Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award, by Nadine Poper

Most of us follow the annual ALA Youth Media Awards.  As an aspiring children’s writer and librarian, I personally keep tabs on the titles that are being considered for the Caldecott and Newbery. All year long  I feverishly reserve them from my local library and read, read, read.  And we know that the winning titles are chosen by a panel of very skilled, very talented, and passionate people of the kid lit scene.  We cheer along with the audience as each title is announced at Mid-Winter Conference.  I stream it live each year for my morning classes of elementary students.   I have prepped them for these announcements since the beginning of the new school year by reading aloud the potential winners or making the books available so that come announcement time, my kiddos are bursting with anticipation.  Did they pick a winner during our mock Caldecott, Newbery, and Geisel awards?  But then sometimes we are left with a bit of confusion when a title wins that we totally didn’t pick up on the radar.  My students look at me and say, “But Mrs. Poper, we didn’t hear about that one”.  I explain to them that I must have missed that one as I was reading the latest Elephant and Piggy instead.  What fun we have in the months leading up to the ALA Mid -Winter announcements!  I just love being a librarian for over 800 urban students.  Following these awards gives them a sense of being part of a much larger literary environment beyond the walls of our cozy library space.

Fortunately for them, I am on the committee for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award.  As a member of the Pennsylvania School Librarian’s Association (PSLA), I have chosen to be a part of this exciting state book award.  As the name indicates, the winning book is chosen by…the kids of Pennsylvania.  The winning books are simply chosen by popular vote.  Yes, the 2016 winning books below are what PA kids chose as their favorites!

The purpose of the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards Program is to promote reading of quality books by young people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to encourage teacher / librarian collaboration in young adult and children’s literature, and to honor authors whose works have been recognized by the students of Pennsylvania.  It has been in existence for 25 years.

2016 Winners

Kindergarten – Grade 3: The Monkey Goes Bananas by C.P. Bloom 

Grades 3-6: El Deafo by Cece Bell

Grades 6-8: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

Young Adult: Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryla

monkey            el deafo

 the-fourteenth-goldfish                  those-who-wish-me-dead-cover__130925171129

I will be posting more about the PAYRCA in future EasternPennPoints issues.  Stay tuned.

If you are not familiar with this award, please visit




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8 Responses to Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award, by Nadine Poper

  1. rosecappelli says:

    Thanks for this information, Nadine. Did you know that PA has another awards program sponsored by the Keystone State Reading Association? We have five divisions – preschool, primary, intermediate, middle school, high school. All winners are chosen by students. It is wonderful that our PA readers have so much encouragement to read great books!

    • Nadine Poper says:

      Thank you Rose! Yes, I completely agree that our young people are so fortunate to have this reading support and encouragement. I have been an elementary teacher and librarian for 20 years and was not aware of these awards. I just checked out the information and the titles are great. I will put them on my next book order!

  2. Thank you, Nadine! I enjoyed reading this and hope my son’s school librarian makes as big an effort to get the kids connected to the larger community. Are you on Goodreads? I tried to find you. I’d love to be able to see what you’re reading in the different genres! I’m always looking for great book recommendations! Thanks again!

  3. I wish I had had a librarian like you in my life when I was a kid!!

  4. hmmmmm says:

    Thanks Nadine — this is great!!

  5. Pingback: PA Young Reader’s Choice Award, by Nadine Poper | EasternPennPoints

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