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Black-eyed Susan Program Description

What is the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award?

The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award is a student choice award for the state of Maryland that has been awarded each year since 1992. The award seeks to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature.

Reading committees of school and public librarians, and other interested members of the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) meet to determine which books will be nominated and placed on student reading lists.

There are six different reading lists:

  • Picture Books,
  • Fiction/Nonfiction for
    • Grades 4-6
    • Grades 6-9, and
    • High School
  • Graphic Novels for 
    • Grades 4-6,
    • Grades 6-9

How are the books chosen?

The nominated books are expected to be outstanding books that broaden the human experience and provide students with new insights into their own lives. Books may be suggested for consideration by students, teachers, parents, or other interested readers. If you would like to submit a nomination for consideration, please do so at this form by October 1 of each year.

Criteria for Nominated Books:

  • May be fiction or nonfiction.
  • Published within the last 4 years (2017 or newer).
  • Readily available.
  • Positively reviewed in at least 2 professional review sources.

Books must have been read, discussed, and voted upon by the appropriate Black-Eyed Susan reading committee before being placed on the corresponding list.

How are the winners chosen?

Students who have followed the “Guidelines for Participation” may cast one vote for the book they consider to be the most outstanding book in each of the categories. The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Committee gathers and tallies all votes from across the state to determine the winner.

The winning authors and/or illustrators receive an award engraved with the book title, the year, and the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award logo. Authors, illustrators, and publishers recognize the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award as an honor bestowed by Maryland student readers.

2019-2020 Maryland Black-eyed Susan Book Award Winners

2016-2017 Maryland Black-eyed Susan Book Award Winners

2015-2016 Maryland Black-eyed Susan Book Award Winners

2018-2019 Maryland Black-eyed Susan Book Award Winners

2017-2018 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Winners