In honor of the 55th anniversary of the creation of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), we've compiled a few of our favorite books for kiddos about outer space.
If You Decide To Go To The Moon
by Faith McNulty, Illustrated by Steven Kellogg
"If you decide to go to the moon in your own rocket ship, read this book before you start." So begins a resplendent you-are-there nonfiction picture book, narrated in second person, with sensational full-page paintings.
The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity
by Elizabeth Rusch
This stunning book, beautifully designed and chock-full of incredible images, outlines the conception, development, and implementation of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.
A Black Hole is NOT a Hole
by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano
The book playfully explodes the misinformation that surrounds black holes, from the myth that they "feed" on galaxies to their very name – because they are not holes at all! With this premise in place, the author sheds light on one of the biggest mysteries of the universe.
Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon
by Andrew Chaikin, Illustrated by Alan Bean
To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this substantial-sized volume is filled with conversational and quote-filled accounts of all 12 of the piloted Apollo missions.
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
by Catherine Thimmesh
In a large-format scrapbook of dramatic black and white and color photographs and white text set against a glossy black background, we read the gripping story firsthand from the (mostly) men who reveal the many challenges and problems they faced getting ready for the flight and in the mission itself.
You Are the First Kid on Mars
by Patrick O'Brien
This book will tell you what would happen, and what you would do, if you were the first kid on Mars. The author posits that someday, scientists, engineers, astronauts, and their families might set up a colony on Mars
Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity
by Dave Roman
In this graphic novel, Hakata Soy leaves his past as the leader of a superhero team to attend Astronaut Academy, a school on a space station orbiting Earth.
At ReadKiddoRead, we know that parents are looking for ways to keep their kids learning throughout the summer. The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) offers great summer learning opportunities through Camp What-A-Wonder and Wonderopolis.org.
Camp What-A-Wonder is a virtual program that provides children and parents with inspiration and opportunities to read and learn together during the summer. Camp What-A-Wonder is a special segment of Wonderopolis.org and is available at no cost. Campers explore a different theme each week through online and offline lessons and activities, all created to show how wonder and learning can happen anywhere and at any time. This year's "Uncover the Wonder Around You" weekly themes include: Earth and Environment; Sky and Weather; Structures and Buildings; Technology and Innovation; Travel and Transportation; Plants and Animals.
Campers and their families have fun activities to do, exciting trips to take, and lots of Wonders of the Day to explore together. Visit Camp What-A-Wonder today.
Each year, The Patterson Family Foundation awards James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students that are studying education and are committed to teaching careers. Over the next few months, ReadKiddoRead will highlight Patterson Scholars at schools across the country. In the first post, we featured the scholars at Michigan State University. For the second post, we're introducing you to the recipients at University of Alabama. Read on to learn about their favorite recent reads and their recommendations for Kiddos!
Name: Karie DeermanHometown: West Blocton, Alabama
Teaching Focus: Multiple Abilities Program (Collaborative Special Education and Elementary Education)
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I love Nicholas Sparks' books, especially this one. You can really get into his books because the characters and emotions are so real. Once you start reading, you can't put it down.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Cam Jansen series by Davis Adler. The mysteries in these books is so engaging that it makes you excited to finish the books and solve the mysteries. They are fun reads for young children making the transition to chapter books.
Name: Jessie DupreHometown: Willis, Texas
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book parallels the love story of Hosea and Gomer from the Bible. It's interesting to see how events in life can relate to things that happened many years ago.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. This book is fun to listen to and also helps the students learn their ABC's.
Name: Kirsten HawkinsHometown: Decatur, Alabama
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoy books that have a combination of suspense and romance. This book makes the reader feel like they are a part of the story.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee would be my recommendation to any young adult looking for a classic read! Another plus is that the story is set in Alabama. Roll Tide! For younger children, I would recommend any of the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park. I grew up reading these stories. Barbara Park did a good job relating to kids and keeping them laughing!
Name: Heather HensonHometown: Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is such a beautiful picture of pure and perfect love, and it parallels one of my favorite books in the Bible, Hosea.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. Her books are very relatable, and I always felt like I was part of the story. The characters seem real, which made me want to keep reading to find out how their lives would turn out.
Name: Meredith HogueHometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I loved reading and learning about the South in the 1960s. I also enjoyed the maids' funny stories about the families they have worked for. The Help is a book that will keep you wanting to read more!
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Frindle by Andrew Clements. I would recommend any book by Andrew Clements but this is my favorite. He is a great children's author and can relate to kids with his entertaining stories and characters.
Name: Brooke JacksonHometown: Clarksville, Tennessee
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Now You See Her by James Patterson. I enjoyed reading this book because it portrayed how a young woman dealt with things that happens in her past and what she went through to protect the life and reputation. This book made me think about things I would do to protect my reputation.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Giving Tree by Shel Siverstein. This book is a tale that is up to interpretation by the reader. When I read the book to a class of third graders, I use examples to illustrate the interpretations I take away from the book. For example, it demonstrates that you have to work for what you desire in life and that everything is not just given to you.
Name: Savannah PerkinsHometown: Mobile, Alabama
Teaching Focus: Early Childhood Special Education, specifically focused on Autism
Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I loved the history and the suspense.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. This book opens kids' eyes to other cultures and shows that everyone is equal.
Name: Caroline RectorHometown: Franklin, Tennessee
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. The book was a psychological thriller, my personal favorite, and I enjoyed the revelation of secrets and suspense that built up throughout the book leading to the true cause of Amelia's death.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket. I read the entire series (all 13) for both Accelerated Reading and pleasure in middle school. Any child or young adult who loves suspense will become addicted to following the lives of the three Baudelaire orphans and the misfortune that follow them wherever they go.
Each year, The Patterson Family Foundation awards James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students that are studying education and are committed to teaching careers. Over the next few months, ReadKiddoRead will highlight Patterson Scholars at schools across the country. For this first post, we're introducing you to the eights recipients at Michigan State University. Read on to learn about their favorite recent reads and their recommendations for Kiddos!
Name: Carley M.Hometown: Walled Lake, Michigan
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I love Nicholas Sparks books because I can feel all of the emotions the characters experience. I love when I feel like I could jump into the book and live the story.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Any of the Winnie the Pooh books. These were my favorite books as a child. There are so many life lessons and beautiful quotes hidden in children's literature!
Name: Alexis L.Hometown: New Boston, Michigan
Teaching Focus:Elementary Education with a focus on Language Arts
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. I always enjoy her books, but I especially liked this one because it crossed so many different themes. It made you question the things you believe and what you think could actually be the truth.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park. My teacher read it to a small group of us in 5th grade, and it has stayed with me for all these years. It was such a moving book. I cried then, and I would probably cry if I read it again.
Name: Kelcey L.Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education with a focus on Language Arts
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Wicked by Gregory Maguire. There was a lot of imagery and I could picture the musical while I was reading it. I also loved the storyline.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. It represents many different genres and it allows kids to begin analytical thinking at a young age.
Name: Jessica H.Hometown: Saline, Michigan
Teaching Focus: Special Education with a focus on Language Arts
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine. I loved this book because it was a drama written from the perspective of an autistic child. As a special education major, I found the book very interesting and worth reading!
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is one of my favorites because it is timeless. I enjoyed my mom reading it to me when I was young, and I can sill flip through it now and catch on to meaning I didn't notice before. It's a classic!
Name: Mary R.Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Teaching Focus: Special Education with a focus on Elementary Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I really enjoyed this book because it was inspiring and thought-provoking, and gave me the chance to reflect on the meaning of my life here on earth.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I recommend kids (of any age) to read this story. This story touches home to anyone of any age, exemplifying the true meaning of love and how we sometimes take it for granted. I love how emotional of a read it is.
Name: Sarah H.Hometown: Muskegon, Michigan
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education with a focus on Language Arts and Urban Education
Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Alex Cross series by James Patterson, As a recipient of his scholarship this year, I was very interested in reading some of his writing. My favorite thus far has been this series, because I was very intrigued by the mystery mixed with the strong emotions in the novels.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborn. I loved these books as a child because they were fun and interesting. I think these are great books for kids because each story is based on a historical event with a fun twist for kids.
Name: Maxx M.Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Teaching Focus: Elementary Education with a focus on Language Arts
Favorite Book I Read This Year: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I can't wait to read the sequel.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish. The kids I babysit and I love to read the series together, and I remember also loving them when I was younger. They are really fun reads!
Name: Gabrielle G.Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Teaching Focus: Secondary English Education with a minor in History
Favorite Book I Read This Year: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I recently read the Hunger Games series and I really liked the second book, Catching Fire, the best. I liked that Katniss was starting to realize who she was as a person and what she stood for even when faced with adversity.
My ReadKiddoRead Recommendation: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The books are a series of coming of age novels that evolve as Harry and his friends do. I grew up reading the books and I fell in love. One of the major lessons I learned was that you are responsible for your life and the different choices you decide to make.
By Francisca Goldsmith
Infopeople Project, California
Whether you are a parent, grandparent or teacher, if you were reading what everyone was reading in the mid-to-late 20th century, then you no doubt became acquainted with dystopian fiction through many now-classic books. Did you read Nobelist William Golding's Lord of the Flies? How about Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451? And had you already read Anthony Burgess' Clockwork Orange before Stanely Kubrick made the movie? Or did the movie lead you to the book?
The opposite of utopian fiction, which features a perfect world or society, dystopias are noted for possessing these qualities and themes:
• An imaginary future world or society
• Tightly controlled inhabitants
• Conformity as good and individuality as bad
• Lack of awareness by most that their circumstances are not utopian
• A main character who is frustrated by the controls and acts in spite of them
• Treats the author's perception of a problem in the current real world through its exaggeration in the story's universe
Until recently, dystopian fiction was created by authors writing for adults, an audience that brings not only awareness of social values but also their own deeply-held beliefs about those values to the book. The titles listed above appear on secondary school reading lists but weren't crafted with teen readers in mind. In this decade, however, we are seeing some fresh new novels that offer teens dystopian reading intended for their open–and opening–perceptions of the world and its problems.
Why would kids want to read about a hero or heroine pitching his or her own individual efforts against a totalitarian society? Won't that turn the readers into rebels in our own imperfect–but hardly dystopian–society? Are these books luring unsuspecting kids into a negative mindset about what we as parents, grandparents and other responsible, mature adults find good about our society?
In a word: no.
Worries like these overlook some very important truths about teen readers, even ones as young as 12 or 14. Jaymee, a 13-year-old eighth grader, reveals a lot about herself and her fellow middle schoolers when she says:
"I think dystopian books can help kids because the themes and lessons they have can help people with problems they have or might have and can give answers about what they want to talk about. One of those answers for me is 'never go crazy over power,' which I learned from [Frank Beddor's] The Looking Glass Wars. Power is like a scar, and it can ruin your life. Themes like this help me in my own life."
The series Jaymee names is a well-crafted and clever take on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass fantasies, which were decidedly neither utopian nor dystopian. In Beddor's hands, the power struggles Carroll's Alice had with the Red Queen are magnified. Even the power the author, Lewis Carroll, had as an adult over his character model and original audience, Alice Lydell, are made explicit. But the magic of the story and the art of storytelling aren't compromised.
When we look at Jaymee's comments, we learn as much about the kind of reader she is as we learn about why she likes The Looking Glass Wars. We know she likes to read and understands how stories "work." She's willing – and able – to "work," too – and to consider her own world beyond the book in hand. (What author wouldn't step up and thank her?) We also see that Jaymee feels concerned with blemishes as 'scars," but she can make the jump from physical to existential.
In short, reading this dystopian series enlightens as well as entertains Jaymee. It's not dry. It's not preachy. It connects her to ideas of her own and assists her in assimilating information to make it her own knowledge.
Faith, another eighth grader, and Jaymee's best friend, puts it this way:
"It's better to learn life lessons from what you read than being told by your parents. It's easier to get it and hold onto life lessons from stories when you read it and think about it and learn from it. If you just get told, it doesn't stick, but when you see what happens in a story, it helps you to develop, shows you how it's better to do this than that."
Fourteen-year-old Richard pitches in:
"It helps me to think that our world or society can change, that I could help to change it."
Besides talking about how reading dystopian fiction helps them to think about the real world, these teen dystopian fans share how these stories make them feel as they read:
"I find it interesting and comforting at the same time. You can see how this could take you to the next level and how books don't have to be normal." (Jaymee)
"I like the complexity! I think other kids who don't like complex stories–like the time it takes to get into watching Dr. Who—probably wouldn't like that." (Faith)
"Yeah. I like twisted books where you take one thing and change it, and something different happens from what could have." (Jaymee)
"Reading about other worlds and imaginary cultures is exciting. It's interesting to know that there are other ways to form a society — different from the way we have formed ours." (Richard)"I advise adults to read [Suzanne Collins'] Hunger Games because it takes a teenager's point of view and gives a reminder of how we think." (Faith)
"It's good especially if they have children and really really want to know how we think. Also adults could learn about warning signals when things might not be right with a teen." (Jaymee)
Once these teen readers had broached the idea of adults reading teen books, I asked them if anyone can be the wrong age to read dystopian fiction.
"Definitely! I don't think you should read them if you are below fifth grade. It's not that the ideas are bad. I would love little children to understand what's going on in our world, but if you hear stuff that your mind can't understand, you worry too much — like a six-year-old would reading the Hunger Games." (Faith)
"[Younger kids] can't get the concepts because they don't really know how our own society works yet, so they can't see what is different in dystopian fiction." (Richard)
Richard's point is important for parents and other adults to understand: teen readers do believe that they have a grasp on how society "works." Anyone who has ever been in a middle school knows that this is, to a large degree, true: teens are able to consider life with more abstract understanding than their younger siblings can. This is something that we adults often do not recognize.
"I believe parents shouldn't always dictate what you should read, because teens want to get a taste and opinions of life that are different. If you can't read something based on the cover or title, then that's not fair. Sometimes kids should explore on their own just a little, even if their parents want to shape their future." (Faith)
That freedom to explore through reading dystopian fiction isn't about wanting a blueprint for destruction or rebellion. It's the thinking teen's portal to seeing our own world with room for creativity and a private place to experience emotions.
"[James Patterson's] Maximum Ride series' best audience is teenagers because I know a lot of teenagers want excitement. They fantasize about it and want to read about it. It has a little drama in it, but the drama can be sad as well as exciting. I even cried reading these." (Faith)
"I think teens can bring their own life experience to reading dystopias like Maximum Ride, seeing how your life is like what is in the book, but also different. You can relate to the characters and you can relate your own family to it." (Jaymee)
"I wish others could also experience that feeling that they can change things. That we could remake our society." (Richard)
"It's the small things that happen that make it easier for you to connect to the characters. [Veronica Roth's] Divergent is teen-focused. The romance is targeted to a teen audience. The characters get split by personality, but kids have a choice of where they can go, like the ones who value honesty are black and white clothed and become lawyers. Teens are just starting to become involved in life and want to be connected and want to have ideas about what could happen in the future and its possibilities and what would I do– what 'if…'." (Faith)
A difference between the mid-20th century dystopian novels written for adults and the ones teens are reading from the wealth of young adult fiction available today is the series element. Whether dystopian fans or fans of other genres, teens love series, as do the authors who write for teens. What's that about?
Reading a series brings some guarantees to the teen reader. One of the simplest of these is that the experience of a great read won't end with the last page of a book; another installment is or soon will be available. However, there are other guarantees a series offers, especially to teens who are in a life development phase where changes are not only frequent and sometimes bordering on traumatic, but also appearing unwanted. Being able to rely on a favorite set of characters or a favorite author to continue to provide more gives teen readers some self-chosen comfort. (Yes, it's a little odd to think of dystopian series as offering comfort, but they do for many teens).
As Jaymee, Faith and Richard have noted, although not using these words, experiencing dystopian concepts, plots and characters offers catharsis mixed with the enjoyment of epiphanies about their own lives. There's only so much catharsis and insight a reader can take at any one time, however, so a series gives teen readers the necessary breathing spell between volumes. Knowing this, too, allows the authors of such series to provide new elements for consideration in successive books of a series. That differs from series books for younger children, where repetition of favorite tropes and plot arcs are the name of the game for both readers and writers.
Yes, teen readers do love dystopian fiction. But the reasons why aren't bleak ones. Next time you hear a teen waxing enthusiastic about such a book or series, you can be sure you are hearing the voice of someone who is helping her- or himself to grow empathy and analytical thinking, two hallmarks of maturing young adults.
To help you find some popular and well-written dystopian young adult books, here's a list to fill a bookshelf:
Volume 1: The Looking Glass Wars
Volume 2: Seeing Redd
Volume 3: Archenemy
Also by Frank Beddor:
Looking Glass Wars
Mad with Wonder
Zen of Wonder (forthcoming)
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Volume 1: The Hunger Games
Volume 2: Catching Fire
Volume 3: Mockingjay
Also by Suzanne Collins:
Gregor the Overlander
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Gregor and the Code of Claw
Matched, by Ally Condie
Volume 2: Crossed
Volume 3: Reached
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Volume 2: The Scorch Trials
Volume 3: The Death Cure
Also by James Dashner
The Kill Order, prequel to The Maze Runner series
Volume 1: Maximum Ride
Volume 2: School's Out Forever
Volume 3: Saving the World
Volume 4: The Final Warning
Volume 5: Max
Volume 7: Angel
Volume 8: Nevermore
Also by James Patterson
Maximum Ride graphic novels in six manga format volumes
The Jenna Fox Chronicles, by Mary E. Pearson
Volume 2: The Fox Inheritance
Volume 3: Fox Forever
Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Divergent 3 (forthcoming)
March Madness is long over but ReadKiddoRead has a new bracket for you. The Summer Reads League features our Elite Eight books – some of our favorite Great Advanced Reads from our 2013 Summer Reading List. Encourage your Kiddos to read all eight and then choose a winning advanced read. Or select a favorite genre, read the two books and pick a favorite. Kids can read the books from the Summer Reads League alone or create their own Summer Reads League with a group of friends. For even more fun that combines reading and basketball, check out James Patterson's One-on-One webcast featuring NBA All-Star Dwayne Wade.
To exchange ideas with other teachers and librarians, visit our Lesson Plans Exchange page.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
Ain't Gonna Rain No More written by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Carrow
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Antsy Does Time by Neal Shüsterman
Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar written and illustrated by Clare Jarrett
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Cinderella stories by various authors
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Dog Who Cried Wolf written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Don't Laugh, Joe! written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Dragon: Hound of Honor by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Watson Hamilton
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd
Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor
If You Hopped Like a Frog by David M. Schwartz
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Jokelopedia by Ilana Weitzman, Eva Blank, Rosanne Green, Mike Wright
Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
Lightship written and illustrated by Brian Floca
The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming
Mandy by Julie Andews Edwards
Mercy Watson Fights Crime by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
The Mightiest written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Mighty Jackie: The Strike-out Queen by Marissa Moss, illustrated by C. F. Payne
Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller
A Mother for Choco written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
My Dog May Be a Genius by Jack Prelutsky
My Lucky Day written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
My Senator and Me: A Dog's-eye View of Washington by Edward M. Kennedy, illustrated by David Small
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
No, David! by David Shannon
No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
On the Farm by David Elliott, illustrated by Holly Meade
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Pale Male by Janet Schulman, illustrated by Meilo So
The Pigs' Picnic written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem by Jack Prelutsky
The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes
Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Say What? by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Schwa by Neal Shüsterman
Shredderman series by Wendelin Van Draanen
Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid (Stink series) by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Third Grade Baby by Jenny Meyerhoff, illustrated by Jill Weber
Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye
Toys Go Out, Toys Come Home, Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins
Tweedle Dee Dee written and illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The Wolf's Chicken Stew written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
When the Elephant Walks written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
The Young Man and the Sea by Rodman Philbrick
Zelda and Ivy series by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
This year, more than 16,000 votes were cast. Read on to hear what the authors of these winning books said after hearing the news.
KIDDO AWARD WINNERSFrom RACHEL RENEE RUSSELLAuthor of TALES FROM A NOT-SO-SMART MISS KNOW-IT-ALL (Dork Diaries series)
Winner in the Series Category
"Thank YOU to all of the voters for making Dork Diaries the series winner for the Kiddos Awards! SQUEEE!! You are the reason that Nikki Maxwell and her friends are able to let their inner dorks shine through every day. Keep reading because this June, Nikki's taking on the topic of love…Dork Diaries style"
From MARISSA MEYERAuthor of CINDER
Winner in the Advanced Reads Category
"I am so honored, humbled, and ecstatic that CINDER has been voted one of the 2013 Kiddos Award winners! Cinder's tale has become incredibly dear to me since I started writing it in 2008, and it means so much that readers have fallen in love with my cyborg mechanic as much as I have. Thank you, thank you! – to everyone who voted, to every teacher who put this book in a teenager's hands, to every librarian who chose it as a book club pick, to every reader who recommended it to a friend. I hope you'll continue to enjoy every step of Cinder's journey, as she uncovers the secrets of her past, incites a rebellion, and ultimately joins forces with other beloved fairy tale all-stars: Little Red Riding Hood (SCARLET), Rapunzel (CRESS), and Snow White (WINTER). I'm having so much fun writing about Cinder's adventures – my brightest hope is that you'll have as much fun reading them. Thank you!!"
From JAMES PATTERSONCo-author of I, FUNNY with Chris Grabenstein
Winner in the Pageturner Category
"Thank you for choosing I, Funny as the 2013 Pageturner winner. I, Funny is one of my best, and I thought it wouldn't be fair to all the voters who picked Jamie Grimm if I excluded it."
From ANNIE BARROWS and SOPHIE BLACKALL (as Ivy and Bean)Author and Illustrator of IVY AND BEAN MAKE THE RULES
Winner in the Beginner Reads Category
"Hi, this is Ivy.
And this is Bean.
Thanks for liking the book about our camp, Ivy and Bean Make the Rules.
Well, duh. Who wouldn't like it? It's about us!
Really, it's about how to make your own camp.
No. It's about us!
Maybe now kids all over the world will start making their own camps.
And their own rules. Like us!
There's only one really important rule.
Kids are in charge! No grownups allowed!
KIDDO HONOR BOOKSFrom RICK RIORDANAuthor of THE MARK OF ATHENA (Heroes of Olympus series)
Honoree in the Series Category
"Thank you for choosing The Mark of Athena as a 2013 Kiddo Honor Book! It means so much to me to have an award come directly from my readers—what an honor! The fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus – The House of Hades – comes out this October. You'll get to see the cover later this month, so keep an eye out! I'm also thrilled to announce the first ever Percy Jackson-Carter Kane crossover story, The Son of Sobek, which is available in the back of the paperback of The Serpent's Shadow and will come out this summer as an e-single/audio book. Keep reading!"
From NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDSAuthor of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S QUIZ WIZ
Honoree in the Beginner Reads Category
"Thank you so much for this honor. We couldn't be happier! Quiz Whiz was a real labor of love with both our editorial and design department and they will be so happy to know their hard work paid off. Fans of Quiz Whiz can look forward to…..Quiz Whiz 2!"
Now it's your kiddo's turn to meet these authors and illustrators by having them read one of these winning books!