Earlier this month, the 2016-2017 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List was announced at this year’s Texas Book Festival. Considered one of the most prestigious children’s literature awards in the the nation, the list of 20 titles is eagerly awaited by Texas students, librarians and teachers as part of a unique statewide reading program in which students are able to to choose (from the list) what they’d like to read. The goal is to encourage reading for pleasure and critical thinking skills in young readers. Based on the student’s choices, a second round of winners will be announced in 2016.
“Our master list this year is rich in diversity, from content to genre to author/illustrator,” says Mary Jo Humphreys, TBA Coordinator. “From a Native American author to a Latin illustrated graphic novel, from poetry to magical realism and science fiction.”
Here are some of our favorites:
“In fairy tales, innocents must often venture into the shadows of the forest armed (if they’re lucky) with some breadcrumbs, a magical talisman, or a hopeful omen. And as Pam Muñoz Ryan opens her ambitious novel with a prophecy and a tale of three princesses caught in a witch’s trap, echoes of those familiar tales set the scene. But this time it’s three children of the twentieth century who must take up the quest and walk perilous paths through a world darkened by suspicion, fear, and war. Their tasks are both simple and bold: to make music, to seek truth, to find family.” – Meghan G., BookPeople’s children’s book buyer
After writing The Terrible Two, authors Mac Barnett and Jory John were prepared to visit schools as prank experts. But Perez Elementary was way ahead of them. After reading the duo’s new book, they tricked the authors by leading them to believe they’d only be performing before 8 students. The authors were thrilled when they were brought before a crowd of more than 400 excited kids. BookPeople also brought The Terrible Two to Doss, Pease, and Manchaca Elementary Schools.
Chris Barton and Don Tate celebrate the life of John Roy Lynch, a little-known hero of the reconstruction era, who went from teenage slave to congressman in less than 10 years. We had the pleasure of selling books at a stop of the Freedom Tour – a traveling children’s literature tour that celebrated historical figures and their journeys to Freedom. Set in the George Washington Carver Museum. The event included readings, panel discussions, spontaneous poetry from Typewriter Rodeo, Buffalo Soldier re-enactors, freedom themed crafts, prizes and face painting.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson was a release that our children’s staff fell in love with. It’s about a blue-haired girl named Astrid who finds herself without the company of her best friend, loves roller derby but isn’t very good at it, and is in big trouble with her mom. Demi says, “It’s about friendships, family, feelings – and being awesome even when you fall down.”
Astrid got us thinking about other favorite female characters and what their roller derby names would be. We picked some of our favorites, gave them roller derby names, and divided them into teams. We invited customers to pick a side by voting for the team they thought would win a roller derby match. Game faces were on.
We love a good ghost story, and we are getting prepared for quite the celebration. We invite you to put on your Halloween best and join us for a very special costume party with Jason Segel, actor and author of Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic. This is the sequel to Segel’s hilarious, bestselling middle grade novel, Nightmares. Inspired by his own childhood experience with nightmares, Segel tells the story of young Charlie Laird, who lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld and has a very active dream life. It’s going to be a dreamy event and we hope you will be there!
Inspired by Crenshaw, the new book by Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate, BookPeople partnered with Macmillan Children’s Group and bookstores around the country to raise awareness of childhood hunger. Throughout the month of October, we will be partnering with The Capitol Area Food Bank to collect items for families in need. Crenshaw is a beautiful a book and we’re so thrilled to celebrate in such a special way. Thanks, Katherine!