Reading the Sequoyah Nominees

I’ve read 11 of 15 books on the 2017 Sequoyah Master List for Grades 3-5, so far. My friend, Kami, and her granddaughter, Kynzee, have read them all. Kynzee and I may be in agreement on which book we favor to win.

The best literature being written today is for young readers. A good place to start sampling is with prize lists, including state award nominees.

Read and share some good series books, too. Many kids become readers because they fall in love with characters like Junie B. Jones or become fascinated by history and science with the likes of Magic Tree House, I Survived, and the Magic School Bus. These books are well written, funny, exciting, and hold a kid’s attention. Their formulae are comforting for young readers, too.

Reading is about making connections. Students who find things in common between books get more out of those books. Every connection is a new peg, every word a new link.

This year, my students are pairing I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor by Lauren Tarshis with Gaijin by Matt Faulkner and Dash by Kirby Larson. Dash is a Sequoyah nominee. Gaijin is a graphic novel. These three books explore the bombing of Pearl Harbor, its aftermath, and its effects on people. Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury would be another good book here.

Books don’t have to be about the same topic to provide connections. I’ve often paired Keeping Room by Anna Myers with Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. What they have in common are time and place, the late 1700s and the East Coast of the North American continent.

What are some of your favorite pairings for young people? Why?

What winners have you read lately? What do you recommend?

I can always add another book to my stack.

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