The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader have announced the finalists for their 12th annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, the only national books awards voted on entirely by children and teens. Young readers nationwide will vote online for the finalists in four categories, beginning on March 1 and ending on June 2 at BookCon in New York City.
The online “voting booth” will feature jacket art and book descriptions. Teachers, librarians, and booksellers can also gather group or classroom votes to enter online. In addition, the voting site will feature paper ballots and visual materials to help promote the finalists.
The 20 finalists for the 2019 Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards encompass a wide range of subjects, themes, and styles, from nonfiction books about social issues to the tale of a pizza-loving dinosaur, a National Book Award-winning novel in verse, and more. There are five finalists in each of the three Children’s Choice Book Awards categories (K–Second Grade, Third–Fourth Grades, and Fifth–Sixth Grades) and five finalists in the Teen Choice Book Award category. The three categories of children’s finalists were chosen in pre-voting by kids in different regions of the U.S., with supervision by the International Literacy Association. The finalists in the teen category were nominated by young readers at TeenReads.com.
The finalists for the Kindergarten to Second Grade category are Day at the Beach by Tom Booth (S&S/Aladdin); There’s a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher, illus. by Greg Abbott (Random House); I Say Ooh You Say Aah by John Kane (Kane Miller); Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick); and Grow Up, David! by David Shannon (Scholastic/Blue Sky).
The Third to Fourth Grade finalists are The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel (Drawn & Quarterly/Enfant); School People by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Ellen Shih (Boyds Mills/WordSong); Safari Pug by Laura James, illus. by Églantine Ceulemans (Bloomsbury); Down by the River by Andrew Weiner, illus. by April Chu (Abrams); and Back to the Future by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, illus. by Kim Smith (Quirk).
For the Fifth to Sixth Grade category, the finalists are Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker by Gayle E. Pitman, illus. by Holly Clifton-Brown (Magination Press); Be the Change by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle (Quarto/Walter Foster Jr.); Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown); Pizzasaurus Rex by Justin Wagner and Warren Wucinich (Oni); and Fakers: An Insider’s Guide to Cons, Hoaxes, and Scams by H.P. Wood, illus. by David Clark (Charlesbridge).
The finalists for the Teen Choice Book Award category are The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen); The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform); Furyborn by Claire Legrand (Sourcebooks Fire); Wildcard by Marie Lu (Putnam); and The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second).
Shaina Birkhead, associate executive director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, said in a statement, “It’s wonderful that these are the only national book awards chosen only by kids and teens! They know the books they love and we are proud to work with so many teachers, librarians, and booksellers to help have the books read and gather the votes.”
The winning authors and illustrators will be announced this summer.