Crown Nominated Books

I Love You, Michael Collins

By Lauren Baratz-Logsted

It’s 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie’s class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong (“So cute!”) and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin (“So cool!”). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else’s dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what’s going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her―until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can’t help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore?


2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.1

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN# 978-0374303853 (HB)

Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat’s Foster Mom

By Suzi Eszterhas, Illustrated by Suzi Eszterhas

Moto and Me tells the remarkable firsthand story of wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas’s care for an orphaned baby serval—a small, spotted wildcat—in Kenya. When a grass fire separates the serval from his family, a ranger asks Suzi, who is living in a bush camp and is skilled with animals, to be the serval’s foster mom.


2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.3

Published by Owlkids

ISBN# 978-1771472425 (HB)

The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library

By Linda Bailey, Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson

Eddie is a tiny green bug who loves to read and who lives behind the chalkboard in the fourth-grade classroom with his parents, his 53 brothers and sisters, and his aunt Min. But when Aunt Min goes to the school library to read a book and never returns, Eddie leaves the comfort of his home for the first time and makes the dangerous trek through Ferny Creek Elementary School to find her. After dodging running sneakers, falling books, and terrifying spiders, Eddie reaches the library, where he discovers Aunt Min stuck in a perilous situation! To top it all off, there’s a substitute librarian who aims to close the library for good and get rid of all the books!


2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.7

Published by Greenwillow Books

ISBN# 978-0062440938 (HB)

Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge

By Kristin L. Gray

Being responsible is NOT easy. Fourth grader Vilonia hasn’t lost her rain coat in the three weeks she’s had it and she’s brushed her teeth every night andshe’s volunteered to be the Friday Library Helper. But all that hard work is worth it if it means she can get a dog. Besides, this dog isn’t just because Vilonia has wanted one for pretty much ever. It’s also to help Mama, who’s been lost in one, big sadness fog for forty-three days—ever since Nana died. But Vilonia read that pets can help with sadness. Now all she has to do is keep the library goldfish alive over spring break, stop bringing stray animals home, and help Mama not get fired from her job. And she’s got to do all of it before the Catfish Festival. Easy as pie, right?


2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.3

Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

ISBN# 978-1481458429 (HB)


By Katherine Applegate, Illustrated by Charles Santoso

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.


2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.2

Published by Feiwel & Friends; First Edition edition

ISBN# 978-1250043221 (HB)

Zack and the Turkey Attack

By Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Illustrated by Vivienne

Zack has a problem. A turkey problem. A TOM turkey to be exact. Every weekend Zack goes to his grandparents’ farm with his father. As soon as he and his dad pull up in the truck, that ol’ Tom turkey’s right there, waiting, ready to peck, peck, peck at Zack’s legs. Now, Zack isn’t usually a scaredy-cat but this is different. The bird is flat out mean, and has clearly got it out for Zack.


2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.9

Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

ISBN# 978-1481437790 (HB)

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion

By Chris Barton, Illustrated by Victo Ngai

During World War I, British and American ships were painted with bold colors and crazy patterns from bow to stern. Why would anyone put such eye-catching designs on ships? Desperate to protect ships from German torpedo attacks, British lieutenant-commander Norman Wilkinson proposed what became known as dazzle. These stunning patterns and colors were meant to confuse the enemy about a ship’s speed and direction. By the end of the war, more than four thousand ships had been painted with these mesmerizing designs.


2018-2019 Crown Award

Reading Level: 6.1

Published by Millbrook Press

ISBN# 978-1512410143 (HB)

Elsie Mae Has Something to Say

By Nancy Cavanaugh

Elsie Mae is pretty sure this’ll be the best summer ever. She gets to explore the cool, quiet waters of the Okefenokee Swamp around her grandparents’ house with her new dog, Huck, and she’s written a letter to President Roosevelt that she’s confident will save the swamp from a shipping company and make her a major hometown hero. Then, news reaches Elsie Mae of some hog bandits stealing from swamper families, and she sees another opportunity to make her family proud while waiting to hear back from the White House. But when her cousin Henry James, who dreams of one day becoming a traveling preacher like his daddy, shows up and just about ruins her investigation with his ‘Hallelujahs,’ Elsie Mae will learn the hard way what it really means to be a hero.


2018-2019 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

ISBN# 978-1492640226 (HB)