Lamplighter Nominated Books


By J.J. and Chris Grabenstein

Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper’s hero—astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse—but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she’s just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad’s new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn’t fit in.


2021-2022 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 4.4

Published by Random House

ISBN# 9781524717667 (HB)

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Things Seen From Above

By Shelley Pearsall

April is looking for an escape from the sixth-grade lunch hour, which has become a social-scene nightmare, so she signs up to be a “buddy bench monitor” for the fourth graders’ recess. Joey Byrd is a boy on the fringes, who wanders the playground alone, dragging his foot through the dirt. But over time, April realizes that Joey isn’t just making random circles. When you look at his designs from above, a story emerges… Joey’s “bird’s eye” drawings reveal what he observes and thinks about every day.


2021-2022 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.2

Published by Alfred A. Knopf

ISBN# 9781524717391 (HB)

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Words on Fire

By Jennifer A. Nielsen

Danger is never far from Audra’s family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian—they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous. In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra’s parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate.


2021-2022 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.6

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 9781338275476 (HB)

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The Turnover

By Mike Lupica

Gramps is Lucas’s hero, which is second only to the fact that he is also Lucas’s basketball coach. Gramps coached the team to victory in the championships last year, and when he decides to come out of retirement to coach another season, Lucas is thrilled. This season will absolutely be the greatest yet. So when his English teacher challenges the class to write a biography of the person they most admire, Lucas can’t think of anyone he’d rather write about. Except…Gramps is being cagey. He avoids every question Lucas asks, and gets angry every time Lucas brings up his past as a hotshot basketball player. Lucas can’t help but wonder—is there something Gramps is trying to hide? And if there is, will Lucas be prepared to face the truth about the man he thought he knew? With basketball championships fast approaching, time is running out for Lucas to decide.


2021-2022 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 4.8

Published by Simon & Schuster

ISBN# 9781534421585 (HB)

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Courageous: A Novel of Dunkirk

By Yona Zeldis McDonough

Aiden has been afraid of the ocean since his brother’s ship was sunk by the Germans. Then the call comes in: British forces are stranded at Dunkirk, and they need help from civilian boats.


2020-2021 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.1

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-1338226850 (HB)

A Ray of Light

By Walter Wick, Illustrated by Walter Wick

The wonder of light has fascinated readers for ages. Walter Wick’s mesmerizing photographs paired with simple yet fascinating text and scientific observations help readers understand the secrets and complexity of light.


2020-2021 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 6.9

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-0439165877 (HB)

An Invisible Thread Young Readers Edition

By Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski

On one rainy afternoon, on a crowded New York City street corner, eleven-year-old Maurice met Laura. Maurice asked Laura for spare change because he was hungry, and something made Laura stop and ask Maurice if she could take him to lunch. Maurice and Laura went to lunch together, and also bought ice cream cones and played video games. It was the beginning of an unlikely and magical friendship that changed both of their lives forever.


2020-2021 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.2

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

ISBN# 978-1534437272 (HB)

Library on Wheels

By Sharlee Glenn

Mary Lemist Titcomb (1852–1932) was always looking for ways to improve her library. As librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, Titcomb was concerned that the library was not reaching all the people it could. She was determined that everyone should have access to the library—not just adults and those who lived in town. Realizing its limitations and inability to reach the county’s 25,000 rural residents, including farmers and their families, Titcomb set about to change the library system forever with the introduction of book-deposit stations throughout the country, a children’s room in the library, and her most revolutionary idea of all—a horse-drawn Book Wagon. Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea had received widespread support. The bookmobile was born!


2020-2021 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 6.3

Published by Harry N. Abrams

ISBN# 978-1419728754 (HB)