I know, I know, 2009 seems a bit far off to be blogging about, but nominees for next year’s Nutmeg Book Awards have been announced! For those of you scratching your heads and asking, “What are the Nutmegs?” I’ll give a brief explanation of this wonderful statewide award:
“The Nutmeg Book Award encourages children in grades 4-8 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of ten nominated titles. Jointly sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) and the Connecticut Association of Media Specialists (CASL), the Nutmeg Committee is comprised of children’s librarians and school library media specialists who are members of our sponsoring organizations.
All books nominated for the award must be:
- A work of fiction, with appeal for readers in grades 4-6; 7-8 respectively.
- Copyrighted in the United States, and first published no more than five years from date of selection;
- Currently in print, and available in paper back;
- Well-written, with strong characterization, a vivid setting, striking language, a well-constructed plot, and a plausible conclusion.” –www.nutmegaward.org
There are two lists of 10 nominees–Intermediate and Teen. The two lists are targeted toward 4th – 6th graders; 7th – 8th graders respectively. However, if a child has read 1 or more books on either list, the child may vote for that level.
Basically, kids can read one, two, three, or all ten of the nominated books and then they can vote on their pick for the best book. The nominees are chosen by two different committees (one for Intermediate, one for Teen) whose members read widely (~130 books in 10 months) and whittle down each list to ten nominees.
And so…without further ado…here are the nominees:
2009 Intermediate Nominees
Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone
As page to Captain John Smith, 11 year-old Samuel Collier witnesses the dealings of the Virginia Company, the Powhatan tribe, and even young Pocahontas during the early days of the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.
Close Encounters of a Third World Kind by Jennifer J. Stewart
12 year-old Annie’s world is turned upside when her father agrees to move the entire family to Nepal on a medical mission. She makes new friends, learns some important lessons, and has adventures that change her life.
Eager by Helen Fox
Would you like to live in the future where robots do all the work? All Gavin and Fleur wanted was a normal robot. Instead they have Eager, who creates more problems than he solves.
Free Baseball by Sue Corbett
Desperate to connect with his absent father, 11 year-old Felix becomes the batboy for a minor league baseball team in the hope of learning more about his famous father’s game.
Golden and Grey by Louise Arnold
Tom escapes the school bullies by teaming up with an invisible ghost.
Gossamer by Lois Lowry
This haunting story explores the mystery of dreams. Littlest One, a young Dreamgiver, tries to stop the frightening Sinisteeds from delivering nightmares.
The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
Who wouldn’t love a machine that does homework for you? Can four unlikely friends keep the biggest secret of their lives?
MVP by Douglas Evans
Adam Story is chosen as a player in the MVP challenge. To win the four million dollar prize, Adam must circle the world in forty days – no flying allowed. Competing against other players through time zones and across continents, he faces danger and unknown risks. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach
When Hero starts sixth grade at a new school, she meets Danny Cardova, the most popular boy. They work together to solve the mystery of the missing million dollar diamond that’s hidden somewhere in Hero’s house.
Three Good Deeds by Vivian Vande Velde
Howard’s troublemaking backfires when he steals the eggs of a goose belonging to a witch. The witch gives him a dose of his own medicine! Maybe life as a prankster isn’t all it’s quacked up to be.
2009 Teen Nominees
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Moose struggles with troublemaking, providing care for his needy sister, and handling family life on the island prison of Alcatraz.
Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
After Nadira’s father, an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh, is arrested, her older sister grows more sorrowful with each passing day. Nadira, no longer living in her sophisticated sister’s shadow, must cope with the difficulties of being a Muslim in post-9/11 America.
The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer
For Enola Holmes, investigating mysteries runs in the family, including her own mother’s disappearance. When her elder brother Sherlock determines she should attend a prim boarding school, she resolves to escape and solve the mystery herself.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Since her father’s injury, DJ Schwenk has been doggedly running her family’s dairy farm. But the summer before 11th grade, the rival school’s football coach sends his stuck-up, lazy quarterback, Brian, to help DJ out on the farm. DJ finds herself coaching Brian, and she starts to wonder if there is more out there for her than farm work .
Day of Tears by Julius Lester
Husbands and wives are torn apart, young children are separated from their parents, and life long friendships are instantly ended. Over the course of three days in 1859, more than 400 slaves were sold to pay one man’s gambling debts. This riveting book tells their stories.
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
This novel asks the question: what happens to us when we die? When Liz Hall dies at fifteen, she discovers Elsewhere, an afterlife where people and animals age backwards until they are reborn again. But Liz desperately wants to grow up, fall in love, and get her driver’s license, not rewind to fourteen!
Heat by Mike Lupica
What can a 12 year-old Cuban immigrant do when he dreams of pitching in the Little League World Series, only to be benched? Michael Arroyo relies on his best friend, Manny Cabrera, his neighbor Mrs. Cora, and the mysterious new girl pitcher he meets practicing in the shadow of Yankee Stadium.
The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
When Antsy Bonano and his friends discover that fellow 8th grade classmate Calvin Schwa can become invisible, they use the knowledge to hatch a money making plot. What begins as a surefire scheme turns into something else, as you weave through this funny, yet thought provoking journey with Cal, Antsy, and Lexie.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
When Tally turns sixteen, she will transition from an Ugly to a Pretty, receiving society’s mandated plastic surgery to look like everyone else; model beautiful. But before her brithday, she meets some Uglies who have never had the surgery. And they have a secret to share with her …
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
A demonic bear has killed Torak’s father, and Torak, a stone-age boy, must destroy the beast. On his journey he finds an orphan wolf cub and learns they can communicate with each other. Now both orphans are on a perilous journey to defeat evil.
Well, there you have it. For printable lists of the nominees, go to the Nutmeg website: www.nutmegaward.org.
If you have questions about any of the nominees feel free to ask. I just spent a very happy month reading them all!
Have a wonderful week!
~Tricia is the youth librarian at the OWL and loves taking walks, cross stitching, waking up early and reading quality children’s literature.