Tag Archives: awards

Monarch Reading Club starts today!

Monarch Award logo
Monarch Reading Club
December 1, 2016-February 15, 2017
Grades K-3

Read or listen to all 20 Monarch Award nominees to earn a free paperback book!  Pick up our Monarch butterfly coloring page or chart from Children’s Services to track your progress (Color in a title or cut out a picture and glue it in the chart after you’ve read or listed to a book).  Bring your your fully colored Monarch butterfly coloring log or completed chart to the Children’s Services Desk to claim your prize.

You can start your reading now, and we have the following special events coming up in 2017:

  • Monarch Read-In: Monday, January 16, 2-3 p.m. No school today! Spend an hour listening to the nominees.  Be sure to log these books on your Monarch coloring page or chart
  • Voting: February 1-February 15. If you’ve read or listened to at least five nominees, you can cast your ballot at the Children’s Services Desk.
  • Monarch Award Pizza Party: Friday, February 24, 2-3 p.m. Any Fountaindale cardholders who voted for a favorite nominee may register for the party. Be there when we reveal the library winner!

We have a winner (actually, we have 3)!

This morning, the winners of the Monarch, Bluestem, and Rebecca Caudill awards were announced:

Breaking News: Bear Alert “reported by” David Biedrzycki won the Monarch Award.

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths won the Bluestem Award.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans won the Rebecca Caudill Award.

2016 Youth Book Awards

winnersDid you see the display of new award winners in Children’s Services last month?  They were all checked out pretty quickly, but many of them are returned now and some new titles have also arrived.

CNN created a gallery featuring book covers and descriptions of many of the books:


For a more complete list of award winners,


includes all of the honor books, too!


Fountaindale’s Monarch winner

It was a tough election with several tie-breakers, but we have a winner!  The young readers at today’s Monarch Award Pizza Party voted for The Girl Who Heard Colors by Marie Harris as their favorite from this year’s list.  Stay tuned– readers across the state of Illinois will be voting for the Monarch, Bluestem and Caudill awards over the next few weeks and official winners for the state will be announced live at 10:00 a.m. on March 18.

Picture Book Biographies: Women

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
This title won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award this year, as well as being a Caldecott Honor Book and a Sibert Honor Book.

Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers
“Details the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the activist, educator, writer, journalist, suffragette, and pioneering voice against the horrors of lynching who set out to better the lives of African-Americans long before the Civil Rights Movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle; Illustrated by Alix Delinois
Mumbets Declaration of Independence tells the story of a Massachusetts slave from the Revolutionary era–in 1781, she successfully used the new Massachusetts Constitution to make a legal case that she should be free.  This book has been made into a DVD and is also available as an ebook.

My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner; illustrated by James Ransome
“A vibrantly illustrated picture book introduction to the abolitionist and women’s rights activist narrates her rise from former slave to preacher and orator a century before the Civil Rights Movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
“Presents the life of Sojourner Truth, discussing her childhood as a slave, the purchase of her freedom by a Quaker couple, and her subsequent work as an advocate and lecturer for the abolitionist movement.” – (Baker & Taylor)

When the Slave Esperança Garcia Wrote a Letter written by Sonia Rosa; illustrated by Luciana Justiniani Hees; translated by Jane Springer
A Brazilian woman sold away from her family wrote a letter to the governor–found hundreds of years later in an archive–to try to improve her situation.

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Picture Book Biographies: Performing Arts

Before John was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Sean Qualls
This lyrical picture-book biography of John Coltrane focuses on his childhood and how he interpreted sounds before he made his music.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant is a 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

The Cosmo-Biography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy is Enlightening by Chris Raschka
A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity’s discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson; illustrated by Christian Robinson
“A tribute to lesser-known Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills includes coverage of her youth as a child of former slaves, her singing and dancing performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the struggles with racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.” – (Baker & Taylor)
This title is also available as an ebook.

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream by Glenda Armand; illustrations by Floyd Cooper
“A biography chronicling the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who is considered to be one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century. Includes afterword and author’s sources”– Provided by publisher.

Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.

Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio; illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Before he became one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jimi Hendrix was a boy who loved to paint and listen to records, and who asked himself an unusual question: could someone paint pictures with sound?

Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Raul Colón
An introduction to the life and career of the African American opera singer.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; illustrations by Frank Morrison
“A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources”– Provided by publisher.
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is a 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan; illustrated by John Holyfield
“A picture book introduction to the early life and achievements of the iconic gospel artist traces young Mahalia Jackson’s disadvantaged youth through her history-shaping performance during the March on Washington.”  – (Baker & Taylor)

My Story My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrated by James E. Ransome; with a foreword by Robert Battle
A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker
“Despite being nearly blind, young Art Tatum’s passion for the piano and incredible memory in learning music kept his dream of becoming a pianist alive, making him a virtuoso at a young age with skills that were highly respected by many others in his field.” – (Baker & Taylor)
Piano Starts Here received a Schneider Family Book Award.

Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio; paintings by Rudy Gutierrez
“Tells the story of the legendary jazz musician, from his deeply religious childhood to his career as a boundary-breaking musician who found inspiration in his own unique approach to both spirituality and music.” – (Baker & Taylor)

Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; pictures by Bryan Collier
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Trombone Shorty received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Caldecott Honor this year.

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Voting now, pizza later

Monarch Award logo
Voting has begun!  Did you read or listen to 5 or more Monarch Award Nominees?  If so, come to the Children’s Services Desk and cast your ballot.  If your school is voting for the Monarch Award, you can still participate in the club to pick the library winner.  After voting, you get to register for the Monarch Pizza Party!

Voting has been extended until Monday, February 22nd.  The Monarch Award Pizza Party will be Friday, February 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Be there when we reveal the library winner!