Friday, July 7, 2017

What is the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Program?

The Massachusetts Children's Book Award Program was founded by Dr. Helen Constant 1975 to encourage children in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades to read great books.  It also gives children a chance to voice their opinion and choose the book they think deserves to be named the Massachusetts Children's Book of the year.  Only students in fourth, fifth and sixth grade are allowed to vote. 

Students are given a “master list” of book titles. After reading five of the books, students may vote for their favorite. The list is compiled from nominations of participating teachers, librarians and interested publishers. A selection committee works with the nominations and chooses 25 titles to appear on the master list.

Criteria for the master list include literary quality, genres variety, representation of diverse cultural groups and reader appeal. Books published within five years of the award year are eligible. Titles on the master list are all available in paperback. The author of the winning book receives a plaque to commemorate the award.

MCBA 2017-2018

This program is sponsored by Salem State University.

Salem State University - In the Community MCBA Website

Massachusetts Children's Book Award Winner and Nominees Archives






Requirements for Participation in the Massachusetts Children's Book Award Program

  • Children in grades 4, 5, and 6 are eligible to vote if they have read, or have heard read aloud, at least five of the books from the 2018 Master List.
  • Participating teachers will encourage every eligible child to vote for his or her favorite book and will tally the class votes and submit them to the coordinator, who may be the librarian, the reading specialist, or another person delegated to assume this responsibility. Note: Only final votes for a favorite, one per child, are sent to Salem State University (no rankings).
  • The coordinator will submit the Official On-line Ballot to Salem State University via the link on the website: (If only one classroom teacher in a school participates, the teacher will register and submit his or her own tally to SSU.) Note: If the coordinator is working with multiple schools or libraries, s/he should submit an Official Ballot for each location; this will ensure that a certificate is sent for each participating school or library.
  • The link to the Official Ballot and the printable School Ballot will be posted on the website by February 1, 2018. Google Docs will close the Official Ballot link at 11:59 pm on Friday, March 16, 2018.If you are unable to access the ballots, please email
  • The 2017-2018 MCBA winners will be announced on the website on Monday, April 2, 2018.
  • Each participating school will receive a certificate of participation with the name of the winning book selected by the children as the winner of the 2018 Massachusetts Children’s Book Award.
  • Public librarians may facilitate the MCBA program for home-schooled children and for children whose schools do not participate in MCBA. Branch libraries within one city or town should appoint one person to be program coordinator, receive the information from SSU, and to share the information with librarians at other branches who wish to participate.