“Titles were chosen that allow the books to act as windows into reality and imaginary worlds, while offering a view into someone else’s experiences, and mirrors that reflect a reader’s own life or culture while building their identity.”
The Texas Library Association’s (TLA) 2021-2022 Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) Master List was announced at the online Texas Book Festival on Monday, November 2. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the list was announced virtually. As is tradition, students in grades three through six from across Texas revealed the books on the list. View the complete video here. The Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List (TBA) is one of the most distinguished children’s literature lists in the country.
“The Texas Bluebonnet list is a prestigious list composed of titles from diverse, imaginative, and creative authors. The titles on the list offer students in grades three through six, quality literature that is both fiction and nonfiction to be read for pleasure,” said Jacqui Bridges-Sheppherd, TBA coordinator. “Titles were chosen that allow the books to act as windows into reality and imaginary worlds, while offering a view into someone else’s experiences, and mirrors that reflect a reader’s own life or culture while building their identity. This literature also takes the student’s interests in mind and provides positive reviews for parents, teachers, and librarians.”
Librarians on the TBA selection committee, which generally considers at least 500 books, this year evaluated a whopping 813 books before selecting the 20 that are on the list. “I am very proud of the resilience of the selection committee, given the circumstance of the pandemic and the dramatic shift to virtual discussions,” Bridges-Sheppherd said. “This year the committee had an additional challenge of keeping up with the numerous reading platforms (Glose, Netgalley, Dropbox, Edelweiss, etc.) for the digital books we received to consider.”
The primary goals of the TBA list are to introduce children to a variety of quality books, develop critical reading skills, and honor and encourage authors. To compose the list, the committee selected five outstanding books of various genres for grades three through six.
Each year, more than 100,000 third-through-sixth graders from across Texas vote for their favorite title from the master list. “Read 5, then decide” is a slogan known by school librarians, public librarians, and homeschooling parents across the state. The TBA Award winner is announced in the spring.
Here is the list, alphabetized by title:
- Act by Kayla Miller. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2020).
- The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks. (G. P. Putnam & Sons Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Random House, 2019).
- Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes. (Little Brown & Company Books for Young Readers, 2020).
- The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling. (Little Brown & Company Books for Young Readers, 2020).
- Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros. (Quill Tree Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020).
- The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington. (Crown BFYR, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2020).
- Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery by Sandra Markle. (Millwood, an Imprint of Lerner Publications, 2020).
- A Hatful of Dragons: and More Than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems by Vikram Madan (WordSong, an Imprint of Boyds Mills & Kane, 2020).
- Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann. (Neal Porter, an imprint of Holiday House, 2020).
- The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter by Aaron Reynolds. (Little Brown & Company Books for Young Readers, 2020).
- Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament by Kim Long. (Running Press Kids, an Imprint of Perseus Books, an Imprint of Hachette, 2019).
- The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by Oge Mora. (Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2020).
- Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo. (Alfred A. Knopf BFYR, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2020).
- Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu. (Henry Holt, an Imprint of Macmillan Books, 2019).
- The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta, illustrated by Frank Morrison. (Katherine Tegan, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020).
- Sharuko: el arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello by Monica Brown, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri. (Children’s Book Press, an Imprint of Lee & Low Books, 2020).
- Someplace to Call Home by Sandra Dallas. (Sleeping Bear Press, 2019).
- Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia. (Rick Riordan Presents, an imprint of Disney Hyperion, 2019).
- Ways to Make Sunshine by Reneè Watson, illustrated by Nina Mata. (Bloomsbury Children’s Book, 2020).
- Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen. (Scholastic Press, an Imprint of Scholastic Books, 2019).