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The 2021 Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner Is..

TLA Annual Conference, TLA News, TLA Reading Lists

Thousands of children voted across Texas and the results are in: the winner of the 2021 Texas Bluebonnet Award is If I Built a School, written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.

In this whimsical, beautifully illustrated book, schoolboy Jack imagines a fantastic school with its own zoo, trampoline basketball, hover desks, a robo-chef, field trips to outer space and more. As Jack tells his teacher,

My school will amaze you. My school will astound.
By far the most fabulous school to be found!
Perfectly planned and impeccably clean.
On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!
And learning is fun in a place that’s fun, too.

A total of 54,784 students, from 1275 registered institutions (school libraries, public libraries and homeschooling groups) submitted their votes. This was an impressive number, considering the many challenges to TBA voting this year, including school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as school closures due to Winter Storm Uri and the subsequent power and water outages experienced across the state. Voting deadlines were extended three times to make sure as many students as possible were able to vote.

Watch the official video announcement, including a message from Chris Van Dusen, here.

To vote, children had to read at least five of the books on the Texas Bluebonnet Award List and select their favorite title.

Van Dusen discusses his inspiration for If I Built a School in this video.

Students representing 10 Texas school districts will present the award to the winner at the Texas Bluebonnet Award Author Session at the Texas Library Association 2021 Annual Conference, which will be held virtually April 22-24, 2021. Register for conference today.