The Massachusetts Children’s Book Award


The Massachusetts Children’s Book Award is awarded annually to the children’s book with the most popular votes from students in grades 4 to 6.  The purpose of the award is to create and maintain interest in reading among children in the intermediate grades. Teachers, librarians, and interested publishers nominate books that are available in paperback editions. In order to vote, students must read 5 books on the nominated list.  Here are this year’s winner and a sampling of the nominees.  For the entire list along with teacher resources, please click here.

El Deafo by Cece Bell


El Deafo
By: Cece Bell

Author Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.  A graphic novel.  Ages 8 and up

A Dash of Magic: A Bliss Novel by Kathryn Littlewood A Dash of Magic: A Bliss Novel
By: Kathryn Littlewood

Twelve-year-old Rose Bliss and her siblings track down magical ingredients in Paris so Rose can compete in a baking challenge against her evil aunt and win back the family’s magical cookbook.  Ages 8 and up

The Buddy Files: The Case of the School Ghost by Dori Hillestad Butler The Buddy Files: The Case of the School Ghost
By: Dori Hillestad Butler

When therapy dog Buddy attends the fourth grade sleepover in the school’s library, he solves the mystery of the school ghost.  Ages 6 and up

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Christopher Kurtz The Adventures of a South Pole Pig
By: Christopher Kurtz

Flora the pig ditches the sedentary life on the farm for an adventure in Antarctica, where she escapes the knife and lives her dream of pulling a sled with a team of dogs.  Ages 8 and up

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff Absolutely Almost
By: Lisa Graff

Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.  Ages 8 and up

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman Book Scavenger
By: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily’s hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.  Ages 8 and up

No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis No Ordinary Day
By: Deborah Ellis

Valli has always been afraid of the lepers living on the other side of the train tracks in the coal town of Jharia, India, so when a chance encounter with a doctor reveals she also has leprosy, Valli rejects help and begins an uncertain life on the streets.  Ages 10 and up

Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles by Erica Farber Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles
By: Erica Farber

Fish Finelli and his friends set out to find Captain Kidd’s treasure, rumored to be buried on nearby Lyons Island, but it seems like the local library director is looking for it as well–and finding the treasure may be the key to saving the island from developers.  Ages 8 and up

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm The Fourteenth Goldfish
By: Jennifer Holm

Ellie’s scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager–which makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter. Ages 9 and up

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea
By: Lisa Martin

The swashbuckling adventures of two very different cat brothers. Cecil and Anton are as different in personality as they are in looks. One day when Anton does venture to port, he’s stolen off the dock, and the next thing he knows, he’s at sea. Cecil boards another ship in hopes of finding Anton. But what begins as a rescue mission turns into a pair of high seas adventures, with thrills and danger bubbling under every wave.  Ages 8 and up

Cooper and Packrat: Mystery on Pine Lake by Tamra Wight Cooper and Packrat: Mystery on Pine Lake
By: Tamra Wight

The only brightside to his family owning a campground is Cooper’s new friend Packrat, but when someone begins to destroy the habitat of the local loons, the boys must find the culprit before it is too late.  Ages 8 and up

Loot: How to Steal a Fortune Loot: How to Steal a Fortune
By: Jude Watson

When Alfie McQuinn, the notorious jewel thief, is killed on a job, his last words to his son, March, are to “find jewels,” and this instruction leads the boy to Jules, the twin sister he never knew he had–and the perfect partner to carry on the family business.  Ages 9 and up

Out of Bounds by Fred Bowen Out of Bounds
By: Fred Bowen

Eighth-grade soccer forward Nick Osborne and his teammates are highly competitive but, with help from his soccer-playing aunt, Nick begins to see that good sportsmanship is more important than winning. Includes a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the real story behind the novel.  Ages 10 and up


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