Saturday, May 13, 2017

Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominees 2017-2018



Massachusetts Children’s Book Award
Sponsored by Salem State University
Master List 2017 Nominees



Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands 
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean: Science Comics by Maris Wicks

**Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullay Hunt
The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbott
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angelberger 
Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtiff
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper
Maps & Geography by Ken Jennings
Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison
**Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins 
**Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

**Space Case: A Moon Base Alpha Novel by Stuart Gibbs
Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
The Truth of Me: About a Boy, His Grandmother, and a Very Good Dog 
by Patricia MacLachan
The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye
*The War that Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley 

MCBA 2018 Winner
** MCBA 2018 Honor Books

 

 


MCBA 2017-2018 Nominated Book List by Grade Level




Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli


Another Day as Emily
by
Eileen Spinelli

Eleven-year-old Suzy just can't win. Her brother is a local hero for calling 911 after seeing their elderly neighbor collapse, and only her best friend was able to win a role in the play they both auditioned for. Feeling cast aside from all angles, Suzy sees a kindred spirit in Emily Dickinson, the subject of her summer project. Suzy decides to escape from her disappointments by emulating the poet's life of solitude: no visitors or phone calls (only letters delivered through her window), no friends (except her goldfish, Ottilie), and no outings (except church, but only if she can wear her long white Emily dress).

But being a recluse is harder than Suzy predicted. Will she find a way to fold Emily into her life while also remaining true to herself?

Written in a free verse poetry format. Young fans of Emily Dickinson will enjoy the many references to the poet, and readers new to verse will still find much to love in the humor and fun of

Look Inside

Click here to read a biography

Click here to visit the author's website. 

Click here to read some frequently asked questions of author Eileen Spinelli.

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.





The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands


The Blackthorn Key (#1)
by 
Kevin Sands

Following a series of murders, an apothecary's apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.
Christopher Rowe, apprentice to master apothecary Benedict Blackthorn, is learning all his master's secrets - like how to decipher complex codes and puzzles and how to transform simple ingredients into powerful medicines, potions, and weapons.
Christopher's beloved master guides him with a firm, steady hand - a confidence even more vital as Christopher learns of a mysterious cult preying on London's apothecaries. The murders grow closer and closer to Blackthorn's shop - until Christopher is torn from his home with only a cryptic message and a warning from his master: "Tell no one what I've given you".
Aided by his best friend, Tom, Christopher must race to decipher his master's message - and follow a trail of deceit toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.


Following a series of murders, an apothecary’s apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in Kevin Sands' suspenseful debut novel, 'The Blackthorn Key'.



Other books in the Blackthorn Key Series:


Mark of the Plague (#2)

Christopher Rowe is back and there are more puzzles, riddles, and secrets to uncover.
The Black Death has returned to London, spreading disease and fear through town. A mysterious prophet predicts the city’s ultimate doom—until an unknown apothecary arrives with a cure that actually works. Christopher’s Blackthorn shop is chosen to prepare the remedy. But when an assassin threatens the apothecary’s life, Christopher and his faithful friend Tom are back to hunting down the truth, risking their lives to untangle the heart of a dark conspiracy.

And as the sickness strikes close to home, the stakes are higher than ever before…



Join host Becky Anderson as she talks to author Kevin Sands about his new book, Mark of the Plague.

The Assassin's Curse (#3) 

Christopher Rowe is back and there are more puzzles, riddles, and secrets to uncover in this third novel of the award-winning Blackthorn Key series.

Wherever Christopher Rowe goes, adventure—and murder—follows. Even a chance to meet King Charles ends in a brush with an assassin.

All that’s recovered from the killer is a coded message with an ominous sign-off: more attempts are coming. So when Christopher’s code-breaking discovers the attack’s true target, he and his friends are ordered to Paris to investigate a centuries-old curse on the French throne. And when they learn an ancient treasure is promised to any assassin who succeeds, they realize the entire royal family is at stake—as well as their own lives.



Click here to visit the author's website. 

Reading book guide by Simon and Schuster 

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.





The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

The Blossoming Universe or Violet Diamond
by
Brenda Woods

This is an uplifting story of a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds.

Violet is biracial, but she lives with her white mother and sister, attends a mostly white school in a white town, and sometimes feels like a brown leaf on a pile of snow. Now that she’s eleven, she feels it’s time to learn about her African American heritage, so she seeks out her paternal grandmother. When Violet is invited to spend two weeks with her new Bibi (Swahili for "grandmother") and learns about her lost heritage, her confidence in herself grows and she discovers she’s not a shrinking Violet after all.


Click here to read about the author. 

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.




Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


Brown Girl Dreaming
by
Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s poetry reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.



Jacqueline Woodson reads from her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming 



Jacqueline Woodson Brown Girl Dreaming Author Video 




Click here for frequently asked questions.

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.



 

Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean: Science Comics by Maris Wicks

 

Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean: Science Comics  

by Maris Wicks 

In this nonfiction comic learn all about these tiny sea animals! This look at ocean science covers the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance. 

Click here to visit the author's blog. 

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.

Learn why coral reefs are so important!

Click here to view larger 

Hello! I'd like to introduce you to my habitat. The Coral Reef.

 

 

 

Click here to view larger 

Is coral a plant or an animal? I think the answer will surprise you.




There's so much to learn about these tiny, adorable sea animals.  

 







Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a Tree
by
Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.


Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Book Trailer


Click here to read Chapter One.

Printable Teacher's Guide (pdf)

Click here for frequently asked questions about Fish in a Tree.

Click here to visit the author's website. 

Click here to learn about the author. 

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.




The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbott


The Forbidden Stone (The Copernicus Legacy #1)
by
Tony Abbott

The Copernicus Legacy, begins with The Forbidden Stone, a thrilling adventure packed with puzzles, intrigue, and action.

Wade, Lily, Darrell, and Becca fly from Texas to Germany for the funeral of an old family friend. But instead of just paying their respects, they wind up on a dangerous, mind-blowing quest to unlock an ancient, guarded secret that could destroy the fate of the world.



The Copernicus Legacy by Tony Abbott | Official Book Trailer


Click here to read a sample.

Click here to visit the author's website.

Click here for more information about the author and frequently asked questions.

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.







Full Cicada Moon by Marlyn Hilton


Full Cicada Moon
by
Marilyn Hilton

It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.

Click here for more information about Marilyn Hilton

Marilyn Hilton has published numerous short stories, poems, essays, and two previous children’s books. She lives with her husband and three children in Northern California.

Click here to visit the author's website.

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.

Book Club Discussion Guide - (pdf)

Tiny Tips  


 

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Greenglass House
by
Kate Milford


It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

About the author
Originally from Annapolis, MD, Kate now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Nathan and son Griffin and their dogs, Ed and Sprocket. She has written for stage and screen 

Skype visits:

15 minute Q&A: Free to classes in which every student has read the book, and for which students have prepared questions. I have limited availability for these. Please email for available times.

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.




Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger


Inspector Flytrap (Secretly titled The DaVinci Code) Book #1
by 
Tom Angleberger
Illustrated by Cece Bell

Inspector Flytrap in the Da Vinci Cold introduces kids to the humorous and wacky world of Inspector Flytrap’s Detective Agency, home to the world-renowned solver of BIG DEAL mysteries. The plant detective works tirelessly with his assistant Nina the Goat on his community’s unsolved cases. There’s no case too big, but there are definitely cases too small for this endearingly self-important plant detective.

Celebrating the disabled yet enabled, the character of Inspector Flytrap is wheeled everywhere (on a skateboard, of course) by his goat sidekick as this mystery-solving duo.

On his first caper, Inspector Flytrap heads to the Art Museum’s Secret Lab to discover what important message lies in a mysterious glob on a recently discovered Da Vinci flower painting.

Included in these books are some graphic novel–style pages.



Audio Name Pronunciation with Tom Angleberger created by TeachingBooks.net 

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.

Other books in the series:


Inspector Flytrap: The President's Mane is Missing - (Book#2)

Inspector Flytrap: The Goat who Chewed Too Much - (Book#3)