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
 
 

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

Amina's Voice

by Hena Khan

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin.

Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.”

Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in?

While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

Date Added: 09/04/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

The Bicycle Spy

by Yona Zeldis Mcdonough

Marcel loves riding his bicycle, whether he's racing through the streets of his small town in France or making bread deliveries for his parents' bakery. He dreams of someday competing in the Tour de France, the greatest bicycle race. But ever since Germany's occupation of France began two years ago, in 1940, the race has been canceled. Now there are soldiers everywhere, interrupting Marcel's rides with checkpoints and questioning.

Then Marcel learns two big secrets, and he realizes there are worse things about the war than a canceled race. When he later discovers that his friend's entire family is in imminent danger, Marcel knows he can help -- but it will involve taking a risky bicycle ride to pass along covert information. And when nothing ends up going according to plan, it's up to him to keep pedaling and think quickly... because his friend, her family, and his own future hang in the balance.

Date Added: 09/04/2018


Year: 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garvey's Choice

by Nikki Grimes

Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading--anything but sports.

Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also obese, teased by bullies, and lonely.

When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey's life changes. The chorus finds a new soloist in Garvey, and through chorus, Garvey finds a way to accept himself, and a way to finally reach his distant father--by speaking the language of music instead of the language of sports.

This emotionally resonant novel in verse by award-winning author Nikki Grimes celebrates choosing to be true to yourself.

Date Added: 09/04/2018


Year: 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Harlem Charade

by Natasha Tarpley

WATCHER. SHADOW. FUGITIVE.

Harlem is home to all kinds of kids. Jin sees life passing her by from the window of her family's bodega. Alex wants to help the needy one shelter at a time, but can't tell anyone who she really is. Elvin's living on Harlem's cold, lonely streets, surviving on his own after his grandfather was mysteriously attacked.

When these three strangers join forces to find out what happened to Elvin's grandfather, their digging leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune-one that might save the neighborhood from development by an ambitious politician who wants to turn it into Harlem World, a ludicrous historic theme park. But if they don't find the paintings soon, nothing in their beloved neighborhood will ever be the same . . .

In this remarkable tale of daring and danger, debut novelist Natasha Tarpley explores the way a community defines itself, the power of art to show truth, and what it really means to be home.

Date Added: 09/04/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

Hello, Universe

by Erin Entrada Kelly and Isabel Roxas

Acclaimed and award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships.

Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero), and it’s perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Thanhha Lai, and Rita Williams-Garcia. In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Sometimes four can do what one cannot. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

The acclaimed author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.

A New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the Newberry Medal

Date Added: 09/04/2018


Year: 2019

Category: Nominee

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

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

The Key to Extraordinary

by Natalie Lloyd

The highly anticipated new stand alone novel from rising star Natalie Lloyd! Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down. But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost? With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd's The Key to Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.

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

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


Showing 1 through 25 of 52 results