Kids & Parents

Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill

When do kids get to have their voices heard?

Most of time, adults are the ones everyone listens to.

Adults get to vote and have their say in elections.

The awards given to books (like the Newbery and Caldecott) highlight beautifully written and illustrated books, but who picks them? Adults!

Not the Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill awards though.

These are special, kid-chosen awards.

Potential titles are submitted by kids, teachers, and librarians. Committees read the books and end up picking 20 for each list.

So how do kids vote?

By reading!
Here's our Monarch Award shelving.

Let's back up and talk about who each award is geared towards.

The Monarch is for kids in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, Bluestem is for 3rd-5th grade, and Caudill is for those in 4th-8th grade.

Each list has 20 books--books that reflect a wide range of subjects, styles, and voices.

Reading books on the award lists is a wonderful way to pick up a book you might not normally try. 

Kids read (or listen to) the books on the list and fill out the booklet that's for the award they're working on.

We want kids to rate the books, 5 stars means it's their favorite!

Then circle the book that THEY think should win the award!

The Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill brochures.

Kids working on the Monarch award have to read 5 books on the list to be able to vote.

Reading the Bluestem? Read or listen to 4 of the titles on the list to vote.

Caudill readers need to read or listen to three of the listed titles to vote.

Turn in the brochure to make your vote count!

Interested in getting a copy of the winning Monarch, Bluestem, or Caudill book?

Read even more! 

If you read all 20 books on the Monarch list, you'll earn a copy of the 2022 Monarch winner.

Just make sure to read and mark off the brochure.

Bluestem readers? Read 10 of the nominated books to earn that copy of the 2022 Bluestem winner.

Kids working on the Caudill list also need to read 10 nominated titles.

Voting is open to all, from birth through 8th grade.

While each award is geared towards a particular age group, if a 5th grader wants to participate in the Monarch award, that's great!

Simply read all 20 and fill out the brochure.

Each child is limited to only earning one free book though (meaning you can't get a copy of the Bluestem and Monarch winners). 

The last day to turn in completed brochures is March 6 2022.

If you can’t get into the library, vote online here.

Not sure where to start?

Here are some of my favorites from the Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill lists. 

Federico and the Wolf book cover

Monarch nominee

Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez

Federico grabs his red hoodie and bike, and sets off to go buy ingredients and meet his Abuelo. He runs into a wolf who has other plans. A wonderful retelling of a classic.

Honeybee book cover

Monarch nomiee

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming

Bees are amazing! Join Apis as she's born, and then all the jobs she does in the hive. You'll never look at bees the same way again.

Handimals book cover

Bluestem nominee

Handimals: Animals in Art and Nature by Silvia Lopez, art by Guido Daniele

Marvel at the stunning paintings that Guido creates (on HANDS!) and learn a bit about each animal as well.

The Oldest Student book cover

Bluestem nominee

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

A book filled with Oge Mora's gorgeous illustrations, this is the true story of a woman who was born a slave. At 15 she was feed. At 114, when all the members of her family had passed away, she finally learned to read. None of us are too old to learn something!

Clean Getaway book cover

Caudill nominee

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

11-year-old Scoob and his G'ma take a road trip, following her Green Book. As they travel, he learns more about his family and his G'ma's past.

To Night Owl From Dogfish book cover

Caudill nominee

To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Told in emails and letters, this story is about two girls who fathers send them to summer camp to bond while they have a romantic trip. Determined to hate each other, the unthinkable happens--they become friends and cannot imagine not being together. So when it seems like their Dads might be breaking up, they need to find a way to keep them together.

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