Award winners

2018 - Out of My Mind

posted May 17, 2018, 3:38 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 19, 2018, 3:27 PM by Jim Windisch ]

The second winner of the Idaho Kids Vote Book Award is Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. It was suggested by one of the 2017 student voters. This is what Idaho students had to say about Out of my Mind:

"Melody is just so amazing. The book is so empowering. It proved that even people with a disability can do anything, I love Melody Brooks!! :) It was so vivid and good sensory images. It changed the way I think about kids with any disability!!! I loved all the characters. Even though a few characters were mean, it made the book even more better."

"It created lots of vivid pictures in my mind, I loved the characters personalities, and their emotions. It seemed so real, and I felt as if I could be one of the characters in the story. It has changed my perspective of people with disabilities and shows how one can do anything if they put their mind to it! Great book!!! :)"

"I voted for this book because it was a very heartwarming book. It changed my perspective of how people with disabilities have to deal with things everyday. I also loved the book, Out of my Mind because there were people that were true friends to Melody. It was hard to put down! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an amazing book about true friendship and respect."

"I voted for Out of My Mind because the imagery is really vivid. I love the air of realistic atmosphere about it, like it seems like it could happen to me. Out of My Mind is not just some fake fiction book, it is realistic fiction. It is the story of a girl that has cerebral palsy and she feels like no one understands her. The emotion in this book is so moving, I felt like I wanted to cry during some parts. There is very good humor in it. I love this novel. The way Sharon M. Draper paints the plot, setting, and overall picture of the book is really great. Every sentence, every word is so fluid and smooth, so carefully planned. Not a single sentence in this book was choppy. I have to say that Out of My Mind is the second best book I have ever read."

Summary from Sharon Draper's website:

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there's no delete button. She's the smartest kid in her whole school-but NO ONE knows it.

Most people-her teachers and doctors included-don't think she's capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can't. She can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write.

Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind-that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

Study Guides, Author Q&A, and other resources available at

Cover image from Simon & Schuster

2017 - The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

posted May 5, 2017, 11:32 AM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 19, 2018, 3:26 PM by Jim Windisch ]

The winner of the inaugural Idaho Kids Vote Book Award is The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer. It was nominated for the award by Mrs. Palmer of Lewis & Clark Elementary School in Pocatello. This is what Idaho students think about it:

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell book cover
"I voted for "The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell" because it was a book that kept you hooked the whole way through. It takes you on a mystical adventure through different fairy tales with a little bit of a twist. I got so attached to all the characters and I could read it again, and again."

It just shows a lot of adventure and you never know what was going to happen next."

It was a half fantasy-half realistic fiction and was very descriptive the whole way through. I would never want to stop reading."

I am now obsessed with the series because I loved this one so much."

I voted for this book because it has a lot of detail and it is a caring book. This book was made by one of my favorite actor. I love the characters and the realisticness. The Land of Stories made me smile a lot. The adventures were spectacular and I think this book will surely be a memory in peoples lives including mine. I really love the series."

Summary from the publisher:

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. 

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

Cover image from Hachette Book Group

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