Texas Center for the Book Announces 2024 Texas Great Read Books

2024 Texas Great Read


The Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has chosen The Mystery of the Monarchs by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Erika Meza, as the 2024 Texas Great Read Youth Selection and The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook as the 2024 Texas Great Read Adult Selection. Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select titles that represent the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival. The event showcases the importance of books and reading. The 24th Library of Congress National Book Festival will take place on August 24 in Washington, DC, with varied offerings online. Check out the Library of Congress website for details.


2024 Texas Great Read Adult Selection

The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook


About the Book:

Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas in the 1860s, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, whose final act is to save her daughter's life. Samantha and her half-brother Benjamin survive, but she is left traumatized, her face horribly scarred. Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha's unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother's death. 


About the Author:

Elizabeth Crook is the author of six novels including The Which Way TreeThe Night Journal–which received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America—and Monday, Monday, winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Crook’s latest novel, The Madstone, a sequel to The Which Way Tree, was published in 2023. She is the recipient of the 2023 Texas Writer Award from the Texas Book Festival. Elizabeth lives in Austin with her family. Visit her website at elizabethcrookbooks.com.


On Tuesday, June 11 at 2 PM, the Texas Center for the Book will host a webinar interview with author Elizabeth Crook. Participants will have a chance to ask questions in a live chat following the interview. Register here.


2024 Texas Great Read Youth Selection

The Mystery of the Monarchs

by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Erika Meza

About the Book:

The Mystery of the Monarchs is a gorgeous picture book based on the true story of a scientist who solves the mysteries of monarch butterfly migration—with the help of schoolchildren! Young Fred Urquhart was fascinated by insects, especially his favorite, the monarch butterfly. He wondered where monarchs spent the winter. No one knew. After he became an entomologist (bug scientist), Fred and his wife, Norah, tagged hundreds of butterflies, hoping to solve the mystery of the monarchs. As many Texas students know, the monarch butterfly is the official state insect of TexasTexas is an important state in monarch migration because it is situated between the principal breeding grounds in the north and the overwintering areas in Mexico.


About the Author:

Author Barb Rosenstock likes true stories about real people. She is the author of nonfiction and historical fiction children’s books that combine deep research and playful language to bring history to life. Her book, The Noisy Paint Box, illustrated by Mary Grandpré, received a Caldecott Honor. Barb loves sharing stories and inspiring students in schools and libraries across the country. She lives with her family near Chicago.
Visit her at barbrosenstock.com.


About the Illustrator:

Illustrator Erika Meza was born in Morelia, in the Mexican state where monarch butterflies go for the winter. She grew up in awe of the phenomenon and carried the image of the butterfly as a piece of home when she moved to Paris, France, to follow her dream of becoming an author and illustrator. Her themes are born out of the exploration of her migrant essence, her bittersweet relationship with change and her attachment to innocence and curiosity. She now lives in London. Learn more about Erika at ErikaMeza.com.