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Children's & Youth Services | South Dakota Children's Book Awards

South Dakota Children's Book Awards

The Prairie Bud, Prairie Bloom & Prairie Pasque Children's Book Awards are sponsored by the South Dakota Library Association link to s d library association dot org.




2015-16 Prairie Pasque (3-5) Nominees:

  • book cover of The Great American Dust Bowl
  • book cover of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
  • book cover of Barbed Wire Baseball
  • book cover of Lincoln's Grave Robbers
  • book cover of Sugar
  • book cover of The Animal Book
  • book cover of Rump
  • book cover of Duke
  • book cover of The Natural World
  • book cover of Courage Has No Color
  • book cover of Follow Follow
  • book cover of Words with Wings
  • book cover of Elvis and the Underdogs
  • book cover of The Adventures of a South Pole Pig
  • book cover of The Misadventures of Salem Hyde:  Book One:  Spelling Trouble
  • book cover of Hoop Genius

2014-15 Downloads & links:


The Great American Dust Bowl The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Don Brown Web Link to books by brown dot com Web Link to books by brown dot com Author channel on YouTube

A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence. On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster--a savage storm--on America's high southern plains. The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow--people got lost in the gloom and suffocated... and that was just the beginning. Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America's most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: GN860L
  • ATOS: 5.1
  • School Library Journal: Gr 5 Up

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Chris Grabenstein Web Link to chris grabenstein dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games--board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route! Don't miss bonus content in the back of the book--extra puzzles, an author Q&A, and more!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 720L
  • ATOS: 4.5
  • School Library Journal: Gr 4-8

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Barbed Wire Baseball Barbed Wire Baseball by AUTHOR; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Marissa Moss Web Link to marissa moss dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

As a boy, Kenichi "Zeni" Zenimura dreams of playing professional baseball, but everyone tells him he is too small. Yet he grows up to be a successful player, playing with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig! When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni and his family are sent to one of ten internment camps where more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry are imprisoned without trials. Zeni brings the game of baseball to the camp, along with a sense of hope. This true story, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, introduces children to a little-discussed part of American history through Marissa Moss's rich text and Yuko Shimizu's beautiful illustrations. The book includes author and illustrator notes, archival photographs, and a bibliography.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: 800L
  • ATOS: 4.5
  • School Library Journal: Gr 3-5

Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Lincoln's Grave Robbers Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Steve Sheinkin Web Link to steve sheinkin dot com Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

A true crime thriller -- the first book for teens to tell the nearly unknown tale of the brazen attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's body. Now available in paperback! The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a smoky Chicago saloon to discuss how to spring their ringleader. Their plan: grab Lincoln's body from its Springfield tomb, stash it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Ben Boyd --and $200,000 in cash. From here, the action alternates between the conspirators, the Secret Service agents on their trail, and the undercover agent moving back and forth between the two groups. Along the way readers get glimpses into the inner workings of counterfeiting, grave robbing, detective work, and the early days of the Secret Service. The plot moves toward a wild climax as robbers and lawmen converge at Lincoln's tomb on election night: November 7, 1876.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th and 6-8th
  • Lexile: 930L
  • ATOS: 6.6
  • School Library Journal: Gr 5-9

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

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Sugar Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Jewell Parker Rhodes Web Link to jewell parker rhodes dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but laboring in the fields all day doesn't make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar has a knack for finding her own fun, especially when she joins forces with forbidden friend Billy, the white plantation owner's son. Sugar has always yearned to learn more about the world, and she sees her chance when Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane. The older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes that she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever. From Jewell Parker Rhodes, the author of Ninth Ward (a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Today show Al's Book Club for Kids pick), here's another tale of a strong, spirited young girl who rises beyond her circumstances and inspires others to work toward a brighter future.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 430L
  • ATOS: 2.9
  • School Library Journal: Gr 5-8

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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The Animal Book The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Steve Jenkins Web Link to steve jenkins books dot com

Animals smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle through the two hundred plus pages of the Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkins's most impressive nonfiction offering yet. Sections such as "Animal Senses," "Animal Extremes," and "The Story of Life" burst with fascinating facts and infographics that will have trivia buffs breathlessly asking, "Do you know a termite queen can produce up to 30,000 eggs a day?" Jenkins's color-rich cut- and torn-paper artwork is as strikingly vivid as ever. Rounding out this bountiful browsers' almanac of more than three hundred animals is a discussion of the artist's bookmaking process, an animal index, a glossary, and a bibliography. A bookshelf essential!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 6-8th
  • Lexile: IG1030L
  • School Library Journal: Gr 2-6

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Rump Rump by Liesl Shurtliff; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Liesl Shurtliff Web Link to liesl shurtliff dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter

This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold." In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she's right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship--and a cheeky sense of humor--he just might triumph in the end.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 660L
  • ATOS: 4.4
  • School Library Journal: Gr 4-8

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Duke Duke by Kirby Larson; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Kirby Larson Web Link to kirby larson dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

With World War II raging and his father fighting overseas in Europe, eleven-year-old Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part to help his family and his country, even if it means giving up his beloved German shepherd, Duke. Hoping to help end the war and bring his dad home faster, Hobie decides to donate Duke to Dogs for Defense, an organization that urges Americans to "loan" their pets to the military to act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs. Hobie immediately regrets his decision and tries everything he can to get Duke back, even jeopardizing his friendship with the new boy at school. But when his father is taken prisoner by the Germans, Hobie realizes he must let Duke go and reach deep within himself to be brave. Will Hobie ever see Duke, or his father, again? Will life ever be the same?

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 540L
  • ATOS: 3.5
  • School Library Journal: Gr 4-7

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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The Natural World The Natural World by Jon Richards and Ed Simkins; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Jon Richards and Ed Simkins

Be amazed by the real-life size of the world's largest spider; discover which animal can jump the equivalent of a human leaping over a skyscraper; measure the length of a blue whale in buses, people, and basketball courts; and more! From the animal classification system and DNA to reproduction, food webs, and the world's fastest animals, this book explores the natural world using a wide variety of icons, graphics, and pictograms. Highly visual and accessible, infographics are an increasingly popular way to introduce complex stats, facts, and figures to children, helping them to digest complex information on a number of topics.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 6-8th
  • Lexile: IG1110L
  • School Library Journal: Gr 3-6

Publisher: Owlkids Books

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Courage Has No Color Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Tanya Lee Stone Web Link to tanya stone dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter

World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Tanya Lee Stone examines the little-known history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought in an attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of First Sergeant Walter Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability." Front matter includes a foreword by Ashley Bryan. Back matter includes an author's note, an appendix, a time line, source notes, a bibliography, and an index.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 6-8th
  • Lexile: 1090L
  • ATOS: 8.0
  • School Library Journal: Gr 5 Up

Publisher: Candlewick Press

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Follow Follow Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Marilyn Singer Web Link to marilyn singer dot net Author page on Facebook

Once upon a time, Mirror Mirror, a brilliant book of fairy tale themed reversos-a poetic form in which the poem is presented forward and then backward-became a smashing success. Now a second book is here with more witty double takes on well-loved fairy tales such as Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid. Read these clever poems from top to bottom and they mean one thing. Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and they mean something else-it is almost like magic! A celebration of sight, sound, and story, this book is a marvel to read again and again.

Text Complexity:

  • Lexile: NPL
  • School Library Journal: Gr 3-6

Publisher: Dial

  • Age Range: 6 - 11 Years

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Words with Wings Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Nikki Grimes Web Link to nikki grimes dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter

Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents' divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her... until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook "thick with daydreams," Gaby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: 850L
  • ATOS: 4.3
  • School Library Journal: Gr 4-8

Publisher: Highlights Press

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Elvis and the Underdogs Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Jenny Lee Web Link to elvis and the under dogs dot com

From Jenny Lee, writer on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up!, the number-one-rated kids' show in the country, this feel-good middle-grade novel is about a sickly boy whose life is turned upside down when he gets a therapy dog... who can talk! Benji Wendell Barnsworth is a small ten-year-old boy with a big personality. Born premature, Benji is sickly, accident-prone, and at the hospital so often he even has his own punch card. So when Benji wakes up one day from a particularly bad spell, his doctors take the radical step of suggesting he get a therapy dog. But when a massive crate arrives at Benji's house, out walks a two-hundred-pound Newfoundland who can talk! And boy, is he bossy. In this hilarious and heartwarming friendship story in the tradition of bestselling authors Gordon Korman and Carl Hiaasen, Elvis brings out the dog lover in the most surprising people and shows Benji that making new friends may not be as scary as he once thought.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: 760L
  • ATOS: 4.7
  • School Library Journal: Gr 4-6

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

book page on Facebook Web Link to book trailer


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The Adventures of a South Pole Pig The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Chris Kurtz Web Link to chris kurtz author dot com Author page on Facebook

Flora the pig was born for adventure: ""If it's unexplored and needs to get dug up, call me. I'm your pig,"" she says. The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she's on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating--and dangerous--adventure of her life. This poignant novel of a purposeful pig is sure to become a favorite with any young readers who have ever dreamed of exploring the great beyond.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 660L
  • ATOS: 4.6
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 4

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

Author page on Facebook Web Link to book trailer


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The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book One: Spelling Trouble The Misadventures of Salem Hyde:  Book One:  Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Frank Cammuso Web Link to cammuso dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter

Salem Hyde just isn't like other kids. For one thing, she's stubborn, independent, and impulsive. For another, she's a witch. Salem acts first and thinks later--which means most of her thinking involves coming up with excuses! Good thing she's been assigned an animal companion, Lord Percival J. Whamsford III. This over-anxious cat doesn't like Salem calling him ""Whammy,"" and Salem doesn't like listening to his long-winded explanations as to why she shouldn't do something . . . like enter the class spelling bee. Salem knows she can beat all her classmates at spells, no problem. Too late, she realizes the competition is about spelling words, not magic. And there's nothing like a misspelled spell to cause all kinds of havoc!

Text Complexity:

  • Lexile: 250L
  • ATOS: 2.2
  • School Library Journal: Gr 2-5

Publisher: Amulet Books

Author page on Facebook Web Link to book trailer


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Hoop Genius Hoop Genius by John Coy; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

John Coy Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter

Taking over a rowdy gym class right before winter vacation is not something James Naismith wants to do at all. The last two teachers of this class quit in frustration. The students--a bunch of energetic young men--are bored with all the regular games and activities. Naismith needs something new, exciting, and fast to keep the class happy--or someone's going to get hurt. Saving this class is going to take a genius. Discover the true story of how Naismith invented basketball in 1891 at a school in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: 880L
  • ATOS: 4.6
  • School Library Journal: Gr 1-3

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

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605-773-3131

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605-295-3152
605-773-3131, Option 5, 3

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