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 52 results
 
 

How to Avoid Extinction

by Paul Acampora

For fans of Gary Schmidt and Joan Bauer, a laugh-out-loud intergenerational road trip story from acclaimed author Paul Acampora!

Since the death of his grandfather, Leo's number one chore has been to chase after his grandmother who seems to wander away from home every few days. Now, Gram's decided to roam farther than ever. And despite his misgivings, Leo's going along for the ride. With his seventeen-year-old cousin, Abbey, and an old, gassy dog named Kermit, Leo joins Gram in a big, old Buick to leave their Pennsylvania home for a cross-country road trip filled with foldout maps, family secrets, new friends, and dinosaur bones.

How to Avoid Extinction is a middle-grade comedy about death and food and family and fossils. It's about running away from home and coming back again. For Leo, it's about asking hard questions and hopefully finding some sensible answers. As if good sense has anything to do with it. Against a backdrop of America's stunning size and beauty, it's also about growing up, getting old, dreaming about immortality, and figuring out all the things we can -- and can't -- leave behind.

Date Added: 09/04/2018


Year: 2019

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

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs

by Crystal Allen and Eda Kaban

A hilarious and spunky new heroine in the vein of the heroines of such beloved books as Ramona the Pest, Ivy and Bean, and Clementine, from Crystal Allen--the acclaimed author of How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy.

Nine-year-old Mya Tibbs is boot-scootin' excited for the best week of the whole school year--SPIRIT WEEK! She and her megapopular best friend, Naomi Jackson, even made a pinky promise to be Spirit Week partners so they can win the big prize: special VIP tickets to the Fall Festival! But when the partner picking goes horribly wrong, Mya gets paired with Mean Connie Tate--the biggest bully in school. And she can't get out of it. Good gravy.

Now Naomi is friend-ending mad at Mya for breaking a promise--even though Mya couldn't help it--and everyone at school is calling Mya names. Can Mya work with Mean Connie to win the VIP tickets and get her best friend back?

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

Category: Nominee

Maybe a Fox

by Alison Mcghee and Kathi Appelt

Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.

Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they'd be identical twins if only they'd been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn't such a fast--faster than fast--runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they're not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens...and no one ever sees her again.

Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that--like their mother--her sister is gone forever. At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born--half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast--faster than fast--and she senses danger. She's too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.

Writing in alternate voices--one Jules's, the other the fox's--Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family's moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

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

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

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

by Kelly Barnhill

Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal The New York Times Bestseller An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016 A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016 Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016 2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . . The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

Category: Nominee

Whoosh!

by Chris Barton and Don Tate

You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy. A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

Category: Nominee

Soar

by Joan Bauer

Newbery Honor-winner Joan Bauer's newest protagonist always sees the positive side of any situation--and readers will cheer him on!

Jeremiah is the world's biggest baseball fan. He really loves baseball and he knows just about everything there is to know about his favorite sport. So when he's told he can't play baseball following an operation on his heart, Jeremiah decides he'll do the next best thing and become a coach.

Hillcrest, where Jeremiah and his father Walt have just moved, is a town known for its championship baseball team. But Jeremiah finds the town caught up in a scandal and about ready to give up on baseball. It's up to Jeremiah and his can-do spirit to get the town - and the team - back in the game.

Full of humor, heart, and baseball lore, Soar is Joan Bauer at her best.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

Category: Nominee

Little Cat's Luck

by Marion Dane Bauer and Jennifer A. Bell

From Newbery Honoree Marion Dane Bauer comes a heartwarming novel in verse that's a companion to the "wholly satisfying" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) Little Dog, Lost.

When an indoor calico cat named Patches spots a golden autumn leaf fluttering past her window, she can't help but venture outside to chase it. But soon, Patches feels something tugging at her, telling her to find a special place--one she won't know until she sees it.

Why must she go on this search? She doesn't know yet.

Along the way, Patches finds herself in dire circumstances, but with the help of the other neighborhood animals, she faces off against the scariest dog in town and continues on her journey to her special place.

Beautifully told in verse and accompanied by adorable illustrations by Jennifer A. Bell, this heartwarming novel from Newberry Honor­-winner, Marion Dane Bauer, is a timeless, touching, and fulfilling story about finding your way home.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

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

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

Lola Levine

by Monica Brown

Seven-year-old Lola Levine is fierce on and off the soccer field. She can do a slide tackle (although she's not supposed to) and even likes gooey worms. Nothing scares Lola! That is, until she's auditioning in front of EVERYONE for her class play. After Lola is overcome with stage fright, she's cast as Squirrel #2, a non-speaking part!Lola is more than a little disappointed, and she looks to her bubbe for advice and comfort. But on opening night, the curtain rises and she finds herself smack in the middle of an exasperating turn of events. In this fun and heartfelt chapter book, can Lola give Squirrel #2 her own special stamp and make it a play to remember?

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

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

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

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

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

Game Changers

by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena’s turn. It wasn’t easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn’t let it stop them.

With vibrant mixed media art, nonfiction superstars Lesa Cline-Ransome and Coretta Scott King Honor winner James E. Ransome share the inspirational story of two tennis legends who were fierce competitors on the courts, but close sisters above all.

Date Added: 12/16/2019


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

Follow the Moon Home

by Deborah Hopkinson and Philippe Cousteau

Acclaimed activist Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson team up to offer a story of the powerful difference young people can make in the world.

Meet Viv, who has a new home and a new school by the sea, and follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

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

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13

by Joelle Dreidemy and Honest Lee and Matthew J. Gilbert

For fans of Captain Underpants or Sideways Stories from Wayside School, this new chapter book series is perfect for reluctant readers. When unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse wins the lottery, she shares her winnings with her class--giving each student over a BILLION DOLLARS!

You might think this was nice, but it was not. It was a nasty idea! With great money comes horrible allergies, steep taxes, exploding volcanoes, and other problems. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, winning the lottery is not always lucky. What would YOU do if you won the lottery? The final chapter encourages young readers to write their OWN chapter and send it in to the author, Honest Lee.

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13 is the first in a new chapter book series of hilarious stories about a rather unlucky classroom. Each story is full of humor, action, and fun, and will prompt hours of conversation among friends, families, and classrooms.

Date Added: 09/04/2018


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

The Great Shelby Holmes

by Elizabeth Eulberg

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen―always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes. When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack.

Date Added: 11/06/2018


Year: 2018

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


Showing 1 through 25 of 52 results