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30 April 2013

Virginia Reader's Choice Recap

I'm so proud and happy to be a member of the Virginia Reader's Choice book selection committee (for elementary readers.  There are 4 subcommittees: primary, elementary, middle and high).   I learned today that the Virginia Reader's Choice is the 3rd largest state book committee in the country, behind California and Texas!  Over 100,000 children vote (or something super close to that, I didn't write it down in my notes). 

So what happens is, in April, everyone meets and nominates books.  On our committee, we each nominated 6.  Over the summer, you read all the ones you can get your hands on.  We meet again in October to whittle the list down to 10.  Those are then the nominated books (this year, for coting in 2014-15).  I'll be honest, I don't read them all.  Some I can't find in our school library, the library in the town I live, or the library in the county I teach.  But I try!

I joined this committee for the same reasons I started this blog:  to become more knowledgeable about children's books.  I didn't expect children in my school to ask me about the committee and the books we read, or how the process works.  Or suggest books.  Or just talk to me about books they're reading or have read.  Or to ask for hints about what will be on the new list.  It's amazing.

I'm in awe of the ladies that I'm on the committee with.  There are 10 of us, and there are only a few books that get double nominated.  Where do they find all these good books?!?!?  

Of course, another surprise bonus is the books that we get at the meetings.  Our chairperson has contacts in various publishing houses and comes to meetings with boxes of books to share with the group.  
Here is a peak at what I came home with on Saturday.  From left to right, top to bottom:  Amelia Bedelia, ART2-D2 (the finished copy!), Bird and Squirrel (which I say in my horrible Boris and Natasha voice), The Mark of Athena, The Dark Unwinding, Into the Glass Grimly, Santa Retires, Five Lives of Our Cat Zoosk, and Zigzag Zoom. 

I cannot share the list we came up with as a whole.  But I can say, check out what I'm reading on Goodreads (I have a VRC board!)  

For more information on VRC, click here.

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