We are excited to again participate in the BES Award program for 2015-2016! 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! 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.  Stay tuned -- statewide winners will be announced in early May. 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 BESBookReview 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.


2015 - 2016 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9


 I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora
     Realistic fiction

Lucy, Elena, and Michael are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird on their summer reading list. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm, so they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. Their unconventional approach includes re-shelving copies of the book in bookstores so that people think they are missing, as well as a social media campaign -- “destroying the mockingbird.” Their efforts are successful, but soon, their exploits start to spin out of control.


The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander
     Sports fiction

A story in verse: "With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, in this fast and furious novel of family and brotherhood.


 The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier

Two abandoned Irish siblings travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling manor house in England. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.


The Great Trouble: a Mystery of London, the Blue Death, & a Boy Called Eel, by Deborah Hopkinson
    Historical fiction (1850s)

Eel, an orphan and a “mudlark,” spends his days in the filthy River Thames, searching for bits of things to sell. He’s being hunted by the extremely nasty Fisheye Bill Tyler, and he has a secret that costs him four precious shillings a week to keep safe. Then one August day in 1854 there is an outbreak of deadly cholera (“blue death”). Dr. John Snow believes the cause is in the water; not 'poisonous air,' as most believe. As the epidemic surges, it’s up to Eel and his best friend, to gather evidence to prove Dr. Snow’s theory — before the entire neighborhood is wiped out.


Ice Dogs, by Terry Lynn Johnson

Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival, and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is entirely up to her. 


The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible ...on Schindler's List: a Memoir, by Leon Leyson
      Memoir (WWII)

A remarkable true story! Leon Leyson was only ten when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis. Leyson and his family were saved by being hired to work in Oscar Schindler's factory. Leon was the youngest of all those saved by being on the now world renowned Schindler’s List - so small he had to stand on a wooden box to do his job!


Greenglass House, by Kate Milford

It's wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler's inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again ... and again. Soon Milo's home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House - and themselves.


The Boundless, by Kenneth Oppel
All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne. The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life! When he ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. In order to survive, Will joins a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of the ringmaster and expert escape artist Maren, a girl his age. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will's father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?


 Screaming at the Ump, by Audrey Vernick
     Sports fiction

12-year-old Casey Snowden knows everything about being an umpire. His dad and grandfather run a New Jersey umpire school, Behind the Plate, and Casey lives and breathes baseball. Casey’s dream, however, is to be a reporter — objective, impartial, and fair — just like an ump. But when he stumbles upon a sensational story involving a former major league player in exile, he finds that the ethics of publishing it are cloudy at best.


I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education & Changed the World [young reader's edition], by Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai was only 10 when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime, women weren't allowed to go to the market and girls couldn't go to school. Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school, and no one expected her to survive. But survive she did, and now she's an international symbol of peaceful protest, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. This Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person -- one young person -- can inspire change in her community and beyond.


2015-2016 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6


 The Quikpick
Papers: Poop

Tom Angleberger

Absolutely Almost
Lisa Graff


Words with Wings
Nikki Grimes


Gabriel Finley &
the Raven's Riddle
George Hagen


 The Fourteenth
Jennifer L. Holm


 Odd, Weird & Little
Patrick Jennings


 Half a World Away
Cynthia Kadohata


  Half a Chance
Cynthia Lord



 Brown Girl Dreaming
Jacqueline Woodson


 Centaur Rising
Jane Yolen


2015-2016 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6 Graphic Novels


 El Deafo
Cece Bell

Lowriders in Space
Bk 1
Cathy Camper  


 Hidden: A Child's
Story of the Holocaust
Loic Dauvillier


Dogs of War
Sheila Keenan


 The Stratford Zoo Mid
night Review Presents

Ian Lendler  


The Silver Six
A. J. Lieberman  


Bravoman. Vol. 1
Super-Unequaled Hero
of Excellence!
Matt Moylan


  Finding Gossamyr,

Vol. 1
David A. Rodriquez



Phoebe & Her
Unicorn: a Heavenly
Nostrils Chronicle
Dana Simpson  


Doug TenNapel


2015-2016 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 9-12

** these books are approved for Middle School


 The Impossible
Knife of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson


** The Naturals
Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Nearly Gone
Elle Cosimano


** The Unfinished
Life of Addison Stone
Adele Griffin


Open Road Summer
Emery Lord


 ** Steelheart
Brandon Sanderson



** The Scarboys

Len Vlahos


** Rose Under Fire
Elizabeth Wein



John Corey Whaley


** The Shadow Hero 
Gene Luen Yang



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