Hoover students participated in the 2015-2016 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, 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 250 Hoover students voted in April 2016! At Hoover, students chose Crossover (Kwame Alexander) as their favorite in the Grades 6-9 category. In the Grades 4-6 category the Hoover winner is Odd, Weird and Little (Patrick Jennings), Cardboard (Doug TenApel) in the 4-6 Graphic Novels, and The Naturals (Jennifer Lynne Barnes) 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 Crossover (Kwame Alexander), The Naturals (Jennifer Lynne Barnes) in the High School category, The Fourteenth Goldfish (Jennifer L. Holm) in the Grades 4-6 category, and El Deafo (Cece Bell) in the Graphic Novels/Grades 4-6 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! There are even more great reading opportunities for the 2016-17 school year with the addition of a new category: Grade 6-9 Graphic Novels. Here is the BES Book Review form -- three of these must be turned in (starting when we return to school in August) to be eligible to vote next April.

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


2016 - 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9


I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives,
by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

In this compelling dual memoir, teenagers Caitlin (America) and Martin (Zimbabwe) recount how they became best friends --and better people--through letters. The class assignment to correspond with a teenager from another part of the world was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it. 


The Thing About Jellyfish: A Novel, by Ali Benjamin
     Realistic fiction

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting - things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory - even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.


 Book Scavenger, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Emily, 12, and her family are moving to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the new game he was about to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which might come from Griswold and lead to a valuable prize. There are others hunting for the book too, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before his attackers make them their next target.


Nightbird, by Alice Hoffman

Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.


House Arrest, by K. A. Holt
   Realistic fiction in verse

Timothy is on probation. It's a strange word--something that happens to other kids, to delinquents, not to kids like him. And yet, he is under house arrest for the next year. He must check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, and keep a journal for the entire year. Mostly, he has to stay out of trouble. Timothy's journal reveals how he navigates life with a sick brother, a grieving mother, and one tough probation officer. Sometimes he feels drastic measures to protect his brother are necessary, and staying out of trouble proves to be much harder than he thought.


Listen, Slowly, by Thanhha Lai
      Realistic Fiction

A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not hers. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.


When, by Victoria Laurie

   Science Fiction/Mystery

Maddie doesn't have a choice. The forehead of every person she sees is marked by the shadowy digits of their deathdate. Her unique skill often feels more like a curse than a gift, still Maddie helps support her family by identifying deathdates for the paying customers her mother reels in. But when one client's young son goes missing on the exact date Maddie has pinpointed, and she gets pulled into a homicide investigation that turns her world upside down. As more young people disappear and are later found murdered, suspicion swirls around Maddie. A suspect in the investigation and a target for the murderer, could she also hold the key to cracking the case?


I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure. But a few years later Libby dies in a car crash, and Princess X dies with her. Now 16, May is shocked to see stickers, patches and graffiti images of Princess X all over town -- does this mean Libby is still alive?



 No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits, by Jordan Romero

On May 22, 2010, at the age of thirteen, American teenager Jordan Romero became the youngest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. At fifteen, he became the youngest person to reach the summits of the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. In this energizing memoir for young adults, Jordan, now seventeen, recounts his experience, which started as a spark of an idea at the age of nine and, many years of training and hard work later, turned into a dream come true.


Orbiting Jupiter, by Gary D. Schmidt
      Realistic Fiction

Jack, 12 years old, tells the shattering story of his foster brother, Joseph - a father at thirteen who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, Joseph is placed with Jack's family on a farm in rural Maine where hos adjustment isn’t always an easy one. His emotions are locked up, he encounters bullies, and many of his teachers are suspicious of him. Joseph grows to love the daily routine of farm life and his new family. But things aren't simple, as Joseph’s single-minded desire to parent his daughter leads to strife and his violent father re-enters the picture, with tragic results. 

2016 - 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6


 The War That
Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker

Ellie's Story: A Dog's
Purpose Novel
W. Bruce Cameron


The Map Trap
Andrew Clements


 My Near-Death
(99% True)
Allison DeCamp


 Stella by
Sharon Draper


 Took: A Ghost
Mary Downing Hahn


 The Detective's
Kate Hannigan


  Fish in a Tree
Lynda Mullaly Hunt



Gordon Korman


 Fuzzy Mud
Louis Sachar


2016 - 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9 Graphic Novels


 Drowned City: 
Hurricane Katrina &
New Orleans
Don Brown

Svetlana Chmakova  


 Delilah Dirk & the
Turkish Lieutenant
Tony Cliff


Gaijin: American
Prisoner of War
Matt Faulkner


 The Last of the
Jay Hosler  


Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson


 The Lost Boy
Greg Ruth


 Lumberjanes. 1,
Beware the Kitten Holy

Noelle Stevenson



 Oyster War
Ben Towle  


 Ms. Marvel.
1, No Normal
G. Willow Wilson


 2016 - 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6 Graphic Novels


 Dragons Beware!
Jorge Augusto Aguirre
& Rafael Rosado 

Hereville: How 
Mirka Caught a Fish
Barry Deutsch  


 The Underground
Nathan Hale


Sunny Side Up
Jennifer Holm


The Lunch Witch. 1
Deb Lucke  


 Baba Yaga's Assistant
Marika McCoola  


 Astronaut Academy:
Dave Roman


 Lost in NYC: A
Subway Adventure

Nadja Spiegelman



Space Dumplins
Craig Thompson  


Secret Coders
Gene Luen Yang


2016 - 2017 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 9-12

** - These books are approved for middle school readers


 The Notorious
Pagan Jones

Nina Berry


** Saint Anything
A Novel

Sara Dessen


** Stick
Michael B. Harmon


 How It Went Down
Kekla Magoon


** Dumplin'
Julie Murphy


 ** The Boy in the
Black Suit
Jason Reynolds



** The Dogs

 Allan Stratton


** An Ember in
the Ashes
Sabaa Tahir



** The Unlikely
Hero of Room 13B
Teresa Toten


Everything, Everything
Nicola Yoon



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