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West Virginia Children's Choice Book Awards

West Virginia Children's Choice Book Award

The West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award’s stated purpose is to “enrich the lives of children grades three through six by encouraging reading books of literary quality.” Established in 1981 by teachers Joyce Lang and Patty Benedum, this program was administered through the West Virginia Children’s Book Award Committee until 2007. It is now hosted by the West Virginia Library Commission in partnership with the West Virginia Center for the Book and is located in Charleston, West Virginia.  

The West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award Committee has collected the tally sheets statewide and the results are conclusive, The 2010-2011 first place winner is Bird by Zetta Elliot, illustrated by Shadra Strickland. Its publisher Lee and Low Books focuses on children’s books from diverse perspectives. Told through text and innovative illustration, Bird, is the story of an artistic African American boy who expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother’s drug addiction and death.

The second largest vote getter was Wendy Mass’ quirky story of friends, family and tilted time, 11 Birthdays published by Scholastic Press. A beautiful picture book for all ages by prize winning author Lois Lowry, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, Crow Call was third. It is based on the author’s life in rural western Pennsylvania. Crow Call is also published by Scholastic Press. In fourth place is a powerful historical novel, Chains by acclaimed author for young adults, Laurie Halse Anderson. Published by Simon and Schuster, Chains is a powerful story of a young slave named Isabel who is caught up in the conflict between Rebels and Tories in Revolutionary New York.

Children from grades three through six read books from the 2010-2011 West Virginia’s Children’s Choice Book Award nominees list then voted for their favorite book. The award is based solely on the children’s votes and thereby allows young readers to have a voice about the types of books they enjoy and would read more often.  To read more about the winners...

The West Virginia Children’s Book Award Committee invites children grades three through six to read books from the the 2011–2012 WVCCBA Nominees list, then to vote for their favorite. In August, West Virginia teachers will begin receiving official ballots and tally sheets to submit on behalf of students, however, any child studying at these grade levels in the fall is eligible to vote.  Teachers and parents are encouraged to download materials, including ballots, bookmarks and a tally sheet from this website.  Criteria for the West Virginia Children's Choice Book Award is also available for download. 

West Virginia Children's Choice Book Award Winners listed by school year selected:

2010-2011      Bird by Zetta Elliot
2009–2010     Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
2008–2009     Maybelle in the Soup by Katie Speck
2007–2008     Witch Catcher by  Mary Downing Hahn
2006–2007     Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance by Marthe Jocelyn
2005–2006     The Haunting of Swain's Fancy by Brenda Seabrooke
2004–2005     Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine by Diane Stanley
2003–2004     No More Nasty by Amy McDonald
2002–2003     Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
2001–2002     Dork in Disguise by Carol Gorman
2000–2001     Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
1999–2000     Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel by Dav Pilkey
1998–1999     On Board the Titanic: What Was It Like When the Great Liner Sank? by Shelly Tanaka
1997–1998     Earthquake Terror by Peg Kerhet
1996–1997     Nasty, Stinky Sneakers by Eve Bunting
1995–1996     The Boys Start the War by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1994–1995     Taxi Cat and Huey by Gen LeRoy
1993–1994     Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1992–1993     Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
1991–1992     Matilda by Roald Dahl
1990–1991     There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar
1989–1990     Fudge by Charlotte Graeber
1988–1989     Class Clown by Johanna Hurwitz
1987–1988     Herbie Jones by Suzy Kline
1986–1987     Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
1985–1986     Mustard by Charlotte Graeber
1984–1985     Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

For additional information about the program in West Virginia, contact WVLC Youth Services Consultant, Suzy McGinley at