Book awards for students, voted on by students


There are a number of awards that an author can receive. The American Library Association has an entire category of awards that they present annually called the Youth Media Awards, which include the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book awards, to name a few.

I participate regularly as a judge for the Audie Awards, which honors the best titles in audio publishing and is given by the Audio Publishers Association. Even the world of graphic novels and comics is celebrated annually through the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

However, most of those awards that I named above are judged solely by adults and their interpretation of the works. A special book recognition that is granted exclusively through students and by students is the Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Award. From the nominations to the voting and the announcement of the winners, the entire process is selected by Ohio students in grades K-12, with only limited guidance or assistance from teachers and librarians representing those students.

The Buckeye Book Awards are designed to encourage students in Ohio to read literature critically, to promote involvement from teachers and librarians in young adult literature, and to commend the authors who write it. Nominations are always being accepted, with only a small criteria – published within the last two years, and not a previous winner.

The top nominations are posted in April, and students are given the entire summer to read the nominees, encourage their friends to read them, nominate any additional books, and prepare to vote.

Voting opens Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 10. So even if your young reader is just discovering the Buckeye Book Awards, there is still plenty of time to read before voting closes. In fact, Delaware Library Teen Librarian Shannon will discuss all the middle-grade nominees (grades 5-8) during her Nov. 2 virtual meeting of the Middle School Book Club. The group meets via Zoom at 3 p.m., and interested students can register online through the library’s website or Strengthening Families.

The middle-grade nominees make up my recommendations for this week. Get your copy from any Delaware library location, or request it via our app. If you haven’t downloaded the new Delaware County District Library app yet, just search our name in your mobile device’s app store, available on iOS or Android platforms.

• “Supernova” (Amulet #8) by Kazu Kibuishi. Emily has lost control of her Amulet and is imprisoned in the Void, where she must find a way to escape the influence of the Voice. Meanwhile, Emily’s brother, Navin, travels to Lighthouse One, a space station where the Resistance is preparing to battle the approaching Shadow forces that would drain planet Alledia of all its resources. Emily and Navin must be smarter and stronger than ever to ensure Alledia’s survival.

• “Front Desk” by Kelly Yang. After emigrating from China, ten-year-old Mia Tang’s parents take a job managing a rundown motel, despite the nasty owner, Mr. Yao, who exploits them, while she works the front desk and tries to cope with fitting in at her school. Look for a follow-up novel, “Three Keys,” to hit the shelves this December.

• “Grenade” by Alan Gratz. A follow-up to the best-selling “Refugee” follows the dual experiences of two young soldiers, one Japanese and one American, who struggle for survival on battle-torn Okinawa before their encounter with one another leads to fateful choices for both.

• “Guts” by Raina Telgemeier. Developing a chronic stomachache that she initially dismisses as a bug, young Raina discovers that her symptoms are related to her anxieties about school, food and changing friendships, in a story based on the Eisner Award-winning author’s childhood.

• “Inkling” by Kenneth Oppel. When an inkblot, who can write, listen, learn, and draw, jumps out of Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook, Ethan believes he may be the answer to their problems and names him Inkling.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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