Crown Nominated Books

The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in the Game of Life

By Kwame Alexander, Illustrated by Thai Neave

You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives? Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.

Nominated

2018-2019 Crown Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

ISBN# 978-0544570979 (HB)

The Somewhat True Adventures of Sammy Shine

By Henry Cole, Illustrated by Henry Cole

When Sammy Shine’s plane takes off unexpectedly, he ends up in a whole new world; no longer does he live in comfort in his shoebox in Hank’s room. Now he’s lost in the woods, with no way to get home and a dangerous new enemy. Fortunately, a group of new friends, including a mouse, an injured crow, a newt, and a shrew, will help him find and repair his plane so he can try to get back home.

Nominated

2018-2019 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.1

Published by Peachtree Publishers, Ltd

ISBN# 978-1561458660 (HB)

Adventures with Waffles

By Maria Parr

Hardly a day passes without Trille and Lena inventing some kind of adventure that often ends in trouble. Whether it’s coaxing a cow onto a boat or sledding down the steepest and iciest hill with a chicken, there is always a thrill and sometimes an injury to be had. Trille loves to share everything with Lena, even Auntie Granny’s waffles. But when Lena has to move away and Auntie Granny leaves the world, it sometimes seems like nothing will ever be right again. The warmth of friendship and the support of family suffuse this lightly illustrated novel, proving that when times are tough, a little taste of sweetness can make all the difference.

Nominated

2017-2018 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.8

Published by Candlewick Press

ISBN# 978-0763672812 (HB)

Angel Tree

By Daphne Benedis-Grab

Every Christmas in the small town of Pine River, a tree appears in the town square—the Angel Tree. Some people tie wishes to the tree, while others make those wishes come true. Nobody’s ever known where the tree comes from, but the mystery has always been part of the tradition’s charm. This year, however, four kids who have been helped—Lucy, Joe, Max, and Cami—are determined to solve the mystery and find out the true identity of the town’s guardian angel, so that Pine River can finally thank the person who brought the Angel Tree to their town.

Nominated

2017-2018 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.7

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-0545613781 (HB)

Another Day as Emily

By Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Eleven-year-old Suzy just can’t win. Her brother is a local hero for calling 911 after seeing their elderly neighbor collapse, and only her best friend was able to win a role in the play they both auditioned for. Feeling cast aside from all angles, Suzy sees a kindred spirit in Emily Dickinson, the subject of her summer project. Suzy decides to escape from her disappointments by emulating the poet’s life of solitude: no visitors or phone calls (only letters delivered through her window), no friends (except her goldfish, Ottilie), and no outings (except church, but only if she can wear her long white Emily dress). But being a recluse is harder than Suzy predicted. Will she find a way to fold Emily into her life while also remaining true to herself?

Nominated

2017-2018 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.2

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN# 978-0449809884 (PB)

Dash

By Kirby Larson

Although Mitsi Kashino and her family are swept up in the wave of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mitsi never expects to lose her home—or her beloved dog, Dash. But, as World War II rages and people of Japanese descent are forced into incarceration camps, Mitsi is separated from Dash, her classmates, and life as she knows it. The camp is a crowded and unfamiliar place, whose dusty floors, seemingly endless lines, and barbed wire fences begin to unravel the strong Kashino family ties. With the help of a friendly neighbor back home, Mitsi remains connected to Dash in spite of the hard times, holding on to the hope that the war will end soon and life will return to normal. Though they’ve lost their home, will the Kashino family also lose their sense of family? And will Mitsi and Dash ever be reunited?

Nominated

2017-2018 Crown Award

Reading Level: 3.9

Published by Scholastic, Inc.

ISBN# 978-0545416368 (PB)

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

By Laurie Ann Thompson, Illustrated by Sean Qualls

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Nominated

2017-2018 Crown Award

Reading Level: 4.4

Published by Schwartz & Wade

ISBN# 978-0449817452 (HB)

Enormous Smallness: The Story of E.E. Cummings

By Matthew Burgess, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

This introduction to the life and work of the twentieth-century American writer highlights key moments in his creative development, shares insights about his beliefs, and introduces some of his signature poems.

Nominated

2017-2018 Crown Award

Reading Level: 5.2

Published by Enchanted Lion Books

ISBN# 978-1592701711 (HB)