Crown Nominated Books

Squirrel in the Museum

By Viviann Vande Velde, Illustrated by Steve Björkman

When Twitch hears that the school children are taking a field trip to the science museum, he decides he wants to join in the fun—so he stows away on the school bus and hides in a backpack to get in. But as always, not everyone is glad to see a squirrel in their midst. Pursued by security guards, Twitch turns the exhibits into his own private carnival rides—swinging on a Foucault pendulum, riding a model Mars Rover, and skittering across the Bernoulli air pressure table. Just when it seems like there’s no escape, Twitch’s chaotic romp turns up some surprises for the museum staff. . . and a friendly boy in a wheelchair saves the day for the squirrel, sneaking him back out.


2021-2022 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.3

Published by Holiday House

ISBN# 9780823441679 (HB)

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Squirreled Away (The Dead Sea Squirrels)

By Mike Nawrocki, Illustrated by Luke Séguin-Magee

In the first installment of this hilarious new chapter-book series, ten-year-old Michael and his friend Justin sneak into the Dead Sea caves near the archaeological dig where Michael’s dad is working. Michael finds two 2,000-year-old squirrels petrified in sea salt. Hijinks ensue as Michael tries to bring them back to the U. S., hidden in his backpack. What Michael thinks are just cool souvenirs may turn out to be something much more! The Dead Sea Squirrels series is humorous, fun, and filled with character-building lessons.


2021-2022 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.3

Published by Tyndale Kids

ISBN# 9781496434982 (PB)

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Trouble at Table 5: Busted by Breakfast

By Tom Watson, Illustrated by Marta Kissi

Simon always has a lot to say. And sometimes he can’t stop talking—even in the middle of class. When Simon gets in trouble for jabbering at school, his best friends, Molly and Rosie, think up a plan to keep him from getting grounded at home! It involves cars, suds, and pink plastic flamingos! But will their big plan turn into an even bigger disaster?


2021-2022 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.5

Published by Harper Collins

ISBN# 9780062953445 (HB)

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William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad

By Don Tate

William Still’s parents escaped slavery but had to leave two of their children behind, a tragedy that haunted the family. As a young man, William went to work for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where he raised money, planned rescues, and helped freedom seekers who had traveled north. And then one day, a strangely familiar man came into William’s office, searching for information about his long-lost family. Could it be?


2021-2022 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Peachtree

ISBN# 9781561459353 (HB)

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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?


2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.3

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-0545914246 (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.


2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.2

Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

ISBN# 978-1534412156 (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.


2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.5

Published by Peachtree Publishing Company C

ISBN# 978-1561459346 (HB)

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?


2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.1

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-0545840750 (HB)