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The Magnolia Award: Mississippi Children’s Choice

It is almost time for Mississippi’s third through fifth graders to vote for their favorite book among this year’s nominees for The Magnolia Award. I learned about this award at the 2009 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival and asked Virginia Butler, a writer friend and independent reading specialist who is part of the Award’s nominating committee, to bring me up-to-date.

Voting will take place at public and school libraries in April. Any student who has read at least half of the books is eligible to vote. The creator(s) of the winning book will be invited to receive The Magnolia Award at the 2011 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival.

Nominees are:

In establishing this award, Mississippi joins about 30 other states in recognizing excellence in children’s literature and getting young readers excited about new books. Linda Perez, librarian at Madison Station Elementary, spearheaded the push to create a children’s choice award. It is a goal of organizers to expand the award to other age groups in coming years.

The Magnolia Award is a partnership between the Mississippi Department of Education; the Mississippi Library Commission; the Mississippi Reading Association; the University of Southern Mississippi School of Library and Instructional Science; the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival; the University of Southern Mississippi School of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education; and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

If you have questions, or comments, please contact Catharine Bomhold (cbomhold at yahoo dot com). If you have suggestions for next year’s nominees, please follow this link.

2 Responses to The Magnolia Award: Mississippi Children’s Choice

  • Susan T. says:

    I’m so glad to hear that my home state has established this award! Good news. My fifth grader has enjoyed several of the nominees for the Nutmeg Award, which is the Connecticut equivalent. I would have loved something like this in my student days in Mississippi.

  • scampbell says:

    Susan, I think it is wonderful. I grew up here, too, and I would have loved participating when I was a kid. I have fond memories of the Walter Payton Read-a-Thon at Addison Jr. High. Here’s to Linda Perez and the committee!

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