The finalists are in for Amazon’s Children’s Choice Book Award, the only national children’s book awards selected by kids. Each award covers two consecutive grade levels, and this year the titles contending for kids’ votes include both fiction and nonfiction and a wonderful range of topics.
Kindergarten to Second Grade
The Good Egg by Jory John and Pete Oswald
Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed. But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten. As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect. So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change
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I Am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds
A celebration of love in all its forms, I Am Love asks readers to look inward when they feel afraid. Love allows us to act with compassion and kindness, to live with gratitude, and to take care of ourselves by practicing self-love.
The Babysitter from Another Planet by Stephen Savage
When their parents go out for the evening, two kids are left with a babysitter unlike any they’ve ever had before–an alien from another planet! But even though she seems scary and strange, the kids quickly see that this babysitter can do everything, and they can’t wait for her to come back again.
Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris
Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn’t know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren’t any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck.
These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn’t know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along.
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I Am a Tiger by Karl Newson and Ross Collins
This is a story about a mouse with BIG ideas. Mouse believes he is a tiger, and he convinces Fox, Raccoon, Snake, and Bird he’s one, too! After all, Mouse can climb a tree like a tiger and hunt for his lunch, too. And not all tigers are big and have stripes. But when a real tiger shows up, can Mouse keep up his act?
No Place Like Home by Ronojoy Ghosh
George is a bit of a grump. He doesn’t like ice cream, his tiny house, or the crowded city he lives in. Perhaps he would be happier if he could find a place that truly feels like home. And so George decides to go exploring…
The Perfect Sofa by Fifi Kuo
When Penguin and Panda decide their tired sofa is in need of replacement, they set out to find the perfect one. But none of the options are quite right and no sofa can seem to match the comfort of the one they already have. Is what they’re looking for closer than they think?
Third Grade to Fourth Grade
Chapter Two Is Missing! by Josh Lieb and Kevin Cornell
Do not be alarmed, but the second chapter of this book appears to be missing! It was here a minute ago, but now it seems to have simply walked off. Not only that, but some of the punctuation has gone topsy-turvy, a bunch of letter Ms are hiding in Chapter 5, and Chapter 45 appears to be from another book entirely! The narrator is going to need some assistance getting things in order, especially with the unhelpful detective who keeps butting in and that shifty janitor lurking about. Luckily he has you—the reader—to help!
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The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson
This poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
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The Immortal Jellyfish by Sang Miao
When a young boy’s grandfather dies suddenly, he feels overwhelmed and confused. They will never see each other again. To his delight, they meet again in a dream, where his grandfather takes him to Transfer City, where our departed loved ones live on through our memories. In this modern, Eastern telling of the afterlife, death is not an ending, but a new start to life, just like the Immortal Jellyfish which is constantly maturing and then regressing, staying as present as our deceased loved ones do in our memories.
The Karate Kid by Kim Smith
When The Karate Kid appeared in theaters in 1984, its heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between a bullied boy and the Japanese maintenance man in his new apartment building became an instant classic. Now the beloved film is reimagined as a cute and colorful picture book, with charming illustrations by Kim Smith. When young Daniel is targeted by students from the Cobra Kai dojo, his neighbor Mr. Miyagi agrees to train him for the upcoming karate tournament. But why is Mr. Miyagi making Daniel wax his cars, sand his deck, and paint his house? Will Daniel ever master the art of karate? This timeless story of overcoming the odds will delight kids, their parents, and anyone who has ever had that one special teacher.
Mr. Posey’s New Glasses by Ted Kooser and Daniel Duncan
Mr. Posey is feeling gloomy. Everything seems dull. Maybe he needs new glasses? Perhaps a trip to the Cheer Up Thrift Shop with his energetic young neighbour, Andy, will help. But when the duo try on the glasses in the shops barrel, they’re in for a big surprise. One pair with stars for frames shows only constellations in a night sky. Round frames reveal a world all aswirl, while a heart-shaped pair makes everything pink. And as soon as Mr. Posey puts on the cat-eye framed glasses, fierce dogs start chasing him. No, thank you! But when Andy makes a simple observation, Mr. Poseys view opens to a whole new world — and finally everything is brighter, different, and exciting.
Science You Can Eat by Stefan Gates
This quest of gastronomic wonder is so much more than just another science book for kids! It explores the science of food by asking questions you’re hungry to know the answers to and putting them to the test through fun experiments.
Cooking is just delicious chemistry, and the science experiments in this adorable kids cookbook will prove it. Once you understand science, you understand food. Find out why popcorn goes “pop” as you test it out for yourself. Explore how taste is affected by smell, know if carrots really can turn you orange, and finally discover whether eating insects is the future of food.
The Seekers by Hari & Deepti
Mio and Nao live in the valley of Krum, above a great river that provides everything they need to survive. As children, their grandfather told tales of the Silver Fox and Fire Wolf, tales everyone else believed were only legends—everyone, that is, but Mio.
When the life-giving river that flows through their village is mysteriously threatened, Mio and Nao set out beyond their valley to find out what has gone wrong. The farther they get from home, they find lifeless trees and skies filled with smoke. The other villagers grow weary of their mission until they are confronted with their childhood legends come to vivid life and have to risk everything to save their home.
Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade
Guts by Raina Telgemeier
Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away… and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on?
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Rising Water: The Story of the Thai Cave Rescue by Marc Aronson
On June 23, 2018, twelve members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach were exploring the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand when disaster struck. A rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them as they took shelter on a shelf of the dark cave. Eight days of searching yielded no signs of life, but on July 2 they were discovered by two British divers. The boys and their coach were eventually rescued in an international operation that took three days. What could have been a terrible tragedy became an amazing story of survival.
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Earth: By the Numbers by Steve Jenkins
How old is the earth? Where is the ice three miles thick? Why are volcanoes so dangerous? Where are the wettest and driest spots on the planet? Find the answers to these questions–and many more–in Earth by the numbers.
Hicotea by Lorena Alvarez
On a school field trip to the local wetlands, Sandy wanders away from her classmates and discovers an empty turtle shell. Peeking into the shell, she suddenly finds herself within a magical new dimension. Filled with sculptures, paintings and books, the turtle’s shell is a museum of the natural world. But one painting is incomplete, and the shell’s mystery inhabitant needs Sandy’s help to finish it.
Pandora’s Legacy by Bones Leopard and Kelly & Nichole Matthews
When siblings Charlie, Janet, and Trevor accidentally break an old jar hidden in the woods, they release a cadre of monsters and must find a way to recapture them and uncover the truth about their family’s history.
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Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods. There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home-which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends. But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet-which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger… and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.
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Survivors of the Holocaust edited by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Whittingham
Between 1933 and 1945, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party were responsible for the persecution of millions of Jews across Europe. This extraordinary graphic novel tells the true stories of six Jewish children who survived the Holocaust.
From suffering the horrors of Auschwitz, to hiding from Nazi soldiers in war-torn Paris, to sheltering from the Blitz in England, each true story is a powerful testament to the survivors’ courage. These remarkable testimonials serve as a reminder never to allow such a tragedy to happen again.