Nominated Books

The Horseback Librarians

By Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Alexandra Badiu

There were no libraries in the backwoods of Kentucky in the 1930s. Librarians there and throughout the South delivered books to families by horseback and mule, sleeping outdoors or sheltering in barns when they could, going from farm to farm in remote areas. In this story, a woman named Anna Mary stands in for all the real-life horseback librarians who helped keep the love of books alive in Appalachia during the Great Depression.


2024-2025 Gallery Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Albert Whitman & Company

ISBN# 978-0807562918 (HB)

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The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

By J.D. Peabody

When their father goes missing after a mysterious train crash, Everett and his little sister Bea find a curious pen in his belongings, and its magical Ink begins to rewrite their once-ordinary lives. The Ink leads them to a world they never knew existed—one teeming with impossible magic, formidable allies, and villains who are determined to destroy everything they hold dear. Together, Everett and Bea embark on an adventure through secret tunnels in England and Scotland to find and protect the last Inkwell, and ultimately to save their father. But in order to do so, Everett must find a way to tap into the most magical power of all: his courage. Perfect for fans of The Silver Arrow, the Bookwanderers, and Inkheart, this classic battle of good and evil pits creativity against the forces that would seek to blot it out for good.


2024-2025 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by WorthyKids

ISBN# 978-1546001980 (HB)

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The Songs of a Warrior: Saul and David

By Katy Morgan

This dramatic retelling of the accounts of the first two kings of Israel follows the intertwining stories of Jonathan, Saul, David and Michal documented in 1 and 2 Samuel.In this imaginative yet biblically faithful book, readers will find themselves immersed in the hearts and minds of the key players as they experience battles, intrigue, plots, betrayal, love, and friendship.


2024-2025 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by The Good Book Company

ISBN# 978-1784988173 (PB)

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By Varsha Bajaj

Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity—an act that Minni accidentally witnesses one night. Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet and there’s even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses. Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?


2024-2025 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 4.4

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

ISBN# 978-0593354391 (PB, HB)

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This Seats Saved

By Heather Holleman

At the start of 7th grade, Elita Brown’s friends enjoy their seats at the popular lunchroom table. Meanwhile, Elita hides in the bathroom. This is not how she envisioned middle school. And her omission from the popular table is only the beginning of her problems. What will she do when she’s terrorized by the meanest girl in school and accused of a crime she didn’t commit? Elita befriends an older couple living in the woods and gains confidence through her project on the red fox. Will Elita find her way and take her seat at the best table? Full of suspense and divine moments, readers will be captivated by this story.


2024-2025 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Moody Publishers

ISBN# 978-0802428868 (PB)

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Wild Ride (Adapted for Young Readers)

By Hayley Arceneaux

In this adaptation of her heartfelt memoir, especially inspiring for middle-grade readers, Arceneaux shares the details of her wild ride with never-before-told stories written especially for kids coming to this edition. Arceneaux not only tells readers what it was like to go to space—from training in a fighter jet to lifting off in a Dragon capsule—but she also offers stories from her childhood: things that she faced at the hospital when going through cancer treatment, what she had to overcome when she went back to school, and the courage it took to dream big dreams for her teenage and adult years.


2024-2025 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Convergent Books

ISBN# 978-0593443880 (HB)

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Rez Dogs

By Joseph Bruchac

When the COVID-19 pandemic starts, Malian, a young Wabanaki girl, is quarantined with her grandparents on the reservation, where she befriends a local dog and learns about her people’s history.


2023-2024 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.1

Published by Dial Books

ISBN# 978-0593326213 (HB)

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By Jennifer A. Nielsen

Meg Kenyon races to save her father and aid the French resistance in this World War II story of espionage and intrigue.


2023-2024 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.2

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-1338621013 (HB)

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