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Golden Sower Nominees 2020/2021
For Grades K-3
This Is a Taco! by
This is a squirrel . . . "Hey, I may be a squirrel, but my name is Taco! And I don't eat nuts and tree bark--blech--I prefer tacos!" The natural predator of squirrels is . . . "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who is writing this book? I do not like where this is going." This hilarious send-up of a children's nature primer teaches kids that the most important story is the one you write yourself.
We Don't Eat Our Classmates by
It's the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can't wait to meet her classmates. But it's hard to make human friends when they're so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all...
Grumpy Monkey by
Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can't understand it--how can he be in a bad mood when it's SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can't take all the advice...and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy? Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson. This picture book is an excellent case study in the dangers of putting on a happy face and demonstrates to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings (though they should be careful of hurting others in the process!).
Got to Get to Bear's! by
Bear never asks for anything. So when a letter arrives for the little chipmunk Izzy, urgently requesting her presence, she can't refuse--even if there is a blizzard on the way! This heartwarming tale of friendship from bestselling author Brian Lies will melt even the chilliest of hearts. Bear never asks for anything. So when she sends a note to Izzy urgently requesting her presence, Izzy can't refuse! But a blizzard begins and slows Izzy's progress. As the snow accumulates, so do her friends, helping her on her way to Bear's place. This heartwarming tale from best-selling author and illustrator Brian Lies shows readers the rewards of counting on friends to get you through, snowstorm or not.
Be Kind by
When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference--or at least help a friend.With award-winning author Pat Zietlow Miller's gentle text and Jen Hill's irresistible art, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.
Thank You, Omu! by
In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community. Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself? Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that "Omu" (pronounced AH-moo) means "queen" in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean "Grandma." This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.
Neck & Neck by
In this crowd-pleasing read-aloud from the creator of the bestselling If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!, a giraffe's self-esteem is tested during a hilarious confrontation between unlikely look-alikes! Everybody loves Leopold the giraffe. He inspires awe and wonder. His adoring fans gaze and cheer. Best of all, they feed him lots of deeeelicious snacks! But, one day, a shiny, bobble-headed new rival comes in and ruins everything...a giraffe-shaped balloon! Just how far will Leopold go to prove that he's the hero of the zoo? Readers learn that actions speak far louder than looks in this laugh-out-loud face-off from Elise Parsley--the New York Times bestselling creator of the Magnolia Says DON'T! series.
Crash, Splash, or Moo! by
Calling all daredevils! It's time to play CRASH, SPLASH, OR MOO! in this boisterous picture book with all the excitement of a game show. Mr. McMonkey is your host, and your contestants are America's favorite stunt clam, Action Clam...and a cow! These unlikely daredevils face off in a zany sequence of challenges--and readers get to guess the outcome of all the wacky stunts. The winner gets a Golden Banana! Readers will be laughing, cheering, and giving themselves a round of applause as they play the game over and over again. Bob Shea, creator of many favorite funny books, including Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great and the Ballet Cat series, provides endless storytime fun with high-energy audience participation.
The Donkey Egg by
Featuring Bear and Hare from their Caldecott-Honor winningTops & Bottoms, the Stevens sisters celebrate perseverance and teamwork in this laugh-out-loud story of triumph over trickery. Bear would rather sleep all day than work on his farm, and Fox knows just the kind of help he needs--a donkey! When Fox tricks Bear into buying a donkey egg, Bear can't wait for it to hatch so he can meet his new friend. But donkeys don't come from eggs! And when the "egg" finally opens, Bear gets a fruity surprise. Luckily, Bear doesn't have to face disappointment alone . . . Hare is there to help!
Sweety is awkward, even for a naked mole rat. She has protruding front teeth, thick glasses, and some very unusual hobbies, including interpretive dance and fungus identification. She's intense and passionate--and her peers don't always get her. But surely there are other mushroom lovers out there? As Sweety sets out to find them, she comes to realize--with a little help from her cool Aunt Ruth-- that being Sweety is actually pretty awesome. With heart and humor and a whole lot of charm, Andrea Zuill delivers a story about learning to embrace everything that makes you you--and that's something many kids are going to relate to.
For Grades 4-6
The Next Great Paulie Fink by
In this acclaimed novel by the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Thing About Jellyfish, being the new kid at school isn't easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster. When Caitlyn Breen begins her disorienting new life at Mitchell School--where the students take care of real live goats and study long-dead philosophers, and where there are only ten other students in the entire seventh grade--it seems like nobody can stop talking about some kid named Paulie Fink. Depending on whom you ask, Paulie was either a hilarious class clown, a relentless troublemaker, a hapless klutz, or an evil genius. One thing's for sure, though: The kid was totally legendary. Now he's disappeared, and Caitlyn finds herself leading a reality-show-style competition to find the school's next great Paulie Fink. With each challenge, Caitlyn struggles to understand a person she never met...but it's what she discovers about herself that most surprises her. Told in multiple voices, interviews, and documents, this funny, thought-provoking novel from the bestselling author of The Thing About Jellyfish is a memorable exploration of what makes a hero--and if anyone, or anything, is truly what it seems.
Saving Winslow by
Perfect for fans of Charlotte's Web and The One and Only Ivan, Saving Winslow is an uplifting modern classic in the making about a young boy who befriends an ailing newborn donkey and nurses him back to health, from New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army. Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie's quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined. Written in the spirit of Creech favorites Moo and Love That Dog, this standout tale about love and friendship and letting go will tug at the heartstrings.
Ruby in the Sky by
Twelve-year-old Ruby Moon Hayes does not want her new classmates to ask about her father. She does not want them to know her mother has been arrested. And she definitely does not want to make any friends. Ruby just wants to stay as silent and invisible as a new moon in the frozen sky. She and her mother won't be staying long in Vermont anyway, and then things can go back to the way they were before everything went wrong. But keeping to herself isn't easy when Ahmad Saleem, a Syrian refugee, decides he's her new best friend. Or when she meets "the Bird Lady," a recluse named Abigail who lives in a ramshackle shed near Ruby's house. Before long Ahmad and Abigail have become Ruby's friends--and she realizes there is more to their stories than everyone knows. As ugly rumors begin to swirl around the people Ruby loves, she must make a choice: break her silence, or risk losing everything that's come to mean so much to her.Ruby in the Sky is a story of the walls we hide behind, and the magic that can happen when we're brave enough to break free.
Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by
For fans of Balto and other real-life dog stories, here's a heavily illustrated middle-grade novel about a canine movie star of the 1920s, dramatically told in both words and pictures by an acclaimed author and a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator. When movie director Larry Trimble travels to Berlin searching for his next big star--a dog!--he finds Etzel, a fierce, highly trained three-year-old German shepherd police dog. Larry sees past the snarls and growls and brings Etzel back to Hollywood, where he is renamed Strongheart. Along with screenwriter Jane Murfin, Larry grooms his protégé to be a star of the silver screen--and he succeeds, starting with Strongheart's first film, The Love Master, which is released in 1921. Strongheart is soon joined by a leading lady, a German shepherd named Lady Julie, and becomes a sensation. Touching, charming, playful, and based on real events, this moving tale by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann tells all about "the wonder dog" who took America by storm.
It's been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy's grandmother in Australia. Now that she's back, Livy has the feeling she's forgotten something really, really important about Gran's house. It turns out she's right. Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn't forget Livy, or her promise. He's been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can't remember who--or what--he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it's time to keep that promise. Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by
A lightning strike gave her a super power...but even a super genius can't solve the problem of middle school. This smart and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by Sevens. Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school! Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?
Max and the Midknights by
Max wants to be a knight! Too bad that dream is about as likely as finding a friendly dragon. But when Max's uncle Budrick is kidnapped by the cruel King Gastley, Max has to act...and fast! Joined by a band of brave adventurers--the Midknights--Max sets out on a thrilling quest- to save Uncle Budrick and restore the realm of Byjovia to its former high spirits!
Captain Superlative by
"Have no fear, citizens! Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!" Red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, torn tights, high top sneakers and . . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why? Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the mask. The answer pulls invisible Janey into the spotlight and leads her to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. Fearless even in the face of school bully extraordinaire, Dagmar Hagen, no good deed is too small for the incomparable Captain Superlative and her new sidekick, Janey. But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what's truly at stake, she's forced to face her own dark secrets and discover what it truly means to be a hero . . . and a friend.
Hope in the Holler by
The poignant--and funny--story of a girl trying to be brave and find her place in the world after she's sent to live with scheming relatives. Right before Wavie's mother died, she gave Wavie a list of instructions to help her find her way in life, including this one- Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it!But little did Wavie's mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind. Now Wavie's back in the Holler--and in the clutches of her Aunt Samantha Rose. Life with the devilish Samantha Rose and her revolting cousin Hoyt is no picnic, but there's real pleasure in sleeping in her own mother's old bed, and making friends with the funny, easygoing kids her aunt calls the "neighborhood-no-accounts." With their help, Wavie just might be able to prevent her aunt from becoming her legal guardian, and find her courage and place in the world.
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by
On Gabriel's twelfth birthday, he gets a new bike--and is so excited that he accidentally rides it right into the path of a car. Fortunately, a Black man named Meriwether pushes him out of the way just in time, and fixes his damaged bike. As a thank you, Gabriel gets him a job at his dad's auto shop. Gabriel's dad hires him with some hesitation, however, anticipating trouble with the other mechanic, who makes no secret of his racist opinions. Gabriel and Meriwether become friends, and Gabriel learns that Meriwether drove a tank in the Army's all-Black 761st Tank Battalion in WWII. Meriwether is proud of his service, but has to keep it a secret because talking about it could be dangerous. Sadly, danger finds Meriwether, anyway, when his family receives a frightening threat. The South being the way it is, there's no guarantee that the police will help--and Gabriel doesn't know what will happen if Meriwether feels forced to take the law into his own hands.
Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).
Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).