Dorothy's List

Heard On 'Vermont Edition'

What is Dorothy's List?

Dorothy’s List is VPR’s book club for kids! Each month we highlight a book nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award. We visit schools and libraries where the book is being read, check out how young readers are interacting with the book and relay students’ questions to the author.

Dorothy's List is curated and reported by VPR's Amy Kolb Noyes.

The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

First given in 1957, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award has honored quality literature for children for over 55 years. Each spring, 30 nominees are named to the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Master List. After reading at least five books from the list, Vermont students in grades four through eight vote for their favorite. Learn more here.

Nominated Books

Find more information about the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award in recent years:

How to get involved

How does your school or library do Dorothy's List? Let us know! Share an activity or a lesson plan. Tell us what books you’d like to see highlighted on Dorothy’s List and why. And please let us know if you’re interested in participating in a future program!

Want to put up a poster for Dorothy's List in your classroom or library?

Click here for a printable poster or here for a flyer.

Ways to Connect

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For this month's Dorothy's List, seventh graders at Green Mountain Union in Chester have been reading the novel Unfriended by New York author Rachel Vail.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

In 1944, a disastrous explosion rocked a Naval base in California called Port Chicago. The racially segregated Navy base had dangerous and unfair working conditions for African American sailors there. After the explosion, a large group of sailors refused to return to work loading ammunition under the same dangerous conditions. They were tried for mutiny. Those men were called the Port Chicago 50.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The fifth and sixth graders file down the stairs and into the school library, like they've done hundreds of times before. They're the big kids at Beeman Elementary, and library time isn't just about read-alouds and checking out books anymore. Librarian Nancy Custer Carroll has a lesson for them on characters in Laura Marx Fitzgerald's book Under the Egg.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The students at St. Etheldreda's School for Young Ladies are there to learn to behave as proper maidens should. The girls' lives are mundane under the care of their miserly headmistress. But despite their dreary situation at school, there is one fate that all the girls agree would be far worse. And that is being sent home.

So when their headmistress and her brother drop dead at Sunday dinner, the young ladies decide to bury the bodies in the back garden and keep the murders a secret. Thus is born The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.

Random House Children's Books

Sharon Colvin, Vermont's new Youth Services Consultant for the Vermont Department of Libraries, recently had the honor of announcing the winner of the 2014-2015 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award to a room full of Vermont teachers and librarians. However, many of them had already heard the award is going to Chris Grabenstein, author of Escape form Mr. Lemoncello's Library. It's hard to keep a secret from a good librarian.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Prisoner 88 is among a handful of historical fiction titles nominated for this year's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award. It's the story of 10-year-old Jake Oliver Evans who, in 1885, is sentenced to five years in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary for fatally shooting a man who threatened his father.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For New Hampshire sixth grader Ruby Pepperdine, the "center of everything" is up on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors, stargazing with her grandmother, Gigi. In Vermont author Linda Urban's book The Center of Everything, after Gigi dies, Ruby has one big regret. She didn't listen to the last thing her grandmother tried to tell her.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

P.S. Be Eleven takes place in a very different time and place from modern-day Moretown, Vermont. The book's three sisters live in Brooklyn, New York in the late-1960s with their Pa and grandmother, who they call Big Ma. But, their mother lives in Oakland, California where she's involved with the radical civil rights group the Black Panthers.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This month Dorothy's List visited the West Rutland School, where sixth graders have been reading a Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan. Golden Boy tells the story of an albino Tanzanian boy named Habo. Habo is forced to flee across his country, when a poacher tries to hunt him down. It's a difficult read that’s hard to categorize. It reads like historical fiction, but the real-life circumstances are both modern-day and horrifying.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Courage Has No Color, by Vermont author Tanya Lee Stone, is the true story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, which was created during World War II. The battalion was known as the Triple Nickels. The men who made up the Triple Nickels were the first African Americans to serve in the United States military as paratroopers.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Salt is subtitled A Story of Friendship in a Time of War. The friendship is between two 12-year-old boys named James and Anikwa. The time of war is the War of 1812. British and American armies are preparing to collide at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This month we go to Grand Isle School, where fifth graders have been reading Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle. The book draws on Federle's own experience in musical theater and the classic middle school experience of feeling like an outcast.

Amy Noyes / VPR

Today marks the beginning of season two of Dorothy's List, Vermont Edition's series about the books that are nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher children's book award. Each month this school year, this series will bring you a story about one of the books on the list of award nominees. The winning book is selected in the spring by the Vermont middle grade students who read and discuss these books.

Random House

Each school year Vermont middle grade students read the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, then vote for a winner. Earlier this month, the DCF committee tallied the students' votes and announced the winner:  Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Random House

Voting among Vermont's fourth through eighth graders for the 2013-2014 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award concluded on Friday. And the winner is...

Wonderby R.J. Palacio!

HMH Books for Young Readers

The annual cycle for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s book award begins in the spring, when the nominating committee releases the Master List of 30 titles. The books on the list are aimed at readers in grades four through eight. The committee aims to have something on the list for every reader in that age range – from novels to nonfiction picture books. To be eligible to vote for the winner, students must read at least five books on the list.

Vermont author Rebecca Rupp takes us inside a transformative summer for Danny Anderson, when he makes a set of new friends who help him overcome his grief in the novel After Eli.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Temple Grandin: How The Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism And Changed The World by Sy Montgomery tells the story of how Dr. Temple Grandin grew from a toddler who couldn’t communicate to a college professor and one of the world’s leading animal welfare experts.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Take a look around Liz Greenberg's fifth and sixth grade classroom at Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro and some catchy student-designed bumper stickers just might grab your attention. Each bumper sticker has a saying – a precept. Guiding words, if you will. And if you ask, the students will tell you how the precepts relate to their own lives and how they connect to R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder.

Here are some examples:

It’s not enough to be friendly, you have to be a friend.

Scholastic

Phoebe Stone's The Boy on Cinnamon Street has been called a modern-day love story. The protagonist, Louise, has a secret admirer who leaves her anonymous notes and messages.

When Brattleboro Area Middle School Librarian Marry Linney got together with the seventh and eighth graders in her BAMS Book Bunch, she wanted to know if that rang true for these students of the digital age.

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