I’m always happy to share good news. I learned this morning that Bystander has been selected as one of the books listed for the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award for grades 6-8.
I’m not lying. Click here if you don’t believe me.
According to the SSYRA website:
The Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Program is a statewide reading motivation program for students in grades 3-8. The program, cosponsored by the School Library Media Services Office of the Department of Education and the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME), began in 1983. The purpose of the SSYRA Program is to encourage students to read independently for personal satisfaction, based on interest rather than reading level.
Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation. Students are encouraged to read books that are above, on, and below their tested reading level in order to improve their reading fluency.
All schools are sent a school participation form in August and registration, activities, and voting are available online for participating schools.
This is a real honor and I’m very glad to see this book, and this topic, get into the hands of young readers. Believe me, I’ve written decent books that have disappeared — just vanished, poof! — so it’s terrific to see Bystander hanging in there.
Readers may remember that Bystander has already received similar nominations from the good folks in Oklahoma, New York, Vermont and Kentucky. Understandably, but still weirdly, these awards require a vote. A winner and a sorry bunch of losers, rudely kicked to the curb. I tell you now in total honesty that my deepest hope is to please Dear God not come in last place. Oh, how I wish I had more cousins in Florida! In truth, and my apologies for employing such a tired cliche, but to be nominated is as good as winning. Kind of. Really! No, not really. But almost!
Thank you, Sunshine State!
The other books on the Master List for grades 6-8:
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger
The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott
Flawed Dogs: The Novel by Berkeley Breathed
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story by Tonya Hegamin and Marilyn Nelson
Scat by Carl Hiassen
Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted
The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson
Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
Bystander by James Preller
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival by Arthur G. Slade
Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor
Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
I’m sure I speak for all the authors when I say . . . VOTE FOR BYSTANDER! Please, people, it’s not even close. Katherine Paterson? What’d she ever write? Hiassen? In Florida? They’ve got to be sick of him by now. By coincidence, I just purchased Tom Angelberger’s book because my friend, author Jennifer Roy, wouldn’t stop raving about him, and it. All I kept thinking was, “Jennifer, when are you going to start raving about me?” What’s up with her, anyway?