DCF Book Award

Weybridge Elementary School fourth-grader Juliette Hunsdorfer shows off a copy of 'The War That Saved My Life,' while sixth-grader Narges Anzali listens to another reader's comments about the book.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The War That Saved My Life, by author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, is a World War II-era story about a girl and her brother who have a chance to escape their cruel childhood when London is evacuated during the war.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The debut novel by Alex Gino is called George, which is also the name of the main character. But Gino refers to it as Melissa's story.

George is a fourth grader, assigned male at birth, but who secretly thinks of herself as Melissa.

Waterville Elementary School students sit around a table.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Students at Waterville Elementary School are gathered around a classroom table, deep in discussion about the characters in A Night Divided, especially the book's main character – 12-year-old Gerta, who lives in East Berlin.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

If books are supposed to open up new worlds to readers, then Victoria Jamieson's graphic novel Roller Girl has hit its mark with a group of young readers at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Sixth-graders from the Vermont Commons School in South Burlington file into Pierson Library and head up a short set of stairs to a grand room: Shelburne's historic town hall. The class is here to discuss Shadows of Sherwood, the first book in the "Robyn Hoodlum Adventures" series. 

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

One long table dominates the open space in the center of the tiny, 150-year-old Peabody Library in Post Mills. Around that table, a group of Dorothy's List readers – ranging in age from 9 to 11 – are tying lengths of rope into knots. The knots are keeping their hands busy as they discuss the book Circus Mirandus.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Author and illustrator Cece Bell was in Montpelier Wednesday night. The author of the graphic memoir El Deafo was in Vermont to accept this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

Amulet Books

More than 3,200 Vermont middle schoolers voted for this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, and it was a tight race. But in the end El Deafo was a clear winner. El Deafo is the second graphic novel to win the award in its 60-year history. The first was Smile by Raina Telgemier in 2012. And El Deafo author and illustrator Cece Bell says that book inspired her to create El Deafo.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Library time at the Marlboro School is something of an oasis in the midst of a hectic day. Students in this reading group are serving each other tea and cupcakes, and getting ready to settle in to their discussion of The One Safe Place.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

When this group of students from Burlington's Hunt and Edmunds Middle Schools got together to discuss The Art of Secrets, some of them were meeting for the first time. So Edmunds librarian Carole Renca started them out with a matching game to allow the students to mingle. Some students had cards with the names of characters from The Art of Secrets, and others had cards with descriptions of the character.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The early life story of author and illustrator Cece Bell unfolds across the pages of El Deafo in comic book style panels. We first meet Cece as an energetic preschooler who loves to wear her poka-dotted bathing suit everywhere. Then we watch her get sick and lose her hearing as speech bubbles fade to blank.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Outside their classroom, seventh and eighth graders at Rutland Town School are bounce passing and showing off their basketball moves, including the move their latest read was named for – the crossover. When we asked them how they liked the book, they raved about the book. They’re not alone.

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.

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