Reading nominated books: NC Children’s Book Awards

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2017

By Amber Covington

Rowan Public Library

Looking for a way to get your child into reading? Introduce him or her to the nominee list of picture and junior books for the 2017-2018 North Carolina Children’s Book Award.

In its 25th year, this book award selects a committee of librarians across the state from public and school libraries who come together to create a list of picture books and chapter books.

Each book chosen as a nominee has been published within the past two years and has been selected to instill a love of reading children’s literature.

The picture books list includes the following titles:

“Ada Twist, Scientist,” by Andrea Beaty;

“The Bear and the Piano,” by David Litchfield;

“Giant Squid,” by Candace Fleming;

“Lion Lesson,” by Jon Agee;

“Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion,” by Alex Smith;

“Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood,” by F. Isabel Campoy;

“Quit Calling Me a Monster!” by Jory John;

“Thunder Boy Jr.,” by Sherman Alexie;

“The Toad,” by Elise Gravel;

“Water is Water,” by Miranda Paul.

The junior book list includes the following books:

“Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: the First Computer Programmer,” by Diane Stanley;

“All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook,” by Leslie Connor;

“Garvey’s Choice,” by Nikki Grimes;

“Ghost,” by Jason Reynolds;

“Moo,” by Sharon Creech;

“A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day,” by Andrea Pinkney;

“Save Me a Seat,” by Sara Weeks and Gita Varadarajan;

“Some Writer: the Story of E.B. White,” by Melissa Sweet;

“The Terrible Two,” by Mac Barnett and Jory John;

“Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions,” by Chris Barton;

“Wish,” by Barbara O’Connor.

There are several activities families can enjoy described in the activity booklet accessible through the NC Children’s Book Award website,

In the activity book, the description of each book also lists related reading, discussion questions, videos, websites and art activities. Stop by the library to check out the titles we have available.

I have read several books from both categories and I have enjoyed “Thunder Boy Jr.” by Sherman Alexie in the picture book category.

I am torn between two books in the junior book category, and they are “Moo,” by Sharon Creech, and “Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaker Stream of Inventions,” by Chris Barton. These books depict characters who leave their readers inspired to make a contribution to the world through dedication and perseverance.

Here are a few rules to follow before beginning your reading. Children voting in the picture book category should read at least five nominees. Children voting in the junior book category should read at least three books.

Beginning in November, children may begin nominating their favorite picture and junior books. Nominations end in March 2018. All votes will be tallied before a winner is announced from the picture book or junior book category next spring.

Want to read more about the North Carolina Children’s Book Award? Visit

PJ Storytime: Headquarters, Sept. 25, 6:30 p.m., Put on your pajamas, grab a blanket, your favorite stuffed animal and join us for a special evening storytime. Recommended for children 3-11 years old, but all children weolcome.

Baby Time: Birth-23 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Toddler Time: 18 to 35 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.; South, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschoolers: 3-5 years. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; South, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Noodlehead Storytime: Pre-K to fifth grade. Interactive storytime. Headquarters, Thursday, 4 p.m.; East, Tuesdays 3:30 p.m.; South Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m.

Art programs: Pre-K to fifth grade. Learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects; 30-45 minutes. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Bethany’s Brushes, East, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.; Canvas Kids, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: 7 to 9 years old. Children can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Canine listeners provided by Therapy Dogs International. Headquarters, selected Tuesdays, 4 p.m. Call 704-216-8234 for details. East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Call 704-216-7842 for details. South, by appointment only. Call 704-216-7728 for details.

Teen programs are open to sixth- through 12th-graders who are 11-18 years old.

Chapter Chats: Weekly book club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. Mondays, 5 p.m. at East Branch, Rockwell. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Give Back Saturdays: Help us give back to the community through various crafts and projects, which we’ll donate to local charities. Teens can count participation to meet community service requirements for school or other organizations. Headquarters, Sept. 23 and Oct. 14, 11 a.m.

Monthly teen program: Escape the Library. Using only your wits and a couple of hints, see if you can work with your teammates and find a way out in our very own RPL escape room. Headquarters, Sept. 19, 4:30 p.m.; East, Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m.; South, Sept. 28, 4 p.m.

The Write Stuff: Lessons in and practice with creative writing, led by Jenny Hubbard, young-adult novelist. Headquarters, Oct. 3, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Open to teens in grades six through 12.

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” book release party:  Celebrate the release of the illustrated edition of the third Harry Potter book with crafts, snacks and a screening of the movie. We will not have copies of the book for sale. South, Oct. 3, 3 p.m.

Teen Hour: Bring your favorite games to challenge friends, talk about your ideas for upcoming events, or just hang out. Headquarters, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, 4:30 p.m.;  South, Oct. 26, 4 p.m.

Family storytime: East, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. Jump start your Saturday with priceless family time. Our activities will include exciting stories, creative songs, and fun.

Genealogy Class: “Ports of Arrival,” headquarters, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. This event, co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Rowan County and RPL’s Edith M. Clark History Room, is free and open to the public. This class will take a look at the many and varied ports of entry immigrating ancestors may have arrived or traveled through. For more information or to register, please contact Gretchen at or 704-216-8232 or visit

Library Card Sign-up Month: At headquarters (201 W. Fisher St.), East (110 Broad St., Rockwell) and South (920 Kimball Road, China Grove) branches.

Downtown Beats — Rowan’s Impromptu Chorus: Sept. 18, 6 p.m., headquarters. Everyone is welcome. This community sing requires no experience and no commitment. No charge or prior registration is required. Arrive at 6 for a short practice of two pre-selected songs. The sing will culminate with a final, videoed performance. Questions? Contact Abigail at or at 704-216-8248.

Read an eBook Day: Headquarters, East and South, Sept. 18. Celebrate modern storytelling by checking out your favorite eBook from RPL’s online collection. Use the hashtag #eBookLove on social media to join the conversation and share what you’re reading and why you love eBooks. For more information, visit or RPL’s website.

September Film Series: “Batman vs. Superman,” South, Sept, 18, 6 p.m.; (2016, PG-13, 151 min.) open to the public. Admission is free, all ages are welcome. An adult must accompany children under 13. Free popcorn and lemonade. The September Film Series is part of Library Card Sign-up Month celebration.

• “Man of Steel,” Saturday, Sept. 23, headquarters. (2013, PG-13, 143 min.), free, open to public, all ages welcome. An adult must accompany children under 13. Free popcorn and lemonade. The September Film Series is part of Library Card Sign-up Month celebration.

Makerspace Open House: Sept. 19, 6 p.m. This one-hour tour will introduce participants to RPL’s Makerspace, its equipment and its projects.

Family Storytelling Concert: Headquarters, Sept. 21, 7-8 p.m., N.C. storyteller Gale Buck will perform. Open to the public, all ages welcome

Displays: Headquarters, Constitution Week by Daughters of the American Revolution and Hispanic Heritage Month by Icela Trujillo; East, celebrating the octopus, by Emma Rose; South, artisan jewelry by Myrtis Trexler.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.