Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award

Honoring the Best Beginning and Transitional Fiction and Nonfiction For Children

Join the 2025 Blue Crab Committee

Are you interested in joining the 2025 Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award Committee?

To serve on the committee, you must be a member of either the Maryland Library Association or the Maryland Association of School Librarians. The committee will meet monthly from June 2024 through February 2025 on a schedule to be determined by the committee chair and members themselves. Monthly meetings are held virtually.

On this committee you will read and analyze MANY early-reader and transitional-reader books throughout the year.  The work is worth it. You'll become an expert on early and transitional books for young readers, form new friendships, and make 16 authors really, really happy!

Committee members will serve a 10-month term and may not serve on concurrent Blue Crab Award Committees (e.g. the 2024 award AND the 2025 award). Committee members will earn 30 contact hours at the end of their term.

2024 Winners and Honor Books

2024 Blue Crab Award Brochure.pdf

About the Blue Crab Award

The Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award was created in 2004 in an attempt to stimulate interest in books for the beginning reader and the emergent independent reader. At that time, there were few books produced in this niche, and it was hoped that an award that could garner national attention would encourage authors, illustrators and publishers to produce better quality books in this niche.

Since the inception of this committee for the Maryland Library Association (MLA), other organizations have begun to offer beginning reader awards as well. For example, the American Library Association (ALA) established the Geisel award in 2004 in response to this need in children's publishing.

Each year,  one winning book and up to three honor books will be selected to receive an award in each of the following categories:


Blue Crab 2024 Committee Members

Teresa Frost – Anne Arundel County Public Library

Jessica Letizia – Baltimore County Public Library

Todd Krueger – Baltimore County Public Library

Diane Bobo – Baltimore County Public Library

Mandy Davis – Carroll County Public Library

Nikeia Thompson McFarlane – Charles County Public Library

Robin Willis – Frederick County Public Libraries

Colleen Kessler – Harford County Public Library

Judy Ehrenstein – Montgomery County Public Libraries

Luz Flores – Montgomery County Public Libraries

Jenny Corrado – Montgomery County Public Schools

Pamela Mann – Washington County Free Library