Maintaining the momentum of this year’s Children’s Book Week festivities in May, which had moved online because of the pandemic, the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader have announced their list of finalists for the 2020 Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards. Readers will be able to cast their votes online for finalists in four categories, beginning September 14 and ending on November 15, the last day of the fall Children’s Book Week. Winners will be announced in early December.
The 28 finalists of the 13th annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards span a variety of themes and subject matters, from nonfiction books about edible science projects and cave rescue missions, to picture book about choosing a comfy couch. There are seven finalists in each of the three Children’s Book Awards categories—K–Second Grade, Third–Fourth Grade, and Fifth–Sixth Grade— and seven finalists in the Teen Choice Book Award category. The finalists in all four categories were chosen from among the Children’s Choices and Young Adults’ Choices 2020 Lists. These lists are created by the CBC in partnership with ILA, and books are read and selected by school children across the U.S.
The finalists for the Kindergarten to Second Grade category are Babysitter from Another Planet by Stephen Savage (Holiday House/Neal Porter); Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Little, Brown); The Good Egg by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald (HarperCollins); I Am a Tiger by Karl Newson, illustrated by Ross Collins (Scholastic Press); I Am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Abrams); No Place Like Home by Ronojoy Ghosh (Eerdmans); and The Perfect Sofa by Fifi Kuo (Little Bee).
The Third to Fourth Grade finalists are Chapter Two Is Missing by Josh Lieb, illustrated by Kevin Cornell (/Razorbill); The Immortal Jellyfish by Sang Miao (Nobrow/Flying Eye); The Karate Kid, based on the film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen, illustrated by Kim Smith (Quirk); Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Daniel Duncan (Candlewick); Science You Can Eat: 20 Activities That Put Food Under the Microscope by Stefan Gates (DK); The Seekers by Hari Panicker and Deepti Nair (Knopf); and Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (HMH/Versify).
For the Fifth to Sixth Grade category, the finalists are Earth by Steve Jenkins (HMH); Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix); Hicotea by Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow/Flying Eye Books); Pandora’s Legacy by Bones Leopard, illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!); Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen (Oni Press); Rising Water: The Story of the Thai Cave Rescue by Marc Aronson (S&S/Atheneum); and Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children edited by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Whittingham (Sourcebooks eXplore).
The finalists for the Teen Choice Book Award category are Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second); Beast Rider by Tony Johnston and Maria Elena Fontanot De Rhoads (Abrams/Amulet); The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray); Frankly in Love by David Yoon (Putnam); It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Delacorte); Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita (Disney-Hyperion); and Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan (Bloomsbury).
To drum up excitement for the awards, the CBC has created activity pages for each category, allowing readers to test their knowledge of the books before voting. These sheets will be available to print free of charge prior to September 14. In addition, KidLit TV will resume its partnership by releasing a series of original videos—each of which highlights a different finalist title—this October.
Shaina Birkhead, associate executive director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, said, “Since 2008, the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards have given kids a chance to voice their choice when it comes to their favorite books. This year, we are working with great partners like KidLit TV to provide more resources than ever before to support teachers, librarians, parents, and anyone else enriching kids’ lives daily.”
Young readers will have even more opportunities to explore the world of children’s books during the fall Children’s Book Week, which will take place November 9–15. Interested participants can register online here. At-home participation is encouraged for students who will be learning remotely this fall.