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2022-2023 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List Released

TLA News, TLA Reading Lists

The Texas Library Association’s (TLA) 2022-2023 Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) Master List was announced virtually at the Texas Book Festival on Sunday, October 24.

As is tradition, students in grades 3 – 6 from across Texas revealed the books on the list. You can watch their announcement here.

The Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List is one of the most distinguished children’s literature lists in the country.

Jacqui Bridges-Sheppherd, TBA coordinator, said “this prestigious list is composed of titles from creative, talented and diverse authors. The titles on the list offer students in third through sixth grades quality fiction and nonfiction literature to be read for pleasure.”

The TBA selection committee considered a whopping 1050 books for this year’s master list.

“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 keeps student’s interests in mind and provides positive reviews for parents, teachers and librarians,” Bridges-Sheppherd said.

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 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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.

Bridges-Sheppherd expressed thanks to her hard-working committee members, for volunteering their time. “To the members of the selection committee, I thank you for completing all the reading you did to create this list. I appreciate your critical thinking, your thoughtful and insightful comments, and conversations. I appreciate you stepping up to complete whatever was asked of you. But most of all I appreciate each of you for dedicating your time to selecting the books for the master list,” she said.

“To the members of the program committee (who develop resources used by teachers and librarians in conjunction with TBA books) I thank you for completing all of your tasks on a quick turnaround timeframe. Your hard work is always thorough and valued. To both committees, I thank you for what you do for the librarians and students of Texas.”

Here is the list, alphabetized by title:

  1. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, illustrated by Godwin Akpan. (Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2021).
  2. Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. Dobbs. (Sourcebooks Young Reader, 2021).
  3. Bartali’s Bicycle: The True Story of Gino Bartali, Italy’s Secret Hero by Megan Hoyt, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno. (Quill Tree Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2021).
  4. Becoming Muhammad Ali: A Novel by James Patterson & Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile. (Jimmy Patterson Books, an imprint of Little Brown & Company, 2020).
  5. Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes. (​​Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2021).
  6. The Hungry Place by Jessie Haas. (Astra Young Readers, an imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers, 2020).
  7. J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard, illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts. (Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House/Penguin, 2021).
  8. The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holm. (Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House Publishers, 2021).
  9. Long Lost by Jacqueline West. (Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2021).
  10. Memoirs of a Tortoise by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers. (Sleeping Bear Press, 2020).
  11. Nightingale by Deva Fagan (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2021).
  12. No Place for Monsters by Kory Merritt (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2020).
  13. Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Eric Rohmann. (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2021).
  14. The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng. (Clarion, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, 2021).
  15. Rock by Rock: The Fantastical Garden of Nek Chand by Jennifer Bradbury, illustrated by Sam Boughton. (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2021).
  16. Stella by McCall Hoyle. (Shadow Mountain Publishing, 2021).
  17. Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Don Tate. (Little Brown & Company, 2020).
  18. Twins by Varian Johnson, illustrated by Shannon Wright. (Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic, 2020).
  19. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. (Carolrhoda, an imprint of Lerner Publications, 2021).
  20. Willodeen by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charles Santoso. (Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2021).