2011 is the first year for the Bluestem Award, honoring Illinois readers’ choice books for grades 3 – 5. The library has an online reading club in which children may register, log their reading, and include reviews. Children who read four books on the list of 2011 nominations will be eligible to vote for their favorite between March 7 – 25. If they read 20 books, they will receive a free paperback book of their choice from the list of 2012 nominees.
Here are the most-reviewed books on the Bluestem Online Reading Club site to date:
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, by Ellen Levine
Virginia slave Henry “Box” Brown ships himself to freedom in a wooden crate headed for Philadelphia from Richmond.
Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, by Deborah Hopkinson
On the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, a father and son watch a marvelous building as it rises quickly in the 1930s!
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, by Marc Tyler Nobleman
Back to the 1930s again as two teens in Cleveland share the world of science fiction. Several years pass before they find a publisher who will accept their idea for a comic book about the Man of Steel.
The Houdini Box, by Brian Selznick
By happenstance a small boy receives a mysterious box full of secrets from the famous magician and escape artist.
How to Steal a Dog, by Barbara O’Connor
Desperate to help her overworked mother after abandonment by her father, Georgina devises a plan to claim reward money for finding a family’s pet.
Ivy & Bean, by Annie Barrows
New neighbor Ivy helps seven-year-old Bean play a mean trick on her sister.
The BFG, by Roald Dahl.
The Big Friendly Giant brings good dreams to children. Sophie and he plan to protect the world from a group of not-so-nice big creatures.