Bluebonnet Books (Grades 3-6)

Texas Bluebonnet Award2010-2011 Master List  

Applegate, Katherine. 2007. Home of the Brave. New York: Feiwel and Friends. Hardcover, ISBN-13: 9780312367657; Paperback (published by Square Fish), ISBN-13: 9780312535636; MP3 Book, ISBN-13: 9780739362204. 

Kek and his mother are the only ones in his family who have survived, and his mother is missing. The Refugee Settlement Center has brought Kek to America while a search continues for her. The difference between Africa and Minnesota winters is almost too much to consider for a boy who has never seen snow. Add to that, a new language that sounds tangled to Kek’s ears, and the world is full of the unknown. Until, on the way to his new home, he sees a cow. In the author’s words, Kek explains, “I stroke her cold, wet coat, and for a moment I hold all I want right there in my hand.” With a beautiful poetic voice Katherine Applegate tells the story of Kek.  Brown,

Don. 2008. All Stations! Distress!: April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank. New York: Roaring Brook Press.  Hardcover, ISBN-13: 978-1596432222.

When Titanic’s builder Thomas Andrews pronounced the ship's wound from plowing into an iceberg as fatal, the telegraph keys transmitted, “All Stations! Distress!” The tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic is viewed from the perspective of her Captain who did not slow down for icebergs because he thought the threat unlikely; to the confidence in the shipping line that the ship was unsinkable thus providing lifeboats for only half of its passengers; to the loss of most of the third class passengers, including fifty-two children, due to their rank in society. Don Brown brings goose bumps to his readers through both text and illustrations as he takes the reader through the sinking of one of history’s most famous ships. Claflin, Willy. 2008. The Uglified Ducky: A Maynard Moose

Tale. Illustrated by James Stimson. Atlanta: August House. Hardcover (includes CD), ISBN-13: 978-0874838589; MP3 Book, ISBN-13: 2000003485864; Compact Disc (abridged), ISBN-13: 9780874837018.  

Han’s Christian Andersen might not recognize this humorous version of his story, but he would certainly laugh. Maynard the Moose tells the, oh so sad story of a Moose that thinks he is a ducky. Mother ducky cannot figure out why her one ducky is so uglified. Plus he trips when he waddles, he sinks when he paddles, and he carries a sign that says, “quack” because all he can say is, “Gronk! Arooo!” Needless to say, on flying lesson day his Mother and ducky siblings leave him behind. The reader will have a hard time deciding if the text or illustrations are funnier. What does it matter? Get your funny bone ready to be tickled. 

Crowe, Ellie. 2007. Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku. Illustrated by Richard Waldrep. New York: Lee & Low Books, Inc. Hardcover, ISBN-13: 9781584302766. 

Surfing was not known outside of what was until 1959, The Republic of Hawaii until Hawaii’s native son, Duke Kahanamoku introduced it around the world. Kahanamoku was good at all water sports since his backyard was the Pacific Ocean.  It was swimming that made him known throughout the world. This shy man, with dark native Hawaiian skin quietly endured prejudice to become a three-time Olympic swimming gold medalist. Though his dream of surfing becoming an Olympic sport never came true, his influence on the sport brought him the name, “The Father of Modern Surfing.”  With words and pictures the reader comes to know a man who not only was a great sportsman, but whose kindness and love of life shines through the pages. As author, Ellie Crowe says, “No matter what he did, he spread aloha.” 

Deedy, Carmen Agra. 2009. 14 Cows for America. In collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah. Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers. Hardcover, ISBN-13: 9781561454907. 

In the oral tradition of the Maasai peoples a young man receiving his education in America, returns home for a visit several months after the bombing of the World Trade Center. As is the tradition, he tells his people the story under the acacia tree at the edge of the village. Though the Maasai are fierce warriors, their hearts bleed with compassion when they hear of suffering and injustice. What can they give to ease the pain of these Americans? This true story of empathy told in the voice of that young man, Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, by Carmen Deedy will stir each heart. Look for the Twin Towers symbols added to the pages in the awe inspiring illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez. 

Graff, Lisa. 2009.  Umbrella Summer. New York: Laura Geringer Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.  Hardcover, ISBN-13: 9780061431876; digital ebook, ISBN-13: 9780061912627.

Every since Annie’s older brother Jared died, she has become obsessed with being safe. After all, the world is full of dangers. When she borrows without permission her neighbors book, The Everyday Guide to Preventing Illness she has even more fears on her plate. To top things off, Jared’s birthday is coming up. Annie wonders if a person is dead, can you still celebrate their birthday? Annie’s quirkiness brings laughs amid this story of dealing with grief. With the help of her family and friends plus the lessons learned from a certain famous pig and spider from children’s literature, Annie learns life is meant to be lived to its fullest.

Harrison, David L. 2008. Pirates. Illustrated by Dan Burr. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong. Hardcover, ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-455-6.