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Monday, July 22, 2024  |  9 am – 9 pm

Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 – 5 pm

The Rebecca Caudill Journey

Tom and Christina by the Caudill display in Youth. (Note: photo taken pre-pandemic)

Last year, Youth Department Director Christina Keasler and I received news that we were chosen to be evaluators for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award . Huzzah!

Here’s the committee in a nutshell :

A rotating committee of between seventy and eighty members meets annually in late January or early February to create the list of nominees. The committee is made up of 4th-8th grade educators and school and public librarians representing geographic locations throughout the state.

  • Evaluators must locate their own copies of titles being considered.
  • The evaluator’s job begins in May each year and requires reading and evaluating ten titles over the summer. 
  • Beginning in September, evaluators are expected to read the narrowed list of 50 titles before the annual meeting at the end of January. 
  • Evaluators must attend the meeting at the end of January to participate in the creation of the list of 20 titles. 

We’ve now met and decided on which books made the final list. Check it out here !    

Was it hard to read so many books? Ten titles to read over the summer was doable, but the big task to read 50 titles from September to early February was a little challenging! I do read that many normally, but it’s been a long time since I was told what to read instead of reading only what I want to read. The books are a variety of fiction, nonfiction, biographies, and graphic novels spanning many genres, such as adventure, mystery, etc.   

A huge plus of being an evaluator is gaining knowledge about these particular books and improving our readers advisory services. When members ask us for recommendations, we’re always honest about whether or not we’ve read certain books, but it means a lot more when we have read them and can give meaningful readers’ advisory recommendations.   

The Rebecca Caudill books are for 4th-8th graders. However, there are also two other Illinois awards, the Bluestem  for 3rd-5th graders and the Monarch  for k-3rd grade. Here at Glen Ellyn Public Library, it’s important to us to showcase all three awards and update them as soon as the winners are announced. We know schools in our community as well as the general public depend on these for good reading!

Christina and I are looking forward to discussing the 2022 Caudill winners with you!


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