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Children's & Youth Services | South Dakota Children's Book Awards

South Dakota Children's Book Awards

Prairie Bud Prairie Pasque AwardsThe Prairie Bud & Pasque Children’s Book Awards are sponsored by the South Dakota Library Association link to s d library association dot org.


2014-15 Prairie Pasque (3-5) Nominees:

  • book cover of Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
  • book cover of Go for the Goal!
  • book cover of Freaky Fast Frankie Joe
  • book cover of The Second Life of Abigail Walker
  • book cover of The Matchbox Diary
  • book cover of Adventures of Beanboy
  • book cover of Tua and the Elephant
  • book cover of Cowboys: Voices in the Western Wind
  • book cover of Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead
  • book cover of The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents
  • book cover of Island of Thieves
  • book cover of Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
  • book cover of Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story
  • book cover of The Spindlers
  • book cover of Wonder
  • book cover of Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond

2014-15 Downloads & links:


Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Jabari Asim Web Link to the real jabari asim dot com

Booker dreamed of making friends with words, setting free the secrets that lived in books.

Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. When he arrived, he had just fifty cents in his pocket and a dream about to come true. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen.

Award-winning artist Bryan Collier captures the hardship and the spirit of one of the most inspiring figures in American history, bringing to life Booker T. Washington's journey to learn, to read, and to realize a dream.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: NC740L
  • ATOS: 4.9
  • School Library Journal: 2-4th

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

  • Grade Level: P-1st
  • Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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Go for the Goal! Go for the Goal! by Fred Bowen; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Fred Bowen Web Link to fred bowen dot com

Josh and his talented travel league soccer teammates are having trouble coming together as a successful team, until he convinces them to try team-building exercises.

Thirteen-year-old Josh tries out for the United, an elite travel league soccer team, and is thrilled when he makes the cut. But once the season is underway, he discovers that the practices are grueling and the other team members are prone to hogging the ball. All the other players are talented, but they each seem to be playing for themselves and not for the team. They can't seem to pull together enough to win a single game. Tired of always being in the losers bracket, Josh begins to wonder if he made a mistake by leaving his old team and his buddies. Should he quit the United?But just when Josh is about to give up on his new team, he makes a discovery: While doing a homework assignment about the World Cup soccer championships, he learns that the 1999 United States Women's World Cup team faced similar difficulties. Individually they were excellent athletes, but they just couldn't work together. How did the 1999 team win it all that year? By using team-building exercises. Fired up by this idea, Josh convinces his coach to try the same approach. At first his teammates are skeptical, but with time they turn the United into a real team!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 590L
  • ATOS: 3.9
  • School Library Journal: Not Available

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.

  • Grade Level: Not Available
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Freaky Fast Frankie Joe Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Lutricia Clifton Web Link to lutricia hyphen lois hypehn clifton dot com

When twelve-year-old Frankie Joe's mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father's wife, and his father's four "legitimate" sons. Frankie Joe is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe's Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends for Frankie Joe, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 600L
  • ATOS: 3.8
  • School Library Journal: 4-6th

Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.

  • Grade Level: Not Available
  • Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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The Second Life of Abigail Walker The Second Life of Abigail Walker by Frances O’Roark Dowell; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Frances O'Roark Dowell Web Link to frances dowell dot com

Is it possible to start afresh when you're thoroughly weighted down?

Seventeen pounds. That's the difference between Abigail Walker and Kristen Gorzca. Between chubby and slim, between teased and taunting. Abby is fine with her body and sick of seventeen pounds making her miserable, so she speaks out against Kristen and her groupies-and becomes officially unpopular. Embracing her new status, Abby heads to an abandoned lot across the street and crosses an unfamiliar stream that leads her to a boy who's as different as they come.

Anders is homeschooled, and while he's worried that Abby's former friends are out to get her, he's even more worried about his dad, a war veteran home from Iraq who is dangerously disillusioned with life. But if his dad can finish his poem about the expedition of Lewis and Clark, if he can effectively imagine what it is to experience freshness and innocence, maybe he will be okay. As Abby dives into the unexpected role as research assistant, she just as unexpectedly discovers that by helping someone else find hope in the world, there is plenty there for herself, as well.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: 740L
  • ATOS: 4.7
  • School Library Journal: 4-6th

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

  • Grade Level: 3-7th
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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The Matchbox Diary The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Paul Fleischman Web Link to URL

"Pick whatever you like most. Then I'll tell you its story."

When a little girl visits her great-grandfather at his curio-filled home, she chooses an unusual object to learn about: an old cigar box. What she finds inside surprises her: a collection of matchboxes making up her great-grandfather's diary, harboring objects she can hold in her hand, each one evoking a memory. Together they tell of his journey from Italy to a new country, before he could read and write — the olive pit his mother gave him to suck on when there wasn't enough food; a bottle cap he saw on his way to the boat; a ticket still retaining the thrill of his first baseball game. With a narrative entirely in dialogue, Paul Fleischman makes immediate the two characters' foray into the past. With warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, Bagram Ibatoulline gives expressive life to their journey through time — and toward each other.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD420L
  • ATOS: 2.8
  • School Library Journal: 1-4th

Publisher: Candlewick Press

  • Grade Level: 1-4th
  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

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Adventures of Beanboy Adventures of Beanboy by Lisa Harkrader; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Lisa Harkrader Web Link to l d harkerader dot com

Never underestimate the power of the bean. Tucker MacBean has been drawing comic books almost as long as he's been reading them. When his favorite comic has a contest for kids, he hopes he has finally found a way to fix his family-all he has to do is create the winning superhero sidekick… Introducing "Beanboy"—the first comic book character to truly harness the power of the bean for good. He is strong, he is relentless, he can double in size overnight (if given enough water).

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 670L
  • ATOS: 4.3
  • School Library Journal: 4-7th

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Grade Level: 4-7th
  • Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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Tua and the Elephant Tua and the Elephant by R. P. Harris; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

R. P. Harris

One day, Tua makes an accidental acquaintance—one with wise, loving eyes and a very curious trunk. And this elephant needs her help. From the bustling night market to the hallowed halls of a Buddhist temple and finally, to the sanctuary of an elephant refuge, this clever girl and her beloved companion find that right under their noses is exactly what each has been searching for: a friend.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th
  • Lexile: 790L
  • ATOS: 5.2
  • School Library Journal: 3-6th

Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC

  • Grade Level: 3-7th
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Cowboys: Voices in the Western Wind Cowboys: Voices in the Western Wind by David L. Harrison; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

David L. Harrison Web Link to david l harrison dot com

The life of a cowboy driving a cattle herd was hard. It took a person with grit to drive a thousand head of longhorns along the Chisholm Trail. Cowboys faced badlands, lightning storms, and deadly twisters. But they also found time to swap stories around the campfire. David L. Harrison has created a cast of tough-as-leather cowboys who speak their minds in twenty-two entertaining poems, brought to life by Dan Burr's dramatic paintings. Readers follow the cowboys from roundup on a ranch in Texas to the one-thousand-mile trek to market in Abilene, Kansas, where they finally let loose.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: Not Available
  • Lexile: Not Available
  • ATOS: Not Available
  • School Library Journal: 5th and up

Publisher: Boyds Mills Press

  • Grade Level: 2-4th
  • Age Range: 7 - 9 Years

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Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Rebecca L. Johnson Web Link to rebecca johnson books dot com

Are zombies real? As far as we know, dead people do not come back to life and start walking around, looking for trouble. But there are things that can take over the bodies and brains of innocent creatures, turning them into senseless slaves. Meet nature's zombie makers — including a fly-enslaving fungus, a suicide worm, and a cockroach-taming wasp — and their victims.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: 800L
  • ATOS: 5.3
  • School Library Journal: 5-8th

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

  • Grade Level: Not Available
  • Age Range: 9 - 13 Years

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The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents by Susan Katz; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Susan Katz

Playful political poems about the penchants and peccadilloes of the presidents! Sure, William Taft got stuck in his tub, but did you know that John Quincy Adams used to skinny-dip in the Potomac? Herbert Hoover spoke Chinese with his wife, and Gerald Ford had his name changed from Leslie Lynch King. It's true! In The President's Stuck in the Bathtub, the lives of the presidents are served up as fact-filled and fanciful poems that will make you laugh, cringe, and gasp with amazement at the colorful cast of men and women who have lived in the White House. With footnotes relating the facts behind the inspiration for each poem, and a section called "Presidential Notes and Quotes" in the back, this is one hilarious history lesson that kids will elect to read over and over again!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th or 6-8th
  • Lexile: NC1070L
  • ATOS: 6.6
  • School Library Journal: 3-6th

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Grade Level: 1-4
  • Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

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Island of Thieves Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Josh Lacey Web Link to josh lacey dot com

"Only boring people get bored… Interesting people can always find something to be interested in."

That's what Tom Trelawney's father says, anyway. Tom shouldn't have been interested in playing with matches but he was… bored. Now the shed is in ashes and strange Uncle Harvey is the only one willing to have him stay while his parents vacation Tom soon discovers Harvey is going to South America on a treasure hunt and though nephews aren't invited, he manages to tag along. Before it's over he'll drive a car, fire a gun and run for his life. Tom realizes that life may be about following the rules, but survival may be about breaking them.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 640L
  • ATOS: 4.2
  • School Library Journal: 5-8th

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Grade Level: 4-7th
  • Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic by AUTHOR; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Ginnie Lo

Jinyi and her sister love visiting Auntie and Uncle Yang’s home, where they enjoy dumpling-eating contests and backyard adventures with their cousins. One weekend, on a Sunday drive among the cornfields near Chicago, Auntie Yang spots something she has never before seen in Illinois. Could it be one of their favorite Chinese foods—soybeans?!

Excited by their discovery, the families have their very first soybean picnic. Every year after that, Auntie Yang invites more people to share the food and fun. Pretty soon more than two hundred friends and neighbors are gathering at the picnic to play games and eat soybeans together.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: AD960L
  • ATOS: 4.6
  • School Library Journal: 1-4th

Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.

  • Grade Level: Not Available
  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

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Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story by S.D. Nelson; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

S.D. Nelson Web Link to S D nelson dot net

This fascinating picture book biography tells the childhood story of Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born around 1839. Through her true story, readers will learn what it was like to be part of this Native American community that lived along the Missouri River in the Dakotas, a society that depended more on agriculture for food and survival than on hunting. Children will relate to Buffalo Bird Girl's routine of chores and playing with friends, and they will also be captivated by her lifestyle and the dangers that came with it.

Using as a resource the works of Gilbert L. Wilson, who met Buffalo Bird Woman and transcribed her life's story in the early 20th century, award-winning author-illustrator S. D. Nelson has captured the spirit of Buffalo Bird Girl and her lost way of life. The book includes a historical timeline.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th
  • Lexile: 890L
  • ATOS: 5.9
  • School Library Journal: 3-6th

Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.

  • Grade Level: 1-5th
  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

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The Spindlers The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Lauren Oliver Web Link to lauren oliverf books dot com

Evocative of Alice in Wonderland, this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope.

Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers—evil, spiderlike beings—came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.

Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy: she must brave tree-snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting scawgs before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th
  • Lexile: 840L
  • ATOS: 5.8
  • School Library Journal: 4-6th

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

  • Grade Level: 3-7th
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Wonder Wonder by R.J. Palacio; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

R.J. Palacio Web Link to r j palacio dot com

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: 790L
  • ATOS: 4.8
  • School Library Journal: 4-7th

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Grade Level: 3-7th
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent; Prairie Pasque Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent Web Link to dorothy hinshaw patent dot com

When the news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound broke, the SEAL team member that stole the show was a highly trained canine companion. Throughout history, dogs have been key contributors to military units. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent follows man's best friend onto the battlefield, showing readers why dogs are uniquely qualified for the job at hand, how they are trained, how they contribute to missions, and what happens when they retire. With full-color photographs throughout and sidebars featuring heroic canines throughout history, Dogs on Duty provides a fascinating look at these exceptional soldiers and companions.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 6-8th or 9-10th
  • Lexile: NC1190L
  • ATOS: 7.1
  • School Library Journal: 3-6th

Publisher: Walker & Company

  • Grade Level: 2-10th
  • Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

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Jasmine Rockwell EMAIL
Children's & Young Adult Services Coordinator
605-773-5066
605-773-3131, Option 5, 1

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School Library Coordinator, West River
605-295-3152
605-773-3131, Option 5, 3

Marta Stirling EMAIL
School Library Coordinator, East River
605-773-3131, Option 5, 3

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