The 2017 Children & Teen Book Awards winners are:

K – 2nd Grade Book of the Year:

MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG, by Lisa Papp (Peachtree Publishers)

“Madeline Finn does not like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the local ice-cream truck. What she absolutely likes least, however, is reading aloud at school. Her teacher is encouraging (“Keep trying, Madeline”), but sometimes the other kids laugh when she makes a mistake. Worse, she never gets a star or a smiley face for her efforts, just a heart with the message “Keep Trying.” On Saturday, she and her mom pay a visit to the library. Miss Dimple the librarian knows that Madeline doesn’t like to read, but she has something special in store for her. “Madeline Finn, would you like to read to a dog?” Well, yes, Madeline says, rather tentatively. Bonnie is a big white dog who is known to be a good listener. Bonnie is very patient and doesn’t giggle when Madeline gets the letters mixed up or when the words don’t come out quite right. After that, it’s a date every Saturday, and Madeline is learning from Bonnie to go slowly and keep trying. But one day Bonnie doesn’t show up, and it’s almost Madeline’s turn to read out loud in school again. She’s scared, but Mom reminds her to “just pretend you’re reading to Bonnie.” It’s a little bumpy in class that day, but Madeline imagines that Bonnie is right next to her. She successfully finishes her page and gets her star. Papp’s realistic drawings are created in pencil and watercolor and enhanced digitally. The drawings are soft edged and somewhat muted, and they complement the mood of the story well. VERDICT The book is best suited to medium-size or large collections but will definitely be welcome at libraries with Read to a Dog programs.”—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA

3rd – 4th Grade Book of the Year:

ONCE UPON AN ELEPHANT by Linda Stanek; illus. by Shennen Bersani(Arbordale Publishing)

“I would highly recommend it to any family with kids, not only as a fun story with great illustrations, but also as a learning tool. I’m excited to have it on my shelf to share with generations to come. Great job Linda!” – Suzi Rapp, Columbus Zoo

5th – 6th Grade Book of the Year:

THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY 1: Locker Hero, by Rachel Renée Russell, with Nikki and Erin Russell (Aladdin/ Simon & Schuster)

“Poor Max Crumbly! Stuffed in his locker for the second time in one day! Thinking he might never get out, Max decides to chronicle his first two weeks of eighth grade at South Ridge Middle School in his
journal—at least then there will be a record of what happened when his body is found. Coming from seven years of homeschooling, Max dreamed of being a superhero here; instead, he’s school-bully Doug “Thug” Thurston’s new favorite target. Luckily, Erin Madison rescued Max from his first involuntary locker vacation, but the next time Thug strikes is after everyone has left for a three-day weekend. Enduring a few hours of cramped conditions, Max escapes through the back of his locker, where he crawls through ductwork, foils a robbery, and saves the school’s new computers! This wacky middle-school misadventure will delight Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates fans, particularly with its humorous tone and illustrations. ” — J. B. Petty

Teen Book of the Year:

THE CROOKED KINGDOM, by Leigh Bardugo (Henry Holt/Macmillan Children’s Publishing)

“Teens will be excited to return to Bardugo’s marvelous world, first visited in her “Grisha Trilogy” and in this duology’s previous Six of Crows. They will be treated to a visit from old friends—the graceful (and deadly) Inej; Nina, the Grisha Heartrender; Wylan, the discarded, illiterate merchant’s son; and the mysterious and vengeful Kaz. Characters from the original trilogy (most notably Stormhund, prince-turned-privateer) also make an entrance in the heart of the slums of Ketterdam. Plots to take control of the city’s underworld abound as Kaz rallies his allies and takes on the might of the rapacious merchant class and Pekka Rollins, King of the Barrel and ruler of the dregs of the city. Following the death of his brother, the antihero has surrounded himself with the castoffs of Ketterdam, all of them very young, defective in some way, and abandoned. Together they will either rule the city victoriously or fail magnificently. While it isn’t absolutely necessary to have read the other titles in Bardugo’s series, readers will be better served by this continuation if they are already familiar with the complex world and characters. This fast-paced dive into the Barrel, where fortunes are made and lost and life itself hangs in the balance, will keep readers enthralled long past bedtime. VERDICT A must-purchase for all YA collections.”—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
source: Every Child a Reader

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at
Barbara Bietz

Latest posts by Barbara Bietz (see all) BietzBook ReviewsAges and Stages,Book Reviews,Families Online Magazine,Teens and ‘TweensThe 2017 Children & Teen Book Awards winners are: K – 2nd Grade Book of the Year: MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG, by Lisa Papp (Peachtree Publishers) 'Madeline Finn does not like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the local ice-cream truck. What she absolutely...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids