Children urged to vote for Golden Sower Award—September 21, 2007
Many different groups and organizations give out awards each year to outstanding children's books. Sometimes the winners are selected by librarians, sometimes by book sellers or reviewers. However, many award winners are selected by the children themselves, the ones for whom the books are written.
Most states have a children's choice book award, where the children of the state vote and select the book that they like the best. The Golden Sower Award is the children's choice book award for the state of Nebraska. This award is sponsored by the School, Children's and Young People's section of the Nebraska Library Association (NLA), and the winning authors and illustrators are invited to attend the NLA fall conference to accept their awards.
The award was named for the bronze statue of the Sower that stands on top of the capitol building in Lincoln. According to the Golden Sower manual, the Sower was chosen as the symbol for this literary award because "it is hoped that the Golden Sower Award will sow the seeds which will help to develop an appreciation for excellence in writing and beauty in illustrations among Nebraska's children."
There are actually three awards given each year: Primary, Intermediate and Young Adult. Each school year ten books are nominated for each of these levels, and students are encouraged to read the nominees and vote for their favorite. Students are the only ones allowed to vote, which makes the award very meaningful for the winning authors and illustrators.
Some students read the books at school and vote in their classroom or school library. However, all of the nominated titles are available at the Hastings Public Library, and students are welcome to vote at the library or on the Adams County Bookmobile if they do not have the opportunity to vote at school.
The Primary list is made up of picture books that are appropriate for kindergarten through third grade, the Intermediate list includes titles for fourth through sixth grades, and the Young Adult list is made up of books for about sixth through ninth grade. Each student may read from the list that seems most appropriate for his reading level. In order to vote, each student must have read or listened to at least four of the titles from her chosen list.
The library has a copy of the 2007-2008 Golden Sower Manual for check out. This manual includes information about each of the nominees for this school year, including biographical information about the authors and illustrators, activities to go with each title, and Internet sites that complement each book. It is a valuable resource for teachers and parents who homeschool their children.
You can find more information about the Golden Sower Award by visiting www.goldensower.org. The voting will take place next spring, so look for the Golden Sower Award nominees at the library and get started reading now!