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die cuts show you that a fossil today was a creature much long ago, perhaps in a completely different environment. Complete with a spectacular double gatefold, an intricate map and extensive back matter.

Date Added: 12/12/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, First Edition

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee

"Sohn maash" is the flavors in our fingertips. It is the love and cooking talent that Korean mothers and grandmothers mix into their handmade foods. For Chef Roy Choi, food means love. It also means culture, not only of Korea where he was born, but the many cultures that make up the streets of Los Angeles, where he was raised. So remixing food from the streets, just like good music—and serving it up from a truck—is true to L.A. food culture. People smiled and talked as they waited in line. Won't you join him as he makes good food smiles?

Date Added: 12/12/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Slider

by Pete Hautman

Competitive eating vies with family expectations in a funny, heartfelt novel for middle-grade readers by National Book Award winner Pete Hautman.

David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has cooked up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down.

Date Added: 12/12/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Bravo!

by Margarita Engle

Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot--the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today.

Date Added: 12/04/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee


Showing 1 through 25 of 51 results