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The California Young Reader Medal Program

February 28, 2011

You have probably heard of the Newbery & Caldecott, but are you familiar with the California Young Reader Medal? I mentioned it in my last post on Princess Hyacinth (a 2011-2012 CYRM nominee), but to explain further, the CYRM is like the Newbery & Caldecott in that it awards the “most distinguished” children’s books every year. However, one could think of the CYRM as the People’s, rather than the Critic’s, Choice Awards.

As described on the CYRM website:

“Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal. Young people suggest the names of favorite books for nomination, or teachers and librarians note repeatedly read or requested titles, and these are submitted to the California Young Reader Medal Committee. Members of the committee read the suggested books, discuss their merits and appeal to children, and then decide upon a well-balanced list of nominees.”

I love the CYRM because it accurately reflects what children enjoy, rather than what adult librarians enjoy. If you haven’t noticed already, a lot of picture books are actually written with credit-card-holding adults in mind, instead of kids (who, unlike adults, only have brightly colored monopoly money to spend). Students from kindergarten through high school read, nominate, and vote for their favorite books in five categories: Primary (Grades K-3), Intermediate (Grades 3-6), Middle School/Junior High (Grades 3-6), Young Adult (Grades 9-12), and Picture Books for Older Readers (4th Grade and up). Because young readers are calling the shots, you know that all of the nominees are going to be kid-friendly and fantastic!

The winners from the current (2010-2011) list of nominees will be announced May 1st on the CYRM website! But there is still time to have your young readers cast their votes! Check the website to print out their ballot, and be sure to mail it in by April 1st!

2010-2011 Nominees:

They also just announced the 2011-2012 nominees! Get your ballots in by April 1st, 2012!

2011-2012 Nominees:

*** = My favorites, which I will most likely blog about soon, so stay tuned!

So if you are looking for a truly fabulous, kid-approved book, go check out these amazing CYRM nominees at your local independent bookstore!

Looking for an independent bookstore in San Diego? Here is a handy little list just for you…

  • The Yellow Book Road (Liberty Station, Point Loma)
  • Warwicks (La Jolla)
  • Bay Books (Coronado)
  • Bluestocking Books (Hillcrest)
  • Mysterious Galaxy (Clairemont)
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