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 AISLE website.



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

The Bad Guys, Written and Illustrated by Aaron Blabey

Ban This Book, Written by Alan Gratz

Beauty and The Beak, Written by Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Foot Field to the Art Gallery, Written by Sandra Neil Wallace, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

A Boy Called Bat, Written by Elana K. Arnold

Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion, Written by Chris Barton, Illustrated by Victo Ngai

Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code, Written by Laurie Wallmark, Illustrated by Katy Wu

The Great Treehouse War, Written by Lisa Graff

Her Right Foot, Written by Dave Eggers, Illustrated by Shawn Harris

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Written by Dusti Bowling

Last Kids On Earth, Written by Max Brallier, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of, Written and Illustrated by Martin Brown

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, Written by Shari Green

The Magic Misfits, Written by Neil Patrick Harris

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having A Disability, Written by Shane Burcaw, Photographs by Matt Carr

One Dead Spy, Written by Nathan Hale

Real Friends, Written by Shannon Hale

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems, Written by Bob Raczka

Wishtree, Written by Katherine Applegate

You Go First, Written by Erin Entrada Kelly