Children's book week - Vote here

May 02, 2008|By CATHERINE HALL

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a man who served as librarian to the Boy Scouts of America opened his morning newspaper and found printed there a summary of an essay written by another man who worked in the world of publishing. This essay spoke of the lack of quality children's books being published. Alarmed, Franklin K. Matthiews, the Boy Scout librarian, took to the road to promote higher standards in children's publishing.

A few years later, with the help of several other prominent players in the world of children's books, Matthiews organized Good Book Week, which became Children's Book Week in 1919.

This year brings several changes for Children's Book Week. The celebratory week has moved from November to May 12 to 18.

Organizers have partnered with a long-standing program called Children's Choices. A hallmark for Children's Book Week 2008 is the addition of Children's Choice Book Awards, a series of national child-selected book award.


Children across the nation are asked to choose their favorite books, authors and illustrators from lists of pre-selected finalists during the month of May. To cast individual votes or a tallied classroom vote, visit the Children's Book Week Web site at

After you've cast your national vote online, come by Washington County Free Library in downtown Hagerstown from Monday, May 12, through Sunday, May 18, to enter the Children's Department "How many jelly beans are in the jar?" contest and to tell us for which books you voted.

Children's Choice Book Awards Booklist

Come check out these books at the library, then vote for your favorite at

· "Absolutely Positively Alexander: The Complete Stories," written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz and Robin Preiss-Glasser; preschool to third grade; all the mischievous Alexander stories under one cover.

· "Olivia Forms a Band" by Ian Falconer; preschool to third grade; Olivia steps in to save the day when she learns the summer fireworks won't be accompanied by a band.

· "Edwina, the dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct" by Mo Willems; kindergarten to second grade; a tale of seeing is believing or is it?

· "The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark" by Ken Geist; grades two and three; a deep sea twist to a classic children's story.

· "Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House No. 38)" by Mary Pope Osborne; grades four and five; Jack and Annie become helpers to Leonardo Da Vinci.

· "Riding Freedom," written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick; grades four to six; an historical novel about a girl who spends most of her life disguised as a boy so that she can pursue her passion for horses.

· "The Sight (Warriors, Power of Three, No. 1)" by Erin Hunter; grades five to 12; the next generation of warrior cats begin their training.

· "Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians No. 3)" by Rick Riordan; grades five to 12; Percy and his friends seek to find the kidnapped Artemis.

· "Nightrise (Gatekeepers No. 3)" by Anthony Horowitz; grades six to nine; telepathic twins along with three other gatekeepers must keep the Old Ones from returning.

Catherine Hall is children's librarian with the Washington County Free Library.

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