William Allen White Books


The William Allen White Award

This award is a "readers choice" award for students in Kansas. It was started in 1952 in honor of William Allen White as a way of encouraging students in Kansas to read and enjoy good books. It is a readers choice award because the winners each year are completely chosen by students, not adults. You have the chance to take part to help determine the best books according to Kansas kids!

the "rules"...

--There are two different lists. In order to be eligible to vote, you need to read 4 books from the Grades 3-5 list OR 3 books from the Grades 6-8 list.

--When you are finished reading a book, come tell me about it. If you took an RC quiz over the book, share your score with me. Prove to me you read the book. :)

--The due date for being done reading is Monday, April 11. If you've read either 3 or 4 books (depending on the list) by that date, you'll be invited to a voting party Wednesday morning, April 13 where we'll eat, talk books, and vote for our favorites.

--The winners state-wide will be announced at the end of April.

--This is not required, just something fun to do during the winter months!

Now onto the books!

Grades 3-5

I did not purchase ALL the books on the grades 3-5 list as some of them are meant more for elementary students. Check the display for the full list.

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

Jacket Art c. 2013 by Don Brown

Used by Permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

--graphic nonfiction (PB Bro)

--tells the story of the Dust Bowl

--Who knew millions upon millions of specks of dust could create so much damage??

(1 copy at HMS)

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

Used by Permission of Harper Collins

--realistic fiction (F CRE)

--One day John and Marta wake up and find a boy on their porch. They don't expect him to stay, but he does, and slowly the three create a connection.

--The strange thing is that the boy doesn't speak, so John and Marta have no way of knowing why he is with them. What will happen to him, and to them as they grow to care for each other?

(2 copies at HMS)

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Used by Permission of Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

--informational picture book (385 FLO)

--won the Caldecott Medal in 2014!

--gives information about the growth of trains and the railroad in the United States

--lots of information to look at

(1 copy at HMS)

Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff

Used by Permission of Wendy Lamb Books

--WWII historical fiction (F GIF)

--Rob is Jayna's big brother, and they only have each other. But then Rob gets called to go fight in the war. Right before he leaves, he tells Jayna a secret--that they may have a grandmother.

--When Jayna hears Rob is missing in action, Jayna decides she needs to go find this grandmother to find out if she has any family left.

(2 copies at HMS)

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes

Used by Permission of Wordsong

--fiction novel in verse (F GRI)

--Gabby is a daydreamer. She daydreams as a way to escape from her parents' arguments, but then she has a hard time stopping.

--With the help of a special new teacher, Gabby learns how she can rise above her daydreaming and use it for good.

(1 copy at HMS)

Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Used by Permission of Little, Brown, & Co.

--historical fiction (F RHO)

--Sugar is 10 year old girl living on a plantation on the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but the ideas behind it are not.

--When Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the sugar cane, Sugar gets to know young Beau and Master Liu. She realizes she can be a bridge between the cultures and the communities, but can she bring the people together?

(1 copy at HMS)

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

Used by Permission of Lee & Low

--informational picture book (598.7 ROT)

--Tells the story of the Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant on the island and how they almost became extinct. This book describes the scientists who worked hard to make sure the parrots survived and had a future.

(1 copy at HMS)

Grades 6-8

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Used by Permission of Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

--fantasy fiction (F APP)

--Bingo and J'miah are raccoon brothers and members of the Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. They are on a mission to save their home, Sugar Man Swamp. Jaegar Stitch wants to convert the swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, and a pack of wild feral hogs is headed for the swamp set out to destroy it.

--Twelve year old Chap is not a member of the Scouts and he's not a raccoon, but he loves the swamp and will do anything he can to save it. Will Bingo, J'miah, and Chap be able to save the swamp they love?

(2 copies at HMS)

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

Used by Permission of Scholastic Press

--realistic fiction (F BAL)

--Early's father has gone missing. Without him, Early and her family have to leave their apartment and go to a shelter in the city. There, Early decides she's going to find her father with the clues and patterns he left behind. It may be up to Early to figure out the mystery of her father's disappearance.

(2 copies at HMS)

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Used by Permission of Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

--fantasy fiction (F BLA)

--Zach, Poppy, and Alice have grown up together and have been friends forever. They love playing with their action toys, but disaster strikes when Zach's father throws them all out. To deal with it, Zach decides he's too old to play with the toys anyway and doesn't play with Poppy and Alice either.

--One night Poppy and Alice tell Zach about some visits Poppy has had from a china doll who claims it was made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. Zach, Poppy, and Alice have to return the doll to its proper place or be cursed forever.

(2 copies at HMS)

Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker's Son Helped Light the Flame of Liberty by Russell Freedman

Used by Permission of Holiday House

--narrative nonfiction (921 FRA)

--Tells the story of Benjamin Franklin: how he went from being a seventeen year old runaway to a 79 year old honored statesman, renowned author, and world famous scientist.

(1 copy at HMS)

Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Used by Permission of Alfred A. Knopf

--realistic/fantasy fiction (F FUS)

--Bee is an orphan who lives with a carnival, sleeping in the back of a tractor trailer, dealing with people making fun of her for the birthmark on her face. When the only person who cares about her leaves the carnival, she decides to run away.

--She finds two mysterious women, Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter, who amazingly are able to take care of Bee even though they don't seem to have what they need and are seen only by Bee. When they too begin to fade away, will Bee be able to finally fight for what she wants?

(2 copies at HMS)

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Used by Permission of Random House Children's Books

--realistic/fantasy fiction (F GRA)

--Kyle loves games of any kind, but especially video games. He is an expert of Luigi Lemoncello's games, who happens to be the designer of the new town library.

--Kyle is picked as one of 12 kids to be the first to see the library during an overnight stay. He soon realizes, though, that leaving the library will be harder than getting into the library, and he will have to use all his knowledge about games, clues, and puzzles to make his way out.

((2 copies at HMS)

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

Used by Permission of Roaring Brook Press, A Neil Porter Book

--biography nonfiction (921 OHR)

--Tells the story of an eccentric potter named George Ohr who lived in Mississippi. He made thousands of pots and vases but they (and he!) were so strange no one wanted to buy them. He eventually retired, but not before hiding hundreds of his pieces. Years after his death, his stash was discovered and people realized what a genius he was.

(1 copy at HMS)

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

Used by Permission of Knopf

--Eel doesn't have an easy life as an orphan searching the River Thames for bits of things to sell in 1854 London. He's on the run from the meanest man in town, and he also has a secret he has to pay money every week to keep safe. Things really get bad that August, though.

--That August is when the disease cholera comes to his neighborhood. Most doctors of the time believe cholera is spread through the air, but one man, Dr. Snow, believes something different. It's up to Eel and his friend Florrie to find enough evidence to prove Dr. Snow's theory is right before everyone on his street has gotten sick.

(2 copies at HMS)

Counting By 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Used by Permission of Dial Books for Young Readers

--realistic fiction (F SLO)

--Willow is a genius, but also unique; she is very interested in nature, diagnosing medical conditions, and counting by 7s when things get too stressful. She's not too interested in connecting with other people except for her adoptive parents.

--When tragedy strikes in her life, Willow must figure out how she's going to cope and adapt to her new reality. How will she connect with people when that has always been so difficult?

(2 copies at HMS)

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone

Reproduced by Permission of Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA

--narrative nonfiction (940.54 STO)

--Tells the story of the first black paratroopers during WWII. Even as thousands of men were overseas fighting against injustices, black men in the military at home were not given the same rights or honors as white men were.

--First Sergeant Walter Morris knew his men needed to train to be paratroopers, whether or not the politicians and military generals were ready to use their skills.

(2 copies at HMS)

The Girl From Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson

Used by Permission of Walden Pond Press

--mystery fiction (F THO)

--Abbey and her father have had a rough year. He was framed for a crime he didn't commit and ended up in a coma. To pay off debt, they had to sell their home and now Abbey is living with her uncle and aunt who are not the best parents ever.

--A new family moves into Abbey's old house and Abbey and the girl in the family who is about her age become friends. They are both curious about the No Trespassing signs and holes being dug around the home and decide to investigate the mystery. Could this mystery be related to the person who framed Abbey's dad and will Abbey and her friend be able to get to the bottom of it?

(2 copies at HMS)

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

Used by Permission of Knopf

--historical fiction (F TIM)

--Georgie is known for her good aim on a rifle and her tendency to speak her mind. When she says the wrong thing to her sister, her sister runs away with the "pigeoners," a group following the passenger pigeon migration in 1871. When the sheriff returns with an unidentifiable body wearing her sister's dress, everyone except Georgie believes the worst.

--Georgie decides to go out and find her sister and is determined to not stop until she does. But even she isn't prepared for what she'll find on the western frontier.

(2 copies at HMS)

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Used by Permission of Walden Pond Press

--fantasy fiction (F URS)

--Oscar is the shop boy for a magician who lives in a forest called the Barrow that protects a city named Asteri. Asteri is a perfect city, saved from a plague years before through the magic of the trees in the forest.

--Now the world is changing, though. Children are getting sick; something evil is in the forest. Oscar was always content to stay in the cellar of the magician's shop, but now even that magic might not be enough.

(2 copies at HMS)

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Used by Permission of Delacorte Press

--historical/fantasy fiction (F VAN)

--After his mother dies, Jack, who is from Kansas, gets sent to a school in Maine. There he meets Early Auden, who believes the number pi tells a story and clips articles from the newspaper about a bear in the nearby mountains.

--When Jack and Early accidentally end up at school by themselves, they decide to follow the Appalachian Trail to find the bear. Along the way, they meet strange characters who are also in Early's pi stories, and they discover things about themselves and each other.

(2 copies at HMS)

That's the list! Choose a book to start with, and happy reading! :)