To participate in the Bluestem Award Reading Club, you must be in grades 3-5. Before registering, read or listen to one book from the list. Bring your initialed log to the library after 7/31 to register. Collect prizes as you read. Read 5 books and you can vote for the 2017 Bluestem Award. Earn prizes for reading up to 20 books before 1/31/17.
Click on the title for formats, availability, and more information.
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff (2014)
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.
Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares (2015)
Before he is known as the Babe, George Herman Ruth is just a boy who lives in Baltimore and gets into a lot of trouble. But when he turns seven, his father brings him to the gates of Saint Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, and his life is changed forever.
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner (2009)
Gianna has less than one week to complete her leaf project if she wants to compete in the upcoming cross-country sectionals, but issues like procrastination, disorganization–and her grandmother’s declining health–seem destined to keep her from finishing.
Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells / Marcus Calo (2014)
Sixth grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, codename ‘Eddie Red,’ has a photographic memory and talent for drawing anything he sees. When the NYPD is stumped by a mastermind art thief, Eddie becomes their secret weapon to solve the case.
El Deafo by Cece Bell (2014)
After some trouble, CeCe is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (2014)
Eleven-year-old Ellie Cruz is not happy with change. She misses her best friend who has joined the volleyball team leaving her no time for Ellie. Her mom, a drama teacher, tells her when she finds her “passion” (whatever that is) she’ll be happier. Then her mom goes to help her grandpa and comes home with a grumpy teenager who looks very familiar. Ellie’s life is about to change even more.
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman (2011)
On a cross-country vacation with their parents, twins Coke and Pepsi, soon to be thirteen, fend off strange assassins as they try to come to terms with their being part of a top-secret government organization known as The Genius Files.
Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger / Matthew Cordell (2013)
In this novel told through poems, nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad, so when his pesky little sister horns in on their fishing trip, he is none too pleased.
The Journey that Saved Curious George by Louise Borden (2005)
Hans and Margret Rey, the creators of Curious George, fled their Paris home in 1940 as the German army advanced on the capital city. They began their harrowing journey on bicycles with their children’s book manuscripts among their few possessions.
Justin Case: School, Drool, and other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail / Matthew Cordell (2010)
Justin is very nervous about third grade. And to top it off, he’s lost his favorite stuffed animal, but he can’t tell anyone, because technically he’s too old to still have stuffed animals. Right?
Lulu’s Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst / Kevin Cornell (2014)
When Lulu’s parents go on vacation, the formidable Ms. Sonia Sofia Solinsky comes to babysit and Lulu behaves as badly as possible to get her to leave until Ms. Solinsky reveals her secret.
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy (2015)
Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien / Zena Bernstein (1971)
Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family immediately. But her youngest son is very ill and must not be moved. She encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma.
Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy (2014)
An up close look at the ocean’s most fearsome and famous predator and the scientists who study them–just twenty-six miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (2014)
Rose Howard is in the fifth grade at Hatford Elementary School in upstate New York. She is obsessed with homonyms like her name Rose (rows) and rules, for instance, when driving you must come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Her teachers, classmates, and even her father have trouble understanding her differences. Her Uncle Weldon and her dog Rain (reign) are the only ones who truly seem to understand her. Now, in the aftermath of a destructive storm, Rose must leave her routines and do something very brave.
Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix (2014)
In 1914 France, a British soldier writes to his mother about the strange events of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when German and Allied soldiers met on neutral ground to share songs, food, and fun.
Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney / J. Brian Pinkney (2010)
A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.
Spirit Animals: Wild Born by Brandon Mull (2013)
As a dark force engulfs the land, the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers who each have forged a rare bond with their spirit beasts — a bond that gives great powers to all of them.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (1975)
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (2015)
Ten-year-old Ada has never been allowed to leave the one room apartment in London, where she lives with her younger brother Jamie and their cruel mother. Ada’s crippled foot is a humiliation to her mother, and she doesn’t want anyone else to see it. She makes Ada’s life miserable and also neglects Jamie by allowing him to play hooky and run wild. When war comes to England and the threat of German bombs Jamie is sent to the country with other city children, and Ada runs away to be with him. The terrible war has become a blessing for them, but will the blessing outlast the war?