Tennessee students have spoken! The Volunteer State Book Award Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020-2021 VSBAs!
Winner: Cummings, Troy. Can I Be Your Dog? Random House, 2018.
Arfy, a homeless mutt lives in a box in an alley. Arfy writes to every person on Butternut Street about what a great pet he’d make. His letters to prospective owners share that he’s house broken! He has his own squeaky bone! He can learn to live with cats! But, no one wants him. Won’t anyone open their heart–and home–to a lonesome dog? (from Goodreads)
2nd Place: Dyckman, Ame. The Misunderstood Shark. Illustrated by Scott Magoon. Orchard Books, 2018.
3rd Place: Kensky, Jessica. Rescue & Jessica: a Life-Changing Friendship. Illustrated by Scott Magoon. Candlewick Press, 2018.
Winner: Telgemeier, Raina. Guts. Scholastic, 2019.
Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away… and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on? (from Goodreads)
2nd Place: Arden, Katherine. Small Spaces. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2018.
3rd Place: Craft, Jerry. New Kid. Harper Collins, 2019.
Middle School Division
Winner: Craft, Jerry. New Kid. HarperCollins, 2019.
A graphic novel about seventh-grader Jordan Banks, whose parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade, rather than the art school that he really wants to attend. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
2nd Place: Schwab, Victoria. City of Ghosts. Scholastic Press, 2018.
3rd Place (tie): McAnulty, Stacy. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. Random House Books for Young Readers, 2018.
3rd Place (tie): Palacio, R.J. White Bird. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2019.
High School Division
Winner (tie): Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice. Delacorte Press, 2018.
In this very personal work–adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls “as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so”–acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom. (from Amazon)
Winner (tie): Krosoczka, Jarrett. Hey, Kiddo. Graphix, 2018.
The powerful, unforgettable graphic memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, about growing up with a drug-addicted mother, a missing father, and two unforgettably opinionated grandparents.
2nd Place (tie): Acevedo, Elizabeth. The Poet X. Harperteen, 2018.
2nd Place (tie): Jackson, Tiffany D. Monday’s Not Coming. Katherine Tegen Books, 2018.
2nd Place (tie): McGinnis, Mindy. Heroine. Katherine Tegen Books, 2019.
2nd Place (tie): Rowell, Rainbow and Faith Erin Hicks. Pumpkinheads. First Second, 2019.
The committees would like to thank everyone for supporting the VSBAs and the students who voted. Check the TASL website and social media for next year’s lists, coming soon!