Do you have that reader who can’t find the just-right book? As the librarian, you have asked questions of the reader, suggested novels that fit the interests, and she still just can’t “get into” the book. It is a struggle librarians encounter, but we accept the challenge and begin the search for the “just right” book. In the past thirteen years, I have met this challenge more than a number of times. I learned quickly that I could reach for a Golden Sower nominee or award book, and my student would come back saying, “That book was really good!”
Golden Sower reads have existed since 1981 when the honor was first bestowed upon Deborah and James Howe for Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery. Forty years later, many nominees read, and three different divisions for nominees, allow a librarian to have many options to offer those difficult-to-please readers. The nominees and winner lists are easy to find. Go to https://sites.google.com/site/nebraskagoldensower/winners?authuser=0. These lists are filled with great reads for kids from picture books to juvenile fiction to young adults. A wide variety of genres and topics are included in these lists.
Need a good read-aloud for your lower elementary students? Search the picture book nominees. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett is still a favorite for Kindergartners. Try Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman for the middle-grade reader. When students realize this story is based on the 1980 tornado outbreak that impacted Grand Island, they are quick to read it cover to cover. The award for the young adult novel was introduced in 1993. Since then, the great reads and excelling authors does not disappoint. Authors such as Carl Dueker, Joan Lowery Nixon, Lois Lowery, April Henry, and Alan Gratz can all be found on these lists.
Readers advisory can be just a bit easier or maybe a little more exciting to explore with the nominee and winner lists from the Golden Sower Award. It’s worth the time to explore the titles and authors to help your readers find the “just right” book.
By Mary Gregoski
This blog is a joint effort by members of the NSLA Executive Board. We hope to provide relevant information, tips and tools to help you in your journey.