Hoover students participated in the 2016-2017 BES Award program in a big way! The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award program in Maryland is designed to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature. It's easy to do: read at least 3 of the 10 nominated books in a category, and in April you can vote for your favorite book. Hoover students primarily read books in the Grades 6-9 category, but are also eligible to vote for the Grade 4-6, Grade 4-6 Graphic Novel, Grade 6-9 Graphic Novel and High School categories. Only students vote; teachers and other adults don't. The votes from Hoover and those of students throughout the state are tabulated to determine Maryland students' favorite book.

Over 100 Hoover students voted in April 2017! At Hoover, students chose When (Victoria Laurie) as their favorite in the Grades 6-9 category -- which is also the statewide winner. In the (new!) Graphic Novels/Grades 6-9 category, Hoover students chose Awkward (Svetlana Chmakova), in the Grades 4-6 category the Hoover winner is The War That Saved My Life (Kimberly Brubaker Bradley), Space Dumplins (Craig Thompson) in the Graphic Novels/Grades 4-6 category, and The Dogs (Allan Stratton) in the High School category.

Across Maryland this year, 70,000 students voted for their favorite books, and the statewide winners have been announced! In the Grades 6-9 category When (Victoria Laurie), Roller Girl (Victoria Jamieson) in the Graphic Novels/Grades 6-9, Ellie's Story: A Dog's Purpose Novel (W. Bruce Cameron) in the Grades 4-6 category, Sunny Side Up (Jennifer Holm) in the Graphic Novels/Grades 4-6 category, and Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon) in the High School category. Congratulations to all the winners!    

Want to join in the fun? Stop by the Media Center to pick up a bookmark or two of next year's nominees and get started reading! Here is the BES Book Review form -- three of these must be turned in (starting when we return to school in the fall) to be eligible to vote next April.

Visit the MASL site for more information on this terrific program.


2017 - 2018 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9
[summaries coming soon]


Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard,
by Jonathan Auxier
      Fantasy Adventure

It’s been 2 years since Peter Nimble & Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far in search of adventure, but have now been summoned by Professor Cake for a new mission: find a 12-year-old girl named Sophie Quire.
Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father’s bookshop, where she works as a bookmender and dreams of leaving the confines of her city. Then a strange boy and his talking cat/horse companion show up searching for a rare & mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into an amazing adventure.


Soar, by Joan Bauer

Jeremiah is the world’s biggest baseball fan,and he knows just about everything there is to know about it. But an operation on his heart means he can no longer play, so Jeremiah decides he'll coach instead. He moves with his Dad to Hillcrest, a town known for its championship baseball team. But Jeremiah finds the town caught up in a scandal and about ready to give up on baseball. Can Jeremiah get the town – and the team – back in the game?


 When Friendship Followed Me Home, by Paul Griffin
     Realistic Fiction

Ben Coffin has never felt like he fits in. A former foster kid, he keeps his head down at school to avoid bullies and spends his afternoons reading science-fiction books at the library. But that all changes when he finds a scruffy abandoned dog named Flip and befriends the librarian’s daughter, Halley. For the first time, Ben starts to feel like he belongs in his own life. Then, everything changes, and suddenly, Ben is more alone than ever. But with a little help from Halley’s magician father, Ben discovers his place in the world and learns to see his own magic through others’ eyes.


Terror at Bottle Creek, by Watt Key
    Survival Adventure

13-year-old Cort is caught in a battle against a Gulf Coast hurricane. Cort's father is a local expert on hunting and swamp lore in lower Alabama and has been teaching his son everything he knows. But when a deadly Category 3 storm makes landfall, Cort must unexpectedly put all his skills - and bravery - to the test. One catastrophe seems to lead to another, leaving Cort and two neighbor girls to face the storm as best they can. Amid miles of storm-thrashed wetlands filled with dangerous, desperate wild animals, it's up to Cort to win-or lose-the fight for their lives. A gritty, realistic wilderness adventure!


A Night Divided, by Jennifer A. Nielsen
   HistoricalFiction (1960s Cold War)

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, 12-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She lives on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets, with her mother & a brother. Her father and another brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city. One day she sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side of the wall and gets his message that to dig a tunnel to escape from the East. But if they are caught the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Can her family make it to freedom? 


Ghost, by Jason Reynolds

Running. That's all that Castle Cranshaw ('everybody calls me Ghost') has ever known. But never for a track team -- nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race and wins, the Olympic medalist track coach recognizes his natural talent. But Ghost has a complicated past he tries to hide, and is easily angered. With Coach's help, can Ghost learn to control his temper and really become part of the team?


Beneath, by Roland Smith

What waits Beneath? Pat O'Toole has always idolized his older brother, Coop. He's even helped Coop with some of his crazier plans -- such as risking his life to help his big brother dig a tunnel underneath their neighborhood in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Coop is . . . different. He doesn't talk on the phone, doesn't use email, and doesn't have friends. He's never really cared for anything but the thrill of being underground and Pat. So it's no surprise to anyone when Coop runs away after a big fight with his parents. A year later Pat is sent a digital voice recorder that holds a cryptic message from his Coop. He follows the clues to New York City, where he discovers a self-sufficient society living beneath the streets. Pat needs to get to Coop there and bring him home. 


Falling Over Sideways, by Jordan Sonnenblick
     Realistic Fiction

Claire has been living a relatively cursed life, at least in her opinion. Her dance friends have all moved up a level and she hasn't. Eighth grade is nightmarish thanks to mean girls and an even meaner boy. At home, her parents and older brother aren't exactly sympathetic to her plight. But one morning Claire's life goes from bad to worse when her dad has a stroke. Now Claire has to deal with dance and middle school drama and the emotional trauma that comes from watching her once strong father deal with the aftermath of his medical condition. 


 23 Minutes, by Vivian Vande Velde
     Science Fiction

By both society’s measure and her own, 15-year-old Zoe Mahar is pretty much a loser. But one day she ducks into a bank, just to get out of the rain and witnesses a bank robbery gone horrifyingly wrong. But Zoe has a unique ability: she can play back time and repeat events; ut it’s not an unlimited deal—she can only jump 23 minutes and can only do it 10 times before this particular 23 minutes becomes irreversible. The first playback, like so many others, creates an even more disastrous outcome. In the process of trying to become the heroine she doesn’t believe she can be, Zoe learns about herself and realizes that there is more to who she is than she thought.


Wolf Hollow, by Lauren Wolk
      Historical Fiction (WWII)

 It's 1943, and 11-year-old Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty is cruel and threatening and thrives on inflicting pain. Betty's violent malice only grows, until one day she goes missing. Toby, a strange recluse who is kind to Annabelle, immediately becomes the prime suspect in Betty's disappearance. Annabelle is sure of Toby's innocence and is determined to prove it. She will need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions and fear mount.

2017 - 2018 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 6-9 Graphic Novels


 Delilah Dirk & 
the King's Shilling
Tony Cliff

Gotham Academy: Welcome
To Gotham Academy
Becky Cloonan  


Jorge Corona


Geis: A Matter of
Life and Death
Alexis Deacon


 The Dumbest
Idea Ever!
Jimmy Gownley  


The Nameless City
Vol. 1

Faith Erin Hicks


 Four Points:
Compass South
Hope Larson


 Snow White

 Matt Phelan



Liz Prince  


 Orange: the Com-
plete Collection, 1
Ichigo Takano


2017 - 2018 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 4-6 


 The Wild Robot
Peter Brown

Sharon Creech


Isabel Feeney,
Star Reporter
Beth Fantaskey


 Space Case: A
Moon Base Alpha

Stuart Gibbs


 Garvey's Choice
Nikki Grimes


 Full Cicada Moon
Marilyn Hilton


 Unusual Chickens
for the Exceptional
Poultry Farmer
Kelly Jones


Sara Pennypacker



 Towers Falling
Jewell Parker Rhodes


 Save Me a Seat
Sarah Weeks



 2017 - 2018 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6 Graphic Novels


 Rutabaga, the
Adventure Chef
Eric Colossal

Help Us!
     Great Warrior

Madeleine Flores  


 Mighty Jack:
Book One
Ben Hatke


Red's Planet
Eddie Pittman


Fossils and Feathers
M. K. Reed  


 Space Battle Lunch-
time: Lights, Camera,
Natalie Riess  


 Caveboy Dave:
More Scrawny
than Brawny
Aaron Reynolds



Rana Telgemeier



The Creepy Case Files
of Margo Maloo
Drew Weing  


Hilo: Saving the
Whole Wide World
Judd Winick


2017 - 2018 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 9-12

** - These books are approved for middle school readers


 Tell Me Three

Julie Buxbaum


** Gutless
Carl Deuker


** Wolf by Wolf
Ryan Graudin


 ** My Lady Jane
Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton
& Jodi Meadows 


** March. Book 3
John Lewis &
Andrew Aydin 


 The Safest Lies
Megan Miranda


Highly Illogical

 John Corey Whaley


** The Steep &
Thorny Way
Cat Winters



** The Sun is
Also a Star

Nicola Yoon


The Serpent King
Jeff Zentner