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2023-2024 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List Released

TLA Annual Conference, TLA News, TLA Reading Lists

The Texas Library Association’s (TLA) 2023-2024 Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) Master List was announced at the Texas Book Festival in Austin on Saturday, November 5, 2022.

As is tradition, students in grades 3 – 6 from across Texas revealed the books on the list.

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 1018 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 75,000 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 your dedication and the time you took to thoughtfully select the books on this year’s 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. Black Boy Joy edited by Kwame Mbalia (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House)
  2. Blue by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond. Illustrated by Daniel Minter (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House)
  3. Gladys the Magic Chicken by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Adam Rex (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House Publishers)
  4. Haven: A Small Cat’s Big Adventure by Megan Wagner Lloyd (Candlewick Press)
  5. Indelible Ann by Meghan P. Browne. Illustrated by Carlynn Whitt (Random House Studio, an imprint of Penguin Random House)
  6. Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. Illustrated by Gabriela Epstein (Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic)
  7. Leave it to Plum! by Matt Phelan (Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
  8. Once Upon a Tim by Stuart Gibbs. Illustrated by Stacy Curtis (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  9. Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Disney Hyperion)
  10. Tales to Keep You Up At Night by Dan Poblocki. Illustrated by Marie Bergeron (Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Random House)
  11. The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Candlewick Press)
  12. The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet by David L. Harrison. Illustrated by Kate Cosgrove (Holiday House)
  13. The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Shawn Harris (Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
  14. The Last Beekeeper by Pablo Cartaya. Illustrated by C. Vélez Aguilera (Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
  15. The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat (Candlewick Press)
  16. The Legend of Gravity by Charly Palmer (Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers)
  17. The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton (Henry Holt and Company, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers)
  18. The Polter-Ghost Problem by Betsy Uhrig (Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster BYR)
  19. Thirst by Varsha Bajaj (Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House)
  20. Unbound: The Life + Art of Judith Scott by Joyce Scott with Brie Spangler, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House)