What is the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award?
The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award is a children’s choice award for the state of Maryland. Each year since 1992, the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award has been given to authors and/or illustrators of outstanding books chosen for the award by Maryland students. The award seeks to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature.
Reading committees of school and public librarians, and other interested members of the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL), meet to determine which books will be nominated and placed on student reading lists. There are six different reading lists: Picture Books, fiction/nonfiction for students in Grades 4-6, Grades 6-9, and High School and Graphic Novels for students in Grades 4-6 and 6-9. The nominated books are expected to be outstanding books that broaden the human experience and provide students with new insights into their own lives. Books may be suggested for consideration by students, teachers, parents, or other interested readers.
Following are some of the criteria which are used in determining the nominated books:
- Books may be fiction or nonfiction.
- Books must have a copyright date of the current year or one of the preceding three years and be readily available.
- Each title selected will have received positive reviews from appropriate professional journals.
- Books must have been read, discussed, and voted upon by the appropriate Black-Eyed Susan reading committee before being placed on the appropriate list.
Students who vote for the winning titles must have followed the “Guidelines for School Participation” before voting. Students may cast one vote for the book they consider to be the most outstanding book in each of the categories. All votes from schools across the state of Maryland are submitted to the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award committee to be tallied in order to determine the winners. The winning authors and/or illustrators receive an award engraved with the book title, the year, and the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award logo. Authors, illustrators, and publishers recognize the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award as an honor bestowed by Maryland student readers.