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Looking for Children’s Book Suggestions? Turn to the CCBA Awards List

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When students ask me for book suggestions, I find myself wanting to start with the tried and true books that remain popular year after year. The only problem with that is that they have likely read them already and there are so many fantastic books published in the recent years. The Colorado Children’s Book Award (CCBA) was created to help encourage a love for reading. It is an annual contest where students in the state of Colorado vote for their favorite picture book and novel.

For libraries to participate in the contest, they must have at least ten of the nominated books. Each child must read three of the nominated books or have them read to them. The votes are tallied and submitted. Your child might already be reading these books in school as part of the program, but if they aren’t you can introduce them at home.


I love checking out state book award lists for new reading material to put in my library. This year’s CCBA list of nominees is full of great books. Some of them discuss pretty heavy topics but they are great conversation starters. Here are a few of my favorites:


Pax by Sara Pennypacker – After raising a fox from a baby, Peter, twelve years old, has to release the fox into the wild and is sent to live with his grandfather when his father goes off to an unnamed war that is occurring in their country. The book switches back and forth between Peter’s perspective and the Pax. Note: This one might bring some tears. 4th to 7th grade.


Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar – Marshall takes a shortcut home through an area of the woods that is off limits. After he gets lost, he and the friend who followed him discover why the woods have been off limits. When the government gets involved they know it is not good at all. 4th to 7th grade.


Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall – Red, a crayon, is expected to be a certain way because of who they think he is but he just can’t conform. Red’s story helps us to look beyond appearances and what we might expect. Pre-K up.


Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems – Willems is a favorite of the Kindergarten through 2nd graders at my school. This is another Elephant and Piggie book. Piggie has a surprise for Gerald but when he must wait for it, he loses his patience. Pre-K up.


See the full list of nominees to get more book suggestions. Has your child read through all of these already? Trying searching for book awards in other states.


Jennifer Close is a teacher librarian and travel blogger. She likes to read, craft and look for adventures with her children and you can find her at Two Kids and a Map.

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