This is the "Home" page of the "Bluebonnet Reading Program" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Bluebonnet Reading Program  

The program encourages reading for pleasure for students in grades 3-6. If students read five or more books from the list, they can vote for their favorite title in January. The author of the top vote-getter statewide wins the Bluebonnet Award!
Last Updated: Aug 10, 2015 URL: http://elemlibguides.leanderisd.org/RiverRidge/Bluebonnet Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Home Print Page
  Search: 
 
 

About the Bluebonnet Program

The Bluebonnet reading program is a unique program that encourages reading for pleasure and is aimed at students in grades 3-6. Each year, 20 books are chosen as the “Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List" by the TBA selection committee. Students will then get to vote for their favorite book from the list. The author of the book receiving the most votes statewide is declared the winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award.

Leander ISD hosts its own "Battle of the Bluebonnets" competition. Students form teams and compete against each other by answering questions from the books. What a fun way to get students excited about reading!

Participating in the Bluebonnet program is easy! Here's how:

  • Read at least five books on the list 
  • Statewide voting takes place in January
  • LISD Battle of the Bluebonnets in February

For more information, contact Mrs. Cunningham in the library! 

 

2015-2016 Bluebonnet Award Nominees

Cover Art
The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier
ISBN: 9781419711442
Publication Date: 2014-05-20
This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier's exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it's also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier's exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making. Praise for The Night Gardener STARRED REVIEWS "Lots of creepiness, memorable characters, a worthy message, Auxier's atmospheric drawings and touches of humor amid the horror make this cautionary tale one readers will not soon forget." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale." --School Library Journal, starred review "Auxier achieves an ideal mix of adventure and horror, offering all of it in elegant, atmospheric language that forces the reader to slow down a bit and revel in both the high-quality plot and the storytelling itself." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "All proper scary stories require a spooky, menacing atmosphere, and Auxier (Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes) delivers the goods with his precise descriptions of the gothic setting and teasing hints of mystery and suspense." --The Horn Book Magazine Summer 2014 Kids' Indie Next List nbsp;

Cover Art
The Great American Dust Bowl - Don Brown (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547815503
Publication Date: 2013-10-08
A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence. On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster—a savage storm—on America's high southern plains. The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow—people got lost in the gloom and suffocated . . . and that was just the beginning. Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America's most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl.

Cover Art
The Right Word - Jen Bryant; Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780802853851
Publication Date: 2014-09-01
2015 Caldecott Honor Book2015 Sibert Medal Winner2015 Orbis Pictus Honor BookFor shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions -- and it wasn't long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn't write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.Readers of all ages will marvel at Roget's life, depicted through lyrical text and brilliantly detailed illustrations. This elegant book celebrates the joy of learning and the power of words."

Cover Art
Spelling Trouble - Frank Cammuso
ISBN: 9781419708039
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
Salem Hyde just isn’t like other kids. For one thing, she’s stubborn, independent, and impulsive. For another, she’s a witch. Salem acts first and thinks later--which means most of her thinking involves coming up with excuses! Good thing she’s been assigned an animal companion, Lord Percival J. Whamsford III. This over-anxious cat doesn’t like Salem calling him "Whammy,” and Salem doesn’t like listening to his long-winded explanations as to why she shouldn’t do something . . . like enter the class spelling bee. Salem knows she can beat all her classmates at spells, no problem. Too late, she realizes the competition is about spelling words, not magic. And there’s nothing like a misspelled spell to cause all kinds of havoc!   Praise for The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book One STARRED REVIEWS "A fledgling witch receives necessary guidance from a talking cat in this utterly adorable page-turner... A delightful buddy story and an auspicious series opener; be sure to make room on shelves for Salem and Whammy." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "It’s just about the perfect story for comics-loving fathers to read with their comics-loving daughters." --Publishers Weekly, starred review "Cammuso evokes both the sarcastic spunk and gentle warmth of Calvin and Hobbes in this humorous tale of unlikely pals." --The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books "Young readers will eat up Cammuso’s (Otto’s Orange Day, 2008) action-packed panels, full of cartoonish antics, silly puns, and playful slapstick humor." --Booklist "The humor, appealing artwork, and underlying message of friendship will attract readers." --Library Media Connection

Cover Art
Always, Abigail - Nancy J. Cavanaugh
ISBN: 9781402293030
Publication Date: 2014-08-05
A 2015-16 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee! "Brimming with honestly and heart."-Caroline Starr Rose, award-winning author of May B . Sixth grade to-do list: - Make the pom-pom squad! - Get photo in the yearbook - With Alli and Cami, become the three most popular girls at Crestdale Heights Middle School!Abigail and her two best friends are poised for a lifeof pom-poms and popularity-until Abigail doesn't make the squad. And is assigned a different homeroom. And gets the school'sbiggest outcast as her Friendly Letter partner. Abigail can hardly believe her bad luck! Gabby is really nice, but she's so weird! It's not like Abigail can stop her classmates from making fun of Gabby... right?"Told in the hyper-chatty, status-obsessed voice of your secretly sweet best friend, Always, Abigail is always adorable." -Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever Praise for This Journal Belongs to Ratchet :"A book that is full of surprises... Triumphant."- Kirkus , STARRED review "Cavanaugh uses bold, often humorous first-person narration to capture the essence of an unconventional heroine."- Publishers Weekly

Cover Art
Emily's Blue Period - Cathleen Daly; Lisa Brown (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781596434691
Publication Date: 2014-06-17
Emily wants to be an artist. She likes painting and loves the way artists like Pablo Picasso mixed things up. Emily's life is a little mixed up right now. Her dad doesn't live at home anymore, and it feels like everything around her is changing. "When Picasso was sad for a while," says Emily, "he only painted in blue. And now I am in my blue period." It might last quite some time. A Neal Porter Book

Cover Art
Saving Lucas Biggs - Marisa de los Santos; David Teague
ISBN: 9780062274625
Publication Date: 2014-04-29
Perfect for fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix, When You Reach Me, and Savvy, this charming time-travel story from husband-and-wife team Marisa de los Santos and David Teague follows one girl's race to change the past in order to save her father's future. Thirteen-year-old Margaret knows her father is innocent, but that doesn't stop the cruel Judge Biggs from sentencing him to death. Margaret is determined to save her dad, even if it means using her family's secret—and forbidden—ability to time travel. With the help of her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Josh, Margaret goes back to a time when Judge Biggs was a young boy and tries to prevent the chain of events that transformed him into a corrupt, jaded man. But with the forces of history working against her, will Margaret be able to change the past? Or will she be pushed back to a present in which her father is still doomed? Told in alternating voices between Margaret and Josh, this heartwarming story shows that sometimes the forces of good need a little extra help to triumph over the forces of evil.

Cover Art
Sky Jumpers - Peggy Eddleman
ISBN: 9780307981271
Publication Date: 2013-09-24
Escape one danger. Jump into another. . . .   "Eddleman brings a strong sense of atmosphere to this post-apocalyptic coming-of-age piece, and the underlying message--that it's possible to contribute in unexpected ways--is a positive one." --Publishers Weekly   Twelve-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb's Breath--the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs--than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year's batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that's run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now. Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends Aaren and Brock might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb's Breath and over the snow-covered mountain. For once, inventing isn't the answer, but the daring and recklessness that usually get Hope into trouble might just save them all. A Texas Library Association's Bluebonnet Award 2015-2016 Master List Selection

Cover Art
The Vanishing Coin - Kate Egan; Mike Lane; Eric Wight (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250029140
Publication Date: 2014-04-22
Want to see something cool? I can make that quartervanish. All it takes is a little magicâe¦ Fourth grade was supposed to be a fresh start, but Mike's already back in the principal's office. He's not a bad kid. He just can't sit still. And now, his parents won't let him play soccer anymore; instead he has to hang out with his new neighbor Nora, who is good ateverything! Then, Mike and Nora discover the White Rabbit. It's an odd shop--with a special secret inside. Its owner, Mr. Zerlin, is a magician, and, amazingly, he believes Mike could be a magician, too. Has Mike finally found something he's good at?

Cover Art
The Scraps Book - Lois Ehlert (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442435711
Publication Date: 2014-03-04
The renowned Caldecott Honoree and illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom provides a moving, intimate, and inspiring inside look at her colorful picture book career. Lois Ehlert always knew she was an artist. Her parents encouraged her from a young age by teaching her how to sew and saw wood and pound nails, and by giving her colorful art supplies. They even gave her a special spot to work that was all her own. Today, many years and many books later, Lois takes readers and aspiring artists on a delightful behind-the-scenes tour of her books and her book-making process. Part fascinating retrospective, part moving testament to the value of following your dreams, this richly illustrated picture book is sure to inspire children and adults alike to explore their own creativity.

Cover Art
Mountain Dog - Margarita Engle; Aleksey Ivanov (Illustrator); Olga Ivanov (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780805095166
Publication Date: 2013-08-13
When Tony's mother is sent to jail, he is sent to stay with a great uncle he has never met in Sierra Nevada. It is a daunting move--Tony's new world bears no semblance to his previous one. But slowly, against a remote and remarkable backdrop, the scars from Tony's troubled past begin to heal. With his Tió and a search-and-rescue dog named Gabe by his side, he learns how to track wild animals, is welcomed to the Cowboy Church, and makes new friends at the Mountain School. Most importantly though, it is through Gabe that Tony discovers unconditional love for the first time, inMountain Dog by Margarita Engle. AKirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

Cover Art
Grandfather Gandhi - Arun Gandhi; Bethany Hegedus; Evan Turk (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442423657
Publication Date: 2014-03-11
Mahatma Gandhi's grandson tells the story of how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light in this uniquely personal and vibrantly illustrated tale that carries a message of peace. How could he-a Gandhi-be so easy to anger? One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi's village. Silence fills the air-but peace feels far away for young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, his anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud? In this remarkable personal story, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, weaves a stunning portrait of the extraordinary man who taught him to live his life as light. Evan Turk brings the text to breathtaking life with his unique three-dimensional collage paintings.

Cover Art
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom - Christopher Healy; Todd Harris (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062117434
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be. Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes--a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

Cover Art
When the Beat Was Born - Laban Carrick Hill; Theodore Taylor (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781596435407
Publication Date: 2013-08-27
Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc. On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks--the musical interludes between verses--longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this isWhen the Beat Was Born. From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.

Cover Art
Zane and the Hurricane - Rodman Philbrick
ISBN: 9780545342384
Publication Date: 2014-02-25
Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick presents a gripping yet poignant novel about Hurricane Katrina. Zane Dupree is a charismatic 12-year-old boy of mixed race visiting a relative in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. Unexpectedly separated from all family, Zane and his dog experience the terror of Katrina's wind, rain, and horrific flooding. Facing death, they are rescued from an attic air vent by a kind, elderly musician and a scrappy young girl -- both African American. The chaos that ensues as storm water drowns the city, shelter and food vanish, and police contribute to a dangerous, frightening atmosphere creates a page turning tale. Here is an unforgettable novel of heroism in the face of truly challenging circumstances.

Cover Art
Quinny and Hopper - Adriana Brad Schanen; Greg Swearingen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781423178293
Publication Date: 2014-06-10
Quinny has a lot to say. Hopper gets to the point. Quinny has one speed: very, very, extra-very fast. Hopper proceeds with caution. Quinny has big ideas. Hopper has smart solutions. Quinny and Hopper couldn't be more different. They are an unstoppable team. But when summer ends, things suddenly aren't the same. Can Quinny and Hopper stick together in the face of stylish bullies, a killer chicken, and the brand-new Third Grade Rules-especially the one that says they aren't allowed to be friends anymore? Praise for Quinny & Hopper: "First-time children's author Schanen skillfully captures Quinny's zest and Hopper's timidity through their interactions and alternating narratives, and Swearingen's smudgy spot illustrations amplify the lively tone. The story's best moments showcase the spirited friendship between Quinny and Hopper, but there's much to appreciate throughout this exuberant debut." --Publishers Weekly "The book is engrossing, and the likable duo change and grow in believable ways. Quinny and Hopper, who take turns narrating, have distinct, well-differentiated voices, and Schanen makes good use of her individuated secondary characters as well. Swearingen's black-and-white drawings both capture the spirit of the characters and enhance the narrative. This endearing story about true friendship should appeal equally to boys and girls." --Kirkus Reviews

Cover Art
The Lost Planet - Rachel Searles
ISBN: 9781250038791
Publication Date: 2014-01-28
This is what the boy is told: - He woke up on planet Trucon, inside of a fence line he shouldn't have been able to cross. - He has an annirad blaster would to the back of his head. - He has no memory. - He is now under the protection of a mysterious benefactor. - His name is Chase Garrety. This is what Chase Garrety knows: - He has a message: "Guide the star." - Time is running out.

Cover Art
Rutherford B. , Who Was He? - Marilyn Singer; John Hendrix (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781423171003
Publication Date: 2013-12-17
Forty-three men with forty-three passions, but with one thing in common: a presidential place in America's history. With her gift for unforgettable rhythm and innovative rhyme, Marilyn Singer brings the presidents of the United States to life-from Washington to Obama-and contextualizes them in their time. Illustrations by John Hendrix are full of hilarious wit and refined exuberance, and backmatter enriches the experience with short biographies, quotes by each president, and more.

Cover Art
Separate Is Never Equal - Duncan Tonatiuh
ISBN: 9781419710544
Publication Date: 2014-05-06
A 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California. Praise for Separate is Never Equal STARRED REVIEWS "Tonatiuh masterfully combines text and folk-inspired art to add an important piece to the mosaic of U.S. civil rights history." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later." --School Library Journal, starred review "Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote) offers an illuminating account of a family's hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before Brown v. Board of Education." --Publishers Weekly "Pura Belpré Award-winning Tonatiuh makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation." --Booklist "The straightforward narrative is well matched with the illustrations in Tonatiuh's signature style, their two-dimensional perspective reminiscent of the Mixtec codex but collaged with paper, wood, cloth, brick, and (Photoshopped) hair to provide textural variation. This story deserves to be more widely known, and now, thanks to this book, it will be." --The Horn Book Magazine  

Cover Art
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing - Sheila Turnage
ISBN: 9780803736719
Publication Date: 2014-02-04
Miss Mo LoBeau - one half of the (probably) world-famous Desperado Detective Agency - is back! She and her fellow Desperado, Dale, went famous for about a week over the summer when they solved a murder in their hometown of Tupelo Landing - population 148 minus one (murder). Now sixth grade has started and it's back to being regular. But regular doesn't come easy to a girl like Mo. So when her beloved Miss Lana makes an Accidental Bid at the Tupelo auction and winds up the mortified owner of an old inn with an unidentified ghost in the fine print, Mo's itching to take the case. Plus, a historical ghost might make for some much needed Extra Credit in history. Who's haunting the old inn? And why? The Desperado Detectives set out to solve their second big case - only to find the inn might not be the only thing in Tupelo Landing haunted by the past. With some unexpected help from slick new kid in town - Crenshaw, Harm Crenshaw (as in Bond, James Bond) - Mo and Dale discover the truth about a lot of things. Even themselves. A companion to the New York Times bestseller Three Times Lucky. Small towns have rules. One is, you got to stay who you are no matter how many murders you solve. Praise for Three Times Lucky ' Mo is so plucky that young readers may wish she lived next door.' The Wall Street Journal 'An irresistible narrator - a literary descendant of Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird.' Newsday, Top 12 Children's Books of 2012 * 'Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children's fiction.' Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

Bluebonnet Nominees 2015

 

Teaching With the Books

There are many different kinds of activities you can do with the Bluebonnet books! Click below to go to the master list of teaching resources! 

Description

Loading  Loading...

Tip