Atherton Makes Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List for 2008 12.1.07

Newest Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List Announced The Mission of the Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) Program is to promote reading by children in grades 3-6. Introducing quality books from a variety of genres and authors is the charge of the TBA Selection Committee. The following twenty titles form the 2008-2009 TBA Master List. Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, A Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins and Atherton: the House of Power by Patrick Carman represent fantasies that will appeal to both the young end of the TBA grade designation as well as the high end. The fantasy world of the Little Girl’s toys is told in simple episodic stories in the first; the 6th grade reader will enjoy an exciting futuristic science fiction, fantasy adventure in Atherton.This year’s Selection Committee was blessed with a plethora of good nonfiction from which to choose. Readers will never see a bedroom in the same way again after reading Patricia Lauber’s comical What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, and Pajamas. The thousands of people behind the scenes of the Apollo 11 mission are highlighted in the more difficult, but intriguing book by Catherine Thimmesh, Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. In Emily Arnold McCully’s picture book biography, Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor, readers are introduced to a woman that was known as Lady Edison.Joyce Sidman correctly identifies the emotions of sixth graders in her book of poetry, This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Serving as an informational title and a book of delightful verse, Douglas Florian makes the universe and its parts come to life in a way only he can in Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings.Folktales are a genre that are loved by children (and adults) of all ages, and the two titles on this year’s Master List are no different. Illustrator Andrea U’rn brings Cynthia DeFelice’s One Potato, Two Potato straight to the funny bone. In Crossing Bok Chitto, storyteller Tim Tingle, along with illustrator Jeanne Rorex Bridges, produces this unforgettable story from both the Choctaw and African-American traditions.Author Alison Hart shows the world of Kentucky thoroughbred horse racing through the eyes of the young slave Gabriel in the historical fiction novel Gabriel’s Horses. Though Way Down Deep by Ruth White and One-Handed Catch by Mary Jane Auch take place in the mid-1940s, they could be set in any time period. In these books, the reader will get to know Ruby and the characters from the town of Way Down Deep, and Norm who must learn to fulfill his dream after losing a hand in an accident. The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick also has its setting in history (1931), but its genre is impossible to tie down as it is historical fiction, mystery, picture book, graphic novel, and even silent movie all in one.The genre of realistic fiction on the Master List ranges from easy readers to a strong sixth grade choice and from hysterically funny to deeply serious. For the early reader Charise Mericle Harper’s Just Grace and Nancy Ruth Patterson’s The Winner’s Walk will entice them to want more chapter books. Older readers will get to know Meg as first time author Karen Day brings intensity and emotion to this young woman dealing with her father’s alcoholism in Tall Tales. The last four novels that round out the list bring humor and understanding:Lisa Graff’s first novel The Thing About Georgie; the funniest lesson in economics ever learned in Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen; a memorable road trip in The Middle of Somewhere by J.B. Cheaney; and an answer to helping with a family’s homelessness in Barbara O’Connor’s How to Steal a Dog.This collection of Master List books offers a variety of choices for the students who are the focus of the Texas Bluebonnet Award program. Remember to tell them, Read 5 and Then Decide!

Patrick Carman