Nominated Books

Code Word Courage

By Kirby Larson

Billie has lived with her great-aunt ever since her mom passed away and her dad left. Billie’s big brother, Leo, is about to leave, too, for the warfront. But first, she gets one more weekend with him at the ranch. Billie’s surprised when Leo brings home a fellow Marine from boot camp, Denny. She has so much to ask Leo—about losing her best friend and trying to find their father—but Denny, who is Navajo, or Diné, comes with something special: a gorgeous, but injured, stray dog. As Billie cares for the dog, whom they name Bear, she and Bear grow deeply attached to each other. Soon enough, it’s time for Leo and Denny, a Navajo Code Talker, to ship out. Billie does her part for the war effort, but she worries whether Leo and Denny will make it home, whether she’ll find a new friend, and if her father will ever come back. Can Bear help Billie—and Denny—find what’s most important?

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.1

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-0545840750 (HB)

Best Family Ever

By Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell

Brooke is the perfect older sister. For that reason, Kari and Ashley work hard to make their parents just as proud of them as they are of Brooke. Each girl has her own talents. Brooke is an excellent student. Kari is a great soccer player. Ashley, a talented artist. And they are always there for each other. But when the news comes that Dr. Baxter is moving the family from Ann Arbor to Bloomington, Indiana, and the Baxters need to leave the only home and friends they’ve ever known, no one is happy. Saying goodbye is hard but the family still has what’s most important—their faith and their love for each other.

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.2

Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

ISBN# 978-1534412156 (HB)

Because of the Rabbit

By Cynthia Lord

On the last night of summer, Emma tags along with her game warden father on a routine call. They’re supposed to rescue a wild rabbit from a picket fence, but instead they find a little bunny. Emma convinces her father to bring him home for the night. The next day, Emma starts public school for the very first time after years of being homeschooled. More than anything, Emma wants to make a best friend in school. But things don’t go as planned. On the first day of school, she’s paired with a boy named Jack for a project. He can’t stay on topic, he speaks out of turn, and he’s obsessed with animals. Jack doesn’t fit in, and Emma’s worried he’ll make her stand out. Emma and Jack bond over her rescue rabbit. But will their new friendship keep Emma from finding the new best friend she’s meant to have?

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.3

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-0545914246 (HB)

Carter Reads the Newspaper

By Deborah Hopkinson, Illustrated by Don Tate

Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day. When he was still a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines. There he met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history.

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.5

Published by Peachtree Publishing Company C

ISBN# 978-1561459346 (HB)

Life According to Og the Frog

By Betty G. Birney

Og the Frog has just moved into Room 26, and the place is hopping. There are lively kids, new routines, and a furry neighbor who seems to squeak all day. Luckily, everyone seems friendly and—BING, BANG, BOING!—some even put juicy crickets in his tank. But just as Og is getting used to this new life, there is talk of sending him back to the pond. Sure, he misses his friends, but now he has a lot more time for his favorite hobby—making up songs and poems—and he loves listening to his new friends and giving them encouraging BOINGS just when they need them. And there’s that steady supply of crickets . . . Og doesn’t want to say goodbye to his new life or his furry neighbor. But will his classmates decide to keep Og as their classroom pet or take him back to his old life, at the pond?

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.2

Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Reader

ISBN# 978-1524739942 (HB)

Louisiana’s Way Home

By Kate DiCamillo

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes.

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.5

Published by Candlewick Press

ISBN# 978-0763694630 (HB)

Love Does for Kids

By Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich, Illustrated by Michael Lauritano

In the same way that Love Does has struck a deep chord with adults, kids will experience God in new and thrilling ways and see that living out our faith certainly isn’t boring! With this book, children will laugh, dream, and be inspired to make a difference for God.

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Thomas Nelson

ISBN# 978-0718095222 (HB)

Saving Winslow

By Sharon Creech

Louie doesn’t have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he’s determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army. Everyone worries that Winslow won’t survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie’s bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.2

Published by HarperCollins

ISBN# 978-0062570703 (HB)