Illinois State Awards Book Lists and Nominees

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Illinois Monarch Award – Illinois’ K-3 Readers Choice Award Nominees

See Book List    2022

See Book List    2023

Illinois Bluestem Award – Illinois’ Readers Choice Award Nominees

See Book List    2022

See Book List    2023

Illinois Lincoln Award – Illinois’ Teen Readers Choice Award Nominees

See Book List    2022

See Book List    2023

Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award Nominees

See Book List    2022

See Book List    2023

 

In the summer of 2002, several past presidents of ISLMA discussed the need for a K-3 children’s book award. The ISLMA Board established a work group to investigate creation of such an award. In April 2003, ISLMA approved the establishment and support of The Monarch Award: Illinois’ K-3 Readers’ Choice Award. The name Monarch was chosen because of its familiarity to K-3 children and to symbolize the growth, change and freedom that becoming a reader brings. The Monarch is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children’s books, authors and illustrators. The program is open to all K-3 age children in Illinois

In the spring of 2008, the ISLMA board approved establishing a committee to explore the possibility of a new book award that would fit between the Monarch and Rebecca Caudill Awards. Interested library media specialists met in June, and an outline of the proposed new award was presented to the board in August. In September, a survey about the new award was conducted, and 92% of respondents favored the creation of a new award. The ISLMA board approved the new award at their October meeting. The award is designed for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles. Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the The Bluestem Award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists.

The Lincoln Award is given to the book from that year’s master list that earns the highest number of student votes. For a book to reach the master list, adult and young adult fiction and nonfiction titles must be nominated by teachers or librarians and vetted by the nominations committee. While the popularity of a particular title is important, the overall quality of the work is of primary importance. Each year, a panel of high school librarians, teachers, public librarians and students determines the final master list of twenty titles. Registered schools promote these books, and students who have read four or more titles are eligible to vote.  This program encourages teens to read for pleasure and to become lifelong readers. Named after former President Abraham Lincoln, an avid reader and noted author, the Lincoln Award is sponsored by AISLE and administered by the steering committee.

The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools. The award is named in honor of Rebecca Caudill who lived and wrote in Urbana, Illinois, for nearly 50 years. The award is given in recognition for her literary talent and the universal appeal of her books which have touched the hearts of many children and young adults.