The Volunteer State Book Award is sponsored annually by the Tennessee Library Association and the Tennessee Association of School Librarians. Each year, children across Tennessee are asked to read books from a list of nominated titles. The Volunteer State Book Award has four divisions--Primary (Grades K-2), Intermediate (Grades 3-5), Middle School (Grades 6-8), and High School (Grades 9-12). In the spring, those students who have read or listened to at least three of the titles from the list are eligible to vote for their favorite titles. These votes are tabulated and sent to the state organization. The book with the most votes statewide wins the award. The author of the book receives a plaque and is invited to Tennessee to receive the award.

In 2019, the VSBA committee chairs decided that in order to keep our book lists contemporary it would be best to adjust our book nomination standards. In years past, the award-winning books for VSBA have been outdated. By the time the students encounter the nominated titles and choose their favorite, many of them have likely already encountered the books on the list.

Going forward, the goal of the committees will be to choose books from the calendar years in which the nominating cycle occurs. You can think of it like the Caldecott and Newbery awards. We hope this will help us introduce new, high-quality literature to students and make the VSBAs more prominent.