Meet the Children’s Choice Book Award winners

Published 8:01 PM EDT, Mon May 4, 2015

Story highlights

Young readers cast more than 1,300,000 votes for their favorite books

The Children's Choice Book Awards happen during Children's Book Week

(CNN) —  

Kids and teens aren’t shy about their favorite things, especially when it comes to the books they love. In the run-up to the 2015 Children’s Choice Book Awards, young readers cast more than 1,300,000 votes for their favorite books, authors and illustrators.

Book of the Year awards, based on grade level, went to “Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER!” by Jeff Cohen, “Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue” by Jennifer Keats Curtis, “The Dumbest Idea Ever!” by Jimmy Gownley and “The One” by Kiera Cass.

In addition to the traditional four categories voted on by kids from kindergarten through high school, three new awards were added this year: Children’s Choice Debut Author, Teen Choice Debut Author and Children’s Choice Illustrator. Chris Appelhans was the winning illustrator, Jennifer Mathieu won for Teen Choice Debut Author and J.A. White was the Children’s Choice Debut Author.

Graphic novels as well as diverse titles and authors were highlights among the finalists, along with books previously nominated for other notable literary awards, like the Newbery and Caldecott.

“The titles that kids are excited about are diverse, they showcase the breadth of everyone’s experience,” said Nicole Deming of the Children’s Book Council.

The winners were announced Monday night in New York during the eighth annual Children’s Book Week Gala.

Voting for the finalists was open to children and teens from March 17 through May 3. Finalists and winners were determined by votes from across the country through the Children’s Choices program, a joint project of the International Literacy Association and the Children’s Book Council.

The awards are part of Children’s Book Week, celebrating its 96th year of festivities and events. The goal of the program, created by the Children’s Book Council and nonprofit Every Child a Reader, is to encourage young readers to speak up about their favorite books and “cultivate a life-long love of reading.” Parents and teachers can look to the list of winners as a handy guide for reading choices going into summer.

Other events happening this week include the dedication of Literary Landmarks at five different libraries in memory of late children’s book authors Carl Sandburg, Margaret Wise Brown, Harold Keith, Walter Dean Myers and Robert McCloskey. Check to see what special events might be happening near you.

Finalists and winners for each category:

Book of the Year, kindergarten through 2nd grade

Winner: “Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER!” By Jeff Cohen, illustrated by Elanna Allen


“Duck, Duck Moose!” By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

“A Pet for Fly Guy” by Tedd Arnold

“How to Babysit a Grandma” by Jean Reagan

“Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance” by Birgitta Sif

Book of the Year, 3rd through 4th grade

Winner: “Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue” by Jennifer Keats Curtis, illustrated by John Gomes


“Claude at the Beach” by Alex T. Smith

“The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza” by James Kochalka

“Happy Birthday, Babymouse” by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm

“Sisters” by Raina Telgemeier

Book of the Year, 5th through 6th grade

Winner: “The Dumbest Idea Ever!” by Jimmy Gownley


“Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods” by Rick Riordan

“Ice Dogs” by Terry Lynn Johnson

“The Return of Zita the Spacegirl” by Ben Hatke

“Temple Run: Race Through Time” by Tracey West

Teen Choice Book of the Year:

Winner: “The One” by Kiera Cass


“I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai with Patrick McCormick

“Cress” by Marissa Meyer

“City of Heavenly Fire” by Cassandra Clare

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

Teen Choice Debut Author

Winner: Jennifer Mathieu for “The Truth About Alice”


Jason Reynolds for “When I Was the Greatest”

Leslie Walton for “The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender”

Sally Green for “Half Bad”

Don Mitchell for “The Freedom Summer Murders”

Children’s Choice Debut Author

Winner: J.A. White for “The Thickety: A Path Begins”


Natalie Lloyd for “A Snicker of Magic”

Piers Torday for “The Last Wild”

Katherine Roy for “Neighborhood Sharks”

Cece Bell for “El Deafo”

Children’s Choice Illustrator

Winner: Chris Appelhans, for “Sparky!” by Jenny Offill


Brian Won for “Hooray for Hat!”

Steve Light for “Have You Seen My Dragon?”

Kelly DiPucchio for “Gaston”

Yuyi Morales with Tim O’Meara for “Viva Frida”