Crown Nominated Books

Who Are You Calling Weird?

By Marilyn Singer, Illustrated by Paul Daviz

Celebrate the weird, wonderful, and the downright bizarre in this compelling compendium of unusual animals. From the green fur of a three-toed sloth, to the pink and wiggly appendage of the star-nosed mole, there’s something new to marvel at on every page.

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Words & Pictures

ISBN# 978-0760363393 (HB)

The Friendship War

By Andrew Clements

Grace and Ellie have been best friends since second grade. Ellie’s always right in the center of everything—and Grace is usually happy to be Ellie’s sidekick. But what happens when everything changes? This time it’s Grace who suddenly has everyone’s attention when she accidentally starts a new fad at school. It’s a fad that has first her class, then her grade, and then the entire school collecting and trading and even fighting over . . . buttons?! A fad that might also get her in major trouble and could even be the end of Grace and Ellie’s friendship. Because Ellie’s not used to being one-upped by anybody. There’s only one thing for Grace to do. With the help of Hank—the biggest button collector in the sixth grade—she will have to figure out a way to end the fad once and for all. But once a fad starts, can it be stopped?

Nominated

2020-2021 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.0

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

ISBN# 978-0399557590 (HB)

A Boy Called Bat

By Elana K. Arnold, Illustrated by Charles Santoso

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

Nominated

2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.6

Published by Walden Pond Press

ISBN# 978-0062445827 (HB)

Confessions from the Principal’s Kid

By Robin Mellom

During the school day, fifth-grader Allie West is an outsider. Everyone knows the principal’s kid might tattle to her mom! But after school, Allie is an insider. She’s friendly with the janitor, knows the shortest routes around the building, and hangs out with the Afters, a group of misfits whose parents are teachers at their school. Although Allie secretly loves her insider life, she’s sick of being an outsider—so she vows to join the Pentagon, the popular math team led by her ex–best friend. But can Allie change her status without betraying where she really belongs?

Nominated

2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.9

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

ISBN# 978-0544813793 (HB)

Ellie, Engineer

By Jackson Pearce, Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning

Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet, all while keeping a secret from Kit?

Nominated

2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.5

Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

ISBN# 978-1681195193 (HB)

The Hiding Game

By Gwen Strauss, Illustrated by Herb Leonhard

At their new home in the Villa Air-Bel, Aube and her family are used to things being hidden. Among the secrets kept at the château are a radio, a cow, and—most secret of all—Aube herself. Even with the threat of Nazi capture looming over their heads, life at the villa has been colorful for the refugees awaiting their escape to safety. Joined by writers, musicians, artists, and great thinkers like Marc Chagall and Max Ernst, Aube spends each day singing, playing games, and creating art. Together, this lively congregation are able to fight back fear and hatred with bravery and laughter—not just for young Aube, but for themselves as well.

Nominated

2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN# 978-1455622658 (HB)

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?

Nominated

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.

Nominated

2019-2020 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.3

Published by Owlkids

ISBN# 978-1771472425 (HB)