Lamplighter Nominated Books

The School for Whatnots

By Margaret Peterson Haddix

In this futuristic thriller, fifth grader Max searches for his best friend who disappeared after leaving behind a strange note.


2023-2024 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.3

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

ISBN# 978-0062838490 (HB)

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The Star that Always Stays

By Anna Rose Johnson

In Michigan in 1914, fourteen-year-old Norvia longs for her old home on Beaver Island where she could be proud of her Ojibwe hertiage. Now she has to contend with a new school, a blended family and being forced to pretend she’s not Native at all.


2023-2024 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.9

Published by Holiday House

ISBN# 978-0823450404 (HB)

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From the Desk of Zoe Washington

By Janae Marks

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance.


2022-2023 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 4.4

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

ISBN# 978-0062875853 (HB)

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By Polly Farquhar

Isaac’s sixth-grade year gets off to a rough start. For one thing, a tornado tears the roof off the school cafeteria. His mother leaves on a two-month business trip to China. And as always. . . . there’s the itch.

Drawing on her own experiences with idiopathic angioedema and food allergies, Polly Farquhar spins a tale of kids trying to balance the desire to be ordinary with the need to be authentic–allergies, itches, confusion and all.


2022-2023 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 4.1

Published by Holiday House

ISBN# 978-0823445523 (HB)

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By Gordon Korman

Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it’s woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika.

Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing?

The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face. It seems the crimes of the present may be connected to crimes of the past.…


2022-2023 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.3

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-1338629118 (HB)

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Prairie Lotus

By Linda Sue Park

Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople’s almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.


2022-2023 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 5.2

Published by Clarion Books

ISBN# 978-1328781505 (HB)

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By S.J. Dahlstrom

Wilder is back on his grandad’s ranch in West Texas and a run-in with his dangerous neighbor, Saul, spins Wilder’s head like the blizzard that hits the ranch the day before Thanksgiving. Along with his sister, Molly, Wilder must rethink his ideas about what a trophy is, and how he relates to the wild landscape around him.


2022-2023 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 0.0

Published by Paul Dry Books

ISBN# 978-1589881433 (PB)

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Wild River

By Rodman Philbrick

Daniel Redmayne is fast asleep on the first night of a white water rafting trip, when he’s awoken by screams. The dam has failed. The river is surging, and their camp will be under water in a matter of moments.

As the shrieking roar of the river rushes closer, the kids scramble to higher ground. They make it; their counselors do not.

Now they’re on their own, with barely any food or supplies, in the middle of the Montana wilderness. Do Daniel and his four classmates have what it takes to stay alive until they can get rescued? Alone in the wild, they forge powerful bonds—but develop dangerous disagreements. If nature doesn’t break them, they might just destroy each other.


2022-2023 Lamplighter Award

Reading Level: 4.2

Published by Scholastic Press

ISBN# 978-1338647273 (HB)

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