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 3 books from one of the lists.

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

--The due date for being done with all 3 books is Tuesday, April 7. If you've read 3 by that date, you'll be invited to a voting party Thursday morning, April 9 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 on to the books!

Grades 3-5 List

Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood

--Prairie is a 10 year old who has always been homeschooled by her granny, raising chickens on her farm.

--Now she's attending public school for the first time and isn't having the greatest time.

--She meets Ivy and in her, finds her first true friend.

--When she realizes that Ivy's home may not be the best place for Ivy, Prairie has to figure out a way to help.

Malcolm at Midnight by W.H. Beck

--Malcolm is the newest pet at McKenna School. When he gets there, he meets the Midnight Academy, the society of classroom pets that keeps the kids safe.

--Malcolm has a problem, though--he's a rat, and rats have terrible reputations!

--When the leader of the Midnight Society goes missing, Malcolm has to prove his innocence and that just because he's a rat doesn't mean he's one of the bad guys!

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton

--Frankie does not like how life is going. Things were just fine until his mom got herself into trouble, and a father Frankie had never met showed up out of nowhere and took Frankie with him.

--Now Frankie's living with his dad he's never met, a stepmother, and four annoying stepbrothers somewhere in Illinois. He figures there's got to be a way out of the situation, and then he has an idea.

--Frankie is really fast on a bike. What if he starts a delivery service to earn the money to get back to his mom? He thinks it's a great idea, but as he's riding, he doesn't realize that where he is might not be such a bad place to be after all.

The Adventures of Bean Boy by Lisa Harkrader

--Tucker McBean's life is hard. He never sees his mom because she works during the day and takes college classes at night, he's in charge of taking care of his younger brother, and his dad has packed up and moved out.

--When Tucker hears about a comic book contest, he thinks that may be the way to solve his problems. Tucker has been creating comics as long as he's been reading them, and he thinks he has a winner of an entry in Beanboy.

--Tucker meets all kinds of problems in real life, though, not the least of which is bully Sam Zawicki, and that makes solving Beanboy's problems a lot harder too.

Don't Feed the Boy by Irene Latham

--Whit knows everything about the zoo-because he lives there. His mom is the zoo director and his dad is the head elephant keeper. Even though life in a zoo seems like it would be exciting, Whit doesn't think so. There are so many exotic animals in the zoo, Whit is overlooked.

--One day Whit notices a girl at the bird exhibit, making drawings of the birds. Slowly he and the girl become friends. They both benefit from the friendship, but then the girl asks Whit for an important favor, and Whit realizes friendship isn't quite as easy as he thought.

On the Road to Mr. Mineo's by Barbara O'Connor

--Life is pretty slow in Meadville, South Carolina until Sherman flies into town.

--Sherman is a one-legged pigeon. First Stella, who's been begging for a pet dog, notices him. Then Ethel and Amos, an old couple in town, notice him. Then Mutt Raynard notices him, but since he's the town liar nobody really believes him. Even Stella's little brother and his friends notice the bird.

--No one has talked to Mr. Mineo about it, but he is missing one of his homing pigeons...

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker

--Stella loves living with her great-aunt Louise near the water at Cape Cod. There her life has order and routine like it doesn't have when she's with her mom. She even thinks about going back to Cape Cod when she's older so she can live there permanently. The problem is Angel.

--Angel is a girl Louise has taken in, but Angel is not like her name. She is tough and as different from Stella as possible. They don't really get along at all.

--Then tragedy strikes, and Stella and Angel have to figure out how to work together. Will they be able to find something in common in order to save what they have?

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

--Oona and her little brother Fred have a cat named Zook (short for Zucchini) that is sick. --They have to figure out how to get him out of the vet's office and back home, where they are sure he will be able to recover.

--As they plan, Oona tells Fred all about Zook's other lives. Oona has a tendency to tell stories (both true and not-so-true), and the stories she tells Fred about Zook also have a flavor of what's really going on in their lives.

Grades 6-8 List

13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau

--Tony and his family have just moved to a new house, 13 Hangmen Court. Tony is excited because for once he's going to get his own bedroom!

--When they get there, though, Tony discovers the house holds secrets. As he begins to solve the mystery of the house, he realizes he is going to have to work together with the other boys who have lived in his bedroom to solve it.

The Shadow Collector's Apprentice by Amy Gordon

--12 year old Cully is pretty excited as the summer of 1963 begins because he has been offered an apprenticeship at Batty's Attic antique store. Once he begins working there, though, things start getting stranger and stranger.

--As customers leave the store, he realizes they are not acting like themselves, and he learns that Batty has a machine that Batty calls harmless--he takes peoples' shadows.

--Cully and Isabel, a girl he knows from school, have to figure out if taking peoples' shadows is innocent, as Batty says it is, or if there is more evil behind it. And if it's evil, how are they going to put a stop to it?

Buddy by M.H. Herlong

--Lil T' really wants a dog, but his family says no until they accidentally hit one on their way to church. Lil T's family and members of their church work together to get the medical care and food the dog needs so Lil T' can keep him.

--But then, disaster strikes. Lil T' and his family live in New Orleans, and Hurricane Katrina is coming. They think it won't be a big deal, so they leave the dog plenty of food and water, but when the family eventually gets back home, they find out how much they've lost--including the dog.

--Will Lil T' be able to find the friend he had always wanted?

One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

--Carley is a tough girl who can handle a lot. After all, she's grown up with her mom in Las Vegas. But then something happens that is hard even for Carley, and it gets her sent to a foster home.

--Carley is convinced she's not going to fit in with her foster family, so she does her best to keep a distance. Her family, though, works hard to help her feel at home.

--Just when Carley starts feeling like she might have a real, loving, family, news from Las Vegas shakes up Carley again. Where will Carley end up and who will her family be?

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

--Donovan is not what most people would call gifted. In fact, what most people would call him is a troublemaker. When Donovan pulls a massive prank at school, Donovan thinks he's really gotten in trouble.

--After a mix up by administrators, though, instead of getting in trouble Donovan gets sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a program for gifted and talented students.

--At first Donovan thinks it is the perfect place to hide, but then he realizes that he's going to have to keep his secret from really smart kids! Eventually, after some events at the school, Donovan realizes that even though his gifts might not be like other people's gifts, they might be valuable too.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

--Marlee lives in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958, when schools were ordered to integrate but having a hard time with it. Marlee doesn't have many friends--in fact, she doesn't even talk at school. But then she meets Liz.

--Liz is brave and smart, and even helps Marlee figure out how to talk at school. But then she's gone without any clues as to where she went.

--Marlee hears a rumor that Liz was black passing for white in Marlee's white school. That would be dangerous for Liz, and dangerous for Marlee because people knew they were friends.

--Marlee decides she doesn't care if the rumor is true, but if Liz and Marlee are going to stay friends, they're going to have to face the danger of what could happen if people find out.

Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley

--Katerina and her family have moved to America from another country. She and her papa share a dream of having a farm of their own on which their family can live and work. After a year, though, that dream isn't any closer to becoming true.

--Then Katerina remembers the carp from the old folk tale that grants three wishes. She tells her younger sisters the tale, and of course they immediately make wishes. Katerina doesn't really believe it, but then her sisters' wishes come true!

--Even so, Katerina doesn't believe she can wish for a farm. But then, with the help of their neighbor's son, she begins working towards her dream using hard work and good sense. When tragedy strikes, though, Katerina doesn't believe she'll ever get what she wishes for.

Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery

--A biography about Temple Grandin, a girl who was born with autism. At the time Temple was a child, children with autism were not usually sent to school--they were sent to hospitals instead. Temple's mother believed in her, though.

--That belief helped Temple to achieve success. She is now a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. She advocates for how animals are treated.

--This book helps to describe how Temple used her differences as strengths and was able to achieve great things.

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

--In the country in which Sage lives, civil war is brewing among the people. To unify them, Connor, one of the noblemen of the court, comes up with a plan where he will find a boy to impersonate the king's long lost son. Four orphans, including Sage, are selected to compete for that role. Sage knows Connor doesn't have their best interests in mind, but if he isn't selected, he will certainly die.

--As Sage and the other boys arrive at Connor's castle, more and more lies are told until one truth is uncovered that is more dangerous than all the lies put together.

The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron

--When Ivan's mother disappears, Ivan is left to fend for himself on the streets of Moscow. It is winter, and there's not much chance Ivan will survive unless help arrives.

--Help does come, but in the form of a pack of dogs! He and the dogs work together so much that they become his family, finding what they need to survive.

--What will Ivan do when he is faced with the world of people again? Will he be able to accept help that is offered? And will he even want to?

--Based on a true story!

BOMB: the race to build-and steal-the world's most dangerous weapon by Steve Sheinkin

--In 1938, a German scientist made a discovery that started a race across three continents. This race involved Soviet spies in the United States and Great Britain, a commando force going into enemy territory in Norway, and a group of brilliant scientists in the middle of the desert in New Mexico.

--The race was on, because everyone wanted to be the first ones to build the atomic bomb.

That's it! Choose a book and get started! Happy reading! :)