2018 Caudill Award Nominees

This was my first year as a member of the RCYRBA evaluators committee. Here are the books we chose, narrowed down from hundreds of nominations put forward by students, librarians, and teachers throughout Illinois:

  1. Roller Girl
  2. Full Cicada Moon
  3. Goodbye Stranger
  4. Last in a Long Line of Rebels
  5. Listen, Slowly
  6. Awkward
  7. Drowned City
  8. I Will Always Write Back
  9. Hour of the Bees
  10. A Night Divided
  11. I Am Princess X
  12. The Boy on the Wooden Box
  13. The Seventh Most Important Thing
  14. Beneath
  15. The Bitter Side of Sweet
  16. Fuzzy Mud
  17. Book Scavenger
  18. House Arrest
  19. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
  20. Orbiting Jupiter

I’ve listed them roughly in order of my own personal preference – Roller Girl and Full Cicada Moon were my absolute favorites!

It’s a genuine thrill to be a part of this committee, and it’s a responsibility I take very seriously. 4th-8th graders all over the state of Illinois will read these books, and I tried really really hard to influence the rest of the committee to give those kids a list worthy of their time and effort.

The lack of diversity on the list is my biggest disappointment, and by that I mean diversity of all kinds: not just the race of the main character, but their religion and socioeconomic status. The race and religion of the author. The length of the book, and the difficulty of it. The genre. The format. The style. For the most part, these books are racially white realistic fiction, and that bums me out – but this is a list that depends 100% on nominations, so I’m doing what I can to push for a more diverse nomination pool for next year’s list. If you are a student, teacher, school librarian, or public librarian working or living in the state of Illinois, let me know! I can help you nominate some books!

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#alayma – the Oscars of Books (now with more gifs!)

The list of winners is, in every way, DIVERSE. Formats; creator backgrounds; character abilities; stylistic choices.

bill nye

We NEED diverse books, and this is IMPORTANT EVIDENCE that #wndb is INSPIRING REAL CHANGE.
it's happening

Crowd reactions:

“The committee has chosen six Caldecott Honors”

seinfeld dance

“The committee has chosen two Newbery Honors”

cake

“Brown Girl Dreaming wins a Newbery HonorĀ – you heard me. Honor.”

moss

“And the Newbery Award goes to: The Crossover, a *different* novel in verse!”

wow awwwwwesome

I am super-duper jazzed about the Caldecott winner, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. A gorgeous book that kids will love for years to come!

Bravo to all committees on a job VERY WELL DONE!

beekle