When in doubt…check this out!

One of the more enjoyable parts of working in the Youth Department is helping our young patrons find the right book. Whether it’s a specific title or a broader topic area, we try our best to send you out the door as a satisfied customer. There may be times when you don’t have any idea what you’re looking to read next, so that’s where our “Staff Picks” area comes to the rescue. It’s located right near our Youth Services desk for your convenience. Throughout the year, we put together a list of books that we like or would recommend to you. A bookmark format is available, so you can keep track of what you might want to read from our list.

Right next to the Staff Picks are the State Award Book Nominees for the Monarch, Bluestem, and Rebecca Caudill lists. The Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE) sponsors these awards for children’s literature. Children in the state of Illinois read and vote for their favorite books from the lists, usually at their school. We have multiple copies of these books available along with a fun bingo activity and a list of each award’s nominees.

The following descriptions are from the AISLE website: The Monarch Award is a state-wide program in which children in grades K through 3 choose their favorite book from a list of 20 nominated books. The list contains at least three of each of the following types of children’s books: picture books, easy readers, and chapter books. The name Monarch was chosen because of its familiarity to K-3 children and to symbolize the growth, change and freedom that becoming a reader brings. The Monarch is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children’s books, authors and illustrators. The program is open to all K-3 age children in Illinois.

The Bluestem Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades 3-5 in participating Illinois schools. It is designed for students who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles.  Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists. 

Several options available!

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. 

Multiple copies!

As always, feel free to ask any of us for help choosing or finding a book that fits you. We are also available to introduce you to Overdrive or talk to you about eBooks and Audiobooks.