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2021 Spring Awards & Summer Reading Lists

As you and your students celebrate the end of a school year like no other, we share a collection of links designed to keep you and the children and young adults in your life happily reading over the summer vacation. First, though, we begin with links to the books that we blogged about over the last year that have won recent awards and honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. We invite you to explore our previously written blog entries for these winners and honor books.

Photo by Kindel Media

2021 Spring Book Awards

The following awards and recommended book lists announced each spring are included in this post:

  • 2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts (Children’s Literature Assembly)
  • 2021 Notable Books for a Global Society (International Literacy Association)
  • 2021 Best STEM Books (National Science Teachers Association)
  • 2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (National Council for the Social Studies)
  • 2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (these awards are usually announced each June, so they will be added to this list shortly)
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Written by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers
2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
Before the Ever After
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books
2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
I Am Every Good Thing
Written by Derrik Barnes
Illustrated by Gordon C. James 
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books
2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History
Edited by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, & Jeanette Bradley
Illustrated by Jeanette Bradley
Published by Charlesbridge
2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People\
The Polio Pioneer
Written by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by Lisa Anchin
Published by Random House Children’s Books / Alfred A. Knopf BFYR
2021 Best STEM Books
Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing
Edited by Tonya Bolden
Illustrated by Eric Valasquez
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books
2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 
The Teachers March!: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History
Written by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace 
Illustrated by Charly Palmer
Published by Boyds Mill & Kane/Calkins Creek
2021 Notable Books for a Global Society
We Are Water Protectors
Written by Carole Lindstrom
Illustrated by Michaela Goade 
Published by Roaring Brook Press 
2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
2021 Notable Books for a Global Society
2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
When You Trap a Tiger
Written by Tae Keller
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
Your Name is a Song
Written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
Published by The Innovation Press
2021 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

2021 Summer Reading and Resource Lists

Photo by Aaron Burden

American Library Association – Library Summer Reading Programs

https://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/book-lists/2021-summer-reading-list

American Library Association – 2021 Notable Children’s Books

https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb

American Library Association – 2021 Notable Children’s Digital Media

https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncdm

Children’s Book Council: Building a Home Library

https://www.cbcbooks.org/cbc-book-lists/bahl-2021/

Lee and Low Books Diverse Summer Reading Book List, K-8+

The Horn Book – 2021 Summer Reading Recommendations

https://www.hbook.com/?detailStory=2021-summer-reading-list

Reading Rockets: Big Summer Read

https://www.readingrockets.org/calendar/summer

We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series

Summer Reading Series

Audiobooks for Families

We love audiobooks for car rides with the family. Many public libraries now have downloadable audiobooks that you can listen to on an MP3 player, iPad, or iPod. Check in with your local public library and share the details with parents and students before the year is over. You might want to search for some of the books included in these lists below.

American Library Association – 2021 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 

https://www.ala.org/yalsa/2021-top-ten-amazing-audiobooks-young-adults

American Library Association – 2019 Notable Children’s Recordings

https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncr

Audio Publishers Association – 2021 Audies Awards

https://www.audiopub.org/winners/2021-audies

Resources for Teachers/Parents

Collaborative Summer Library Program

Home

Cooperative Center for Books for Children Booklists

Booklists

International Children’s Digital Library – Free digital PDFs of children’s picture books from around the globe in their original language. There is an iPad app that allows for easy viewing on your iPad.

http://www.childrenslibrary.org/

Literacy Tips for Parents in Multiple Languages (Reading Rockets)

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-tips-parents-multiple-languages

Reading Rockets – Summer Reading Loss

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/summer-reading-loss

School Library Journal article on Range, an app that locates free summer meals and libraries as safe havens

http://www.slj.com/2015/05/technology/applications/indiegogo-campaign-for-an-app-to-help-kids-find-safe-havens-during-summer/#_

Start With a Book

http://www.startwithabook.org

Summer Reading Loss: School Library Journal Interview with Dick Allington

http://www.slj.com/2013/06/curriculum-connections/summer-reading-and-the-richpoor-achievement-gap-an-educator-responds-to-questions/

Unite for Literacy – digital picture books narrated in a variety of international languages

https://www.uniteforliteracy.com/

Grace Enriquez About Grace Enriquez

Grace is an associate professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former English Language Arts teacher, reading specialist, and literacy consultant, she teaches and writes about children’s literature, critical literacies, and literacies and embodiment. Grace is co-author of The Reading Turn-Around and co-editor of Literacies, Learning, and the Body.