We are excited to again participate in the BES Award program for 2014-2015! 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, 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 150 Hoover students voted in April 2014! Hoover students chose Wonder (R.J. Palacio) as their favorite in the Grades 6-9 category, which also won across the state. Statewide winner in the Grades 4-6 category was Ungifted (Gordon Korman); Sidekicks (Dan Santat) won in the new category, Gr.4-6 Graphic Novels; and The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) won for Grades 9-12. Congratulations to all the winners! Wondering how your favorite book did in the voting? The MASL website lists the books in descending order beginning with the top vote-getter.

Want to join in the fun? Stop by the Media Center to pick up a bookmark or two of this year's nominees and get started reading! Here is the book review form -- three of these must be turned in to be eligible to vote next April.

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


2014 - 2015 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9


 After Iris, by Natasha Farrant
     Realistic fiction 

  Blue uses her diary and video diary to tell of the aftermath of her twin sister’s death. Her parents are mostly absent, her younger siblings are obsessed with their pet rats, and the au pair  must keep up with them all. Can this family, falling apart with grief, find their way back together?


Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
     Realistic fiction

  Willow Chance is a gifted twelve-year-old student who just wants to belong. When her adoptive family is tragically taken away from her, she must figure out a new way to fit in the world. Can Willow create a new family from the jaggedly eccentric pieces of her life?


 Eddie's War, by Carol Fisher Saller
     Historical fiction (WWII)

  Told in verse, this is the story of Eddie Carl, whose brother enlists in World War II and leaves their Illinois home. Eddie watches how prejudice affects a man’s life, both in the US and in Europe. Eddie grows from a boy of five to a young man of fifteen who will stand up to people for people.


Far Far Away, by Tom McNeal

  Once upon a time, in the town of Never Better, there lived a boy named Jeremy Johnson Johnson. Jeremy hears voices… or more accurately, he hears one voice… the ghost of Jacob Grimm… yes, that Grimm! Darkly fantastic - Far, Far Away is full of the stuff of fairy tales and nightmares.


Four Secrets, by Margaret Willey
   Realistic fiction 

  Three misfit teenagers are so tired of being bullied that they kidnap their tormentor. In journal entries, each of them tell their own story to a social worker after they are sent to a juvenile facility. What impacted their lives to get them to this point?


On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave, by Candace Fleming
      Ghost stories

  Nine teens, who died between 1853 and 2012, share their stories with a cemetery visitor. Listening to their stories distracts Mike from his own youthful problems, and he begins to understand and appreciate the stories he hears and the messages the deceased teens want to leave in the world.


Poison, by Bridget Zinn

  As a talented potions master, Kyra is the only one who can save her kingdom. Kyra’s botched attempt to assassinate her former best friend, who just happens to be the future Queen of the kingdom, has forced her to live as a fugitive. She sets out with her new-found sidekick – a curly-tailed pig named Rosie - to finish her mission.


The Girl from Felony Bay, by J. E. Thompson

  Abbey Force would say that her life has taken a turn for the worse. Her dad is in a coma, accused of a crime he did not commit. Abbey and her new BFF set out to unravel the mysterious goings on in Felony Bay. In doing so, they hope to let the world know that Abbey's dad is innocent.


The Neptune Project, by Polly Holyoke
     Adventure fantasy

  Nere discovers that she is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive underwater. Could this help explain her comfort with dolphins? Her journey to a “safe harbor” is filled with danger from the sea, the government, and other kids just like her.


Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, by Deborah Hopkinson
   Narrative non-fiction

 First, Second, and Third-class passengers and members of the crew from the Titanic share their stories of  its sinking. Photographs, letters, and other primary sources tell of the drama and tension of that night. What happened to those who survived?


2014-2015 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6


M. H. Herlong 

Escape for Mr.
Lemoncello's Library
Chris Grabenstein 


Vande Velde


I Funny: a Middle
School Story
James Patterson &
Chris Grabenstein


 Kizzy Ann
Jeri Watts 


Nick & Tesla's High-
Voltage Danger Lab
Bob Pflugfelder &
Steve Hockensmith


Prince Puggly of
Spud & the
Kingdom of Spiff
Robert Paul


Jewell Parker



This Journal Belongs
to Ratchet
Nancy J. Cavanaugh 


What We Found in
the Sofa & How it
Saved the World
Henry Clark 


2014-2015 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6 Graphic Novels


Ariol. Vol. 1: Just a
Donkey Like You & Me
Emmanuel Guibert 

Astronaut Academy:
Zero Gravity
Dave Roman  


Big Bad Ironclad!
A Civil War Steam-
ship Showdown
Nathan Hale 


Bluffton: My
Summers with Buster
Matt Phelan  


  Cat's Cradle. Book 1.
The Golden Twine
Jo Rioux  


Explorer: The
Mystery Boxes: Seven
Graphic Stories
Kazu Kibuishi, ed.  


Mal and Chad:
The Biggest, Bestest
Time Ever
Stephen McCranie  


  Missile Mouse:
Rescue on Tankium3
Jake Parker 



Monster on the Hill
Rob Harrell  


Smash. Book One:
Trial by Fire
Chris A. Bolton 


2014-2015 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 9-12

** these books are approved for Middle School 


 ** Bomb: the Race to
Build & Steal the
World's Most

Dangerous Weapon
Steve Sheinkin 


** Bruised 
Sarah Skilton 


Eleanor & Park
Rainbow Rowell 


** Not a Drop
to Drink
Mindy McGinnis 


Out of Nowhere
Maria Padian 


The Beginning
of Everything
Robyn Schneider 



** The Clockwork 

Colleen Gleason 


 The Living
Matt De La Pena 



Thousand Words
Jennifer Brown 


** Unbreakable
Kami Garcia 



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