The Bluestem Award: Illinois’ Grades 3-5 Readers’ Choice Award

The award is designed forbluestem students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than those found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles. Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists. For more information on this award, visit the ISLMA website.


Click on the titles below to view the primary source pairings:

11 Birthdays, Written by Wendy Mass

A Blind Guide to Stinkville, Written by Beth Vrabel

Among the Hidden, Written by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Book Scavenger, Written by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Crenshaw, Written by Katherine Applegate

Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope Adventures of the Great Blondin, Written and Illustrated by Matt Tavares

Dash, Written by Kirby Larson

Fuzzy Mud, Written by Louis Sachar

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, Written and Illustrated by Judd Winick

Roller Girl, Written and Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson

Save Me a Seat, Written by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Separate is Never Equal, Written and Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Soar, Written by Joan Bauer

Stick Dog, Written and Illustrated by Tom Watson

The House that Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams, Written by Tanya Lee Stone, Illustrated by Kathryn Brown

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea, Written by Brenda Z. Guiberson, Illustrated by Gennady Spirin

The Terrible Two, Written by Mac Barnett and Jory John, Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

The Wild Robot, Written and Illustrated by Peter Brown

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Written by Grace Lin

Who Was Louis Braille? Written by Margaret Frith