bluebonnetIf you’re new to Texas, you may wonder what your kids are talking about when they come home with news of “Bluebonnet” books they’ve been encouraged to read.

“‘Bluebonnet’ books? Man, these Texans sure are crazy about bluebonnets! First, they take pictures on the side of the road with these flowers, in the middle of traffic and fire ants, and now schools make kids read nonstop about them. What gives?”

Well, we do love our state! However, a “Bluebonnet Book” (usually) has nothing to do with bluebonnets; it’s essentially a students’ choice award presented annually by the Texas Library Association. Here’s your quick guide to the Texas Bluebonnet Award so you can “Bluebonnet” like a pro:


Created by the Texas Library Association (TLA) in 1979, this unique program encourages kids in grades 3-6 to read for pleasure by offering a selection of 20 books (called the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List) with wide reader appeal.


  • Students must choose and read at least 5 of the 20 nominees to vote. Homeschooled students are also welcome to participate.
  • Reading may be done as part of a group (reading aloud) or individually.
  • Students vote in January for their favorite of the Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominees.
  • The title with the most votes statewide wins! The Texas Library Association presents the award to the winning title’s author at the annual TLA conference in April.


We have a designated area for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominees: it’s located on top of the holiday collection bookcase in the children’s area and features a small metal pitcher of bluebonnets. This summer, see how many you can read before you head back to school!

  • Ada’s Violin – Susan Hood (J 784.206 Hoo)
  • The Best Man – Richard Peck (J F Pec)
  • Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles – Philippe Cousteau & Deborah Hopkinson  (J 597.928 Cou)
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill (J F Bar)
  • The Great Pet Escape (Pets on the Loose) – Victoria Jamieson (J COMIC Jam)
  • The Great Shelby Holmes – Elizabeth Eulberg (J F Eul)
  • In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse – Joseph Marshall (J F Mar)
  • The Key to Extraordinary – Natalie Lloyd (J F Llo)
  • The Last Kids on Earth – Max Brallier (J F Bra)
  • Little Cat’s Luck – Marion Dane Bauer (J F Bau)
  • Lola Levine: Drama Queen – Monica Brown (J F Bro)
  • The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown Crystal Allen (J F All)
  • Maybe a Fox – Kathi Appelt & Allison McGhee (J F App)
  • The Princess and the Warrior – Duncan Tonatiuh (J 398.2089 Ton)
  • Soar – Joan Bauer (J F Bau)
  • Some Kind of Courage – Dan Gemeinhart (J F Gem)
  • The Storyteller – Evan Turk (E Tur)
  • Towers Falling – Jewell Parker Rhodes (J F Rho)
  • Unidentified Suburban Object – Mike Jung (J F Jun)
  • Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions – Chris Barton (J B Johnson)