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2020-21 Vermont Middle-Grade Children’s Book Award (DCF)

The Vermont Middle-Grade Children's Book Award (formerly known as the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award) was created to honor excellence in children's literature. Each year since 1957, Vermont students in grades four through eight have selected their favorite book from a list of 30 nominees. It is recommended that students read at least five of the year's nominated titles before voting. Voting takes place in the spring, generally beginning in April.

The nominees for 2020-21 were announced on March 16, 2020. Books are listed in asphabetical order by author and linked below. Voting for a winner from this list will take place in 2021. Please note that thes books are for readers that range from 4th grade to 7th grade so some may not be appropriate for younger readers.
 

Teachers and Librarians:  We will not be able to gather in person for the Vermont Middle-Grade Children’s Book Award* conference originally scheduled for April 10, 2020 and so we are offering this virtual book table. Schools and libraries may set up an account to qualify for discount, no sales tax, and free freight for orders of more than 6 books. Please contact the store for more details: info@norwichbookstore.com or 802-649-1114.

This Was Our Pact Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781626720534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: First Second - June 11th, 2019

A 2019 Booklist Editor's Choice
A 2019 Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
A 2019 Parents Magazine Best Children's Books of the Year

Ryan Andrews's This Was Our Pact is an astonishing, magical-realist adventure story for middle-grade readers.


The Last Human Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781419736919
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 8th, 2019

The Next Great Paulie Fink Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316380874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 31st, 2020

In this acclaimed novel by the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Thing About Jellyfish, being the new kid at school isn't easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster.


Zenobia July Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780451479402
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 21st, 2019

The critically acclaimed author of Felix Yz crafts a bold, heartfelt story about a trans girl solving a cyber mystery and coming into her own.


Staff Pick Badge
New Kid Cover Image
By Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062691194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Quill Tree Books - February 5th, 2019

Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature!


I Can Make This Promise Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062871992
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - October 1st, 2019

In her debut middle grade novel—inspired by her family’s history—Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family’s secrets—and finds her own Native American identity.


Maybe He Just Likes You Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534432376
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Aladdin - October 1st, 2019

A 2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2019

Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching—and ultimately uplifting—novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates.


Stepsister Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781338268478
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Scholastic Inc. - April 7th, 2020

* "Printz Honor winner Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that rips into the heart of familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unreedemable girl with a warrior's heart." -- Booklist, starred review

An instant New York Times bestseller!
A Seventeen Best of the Year


Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Dianné Ruz (Illustrator)
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393652703
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 10th, 2019

New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the 2019 Goodreads Choice Award for Science & Technology

Best-selling author and mortician Caitlin Doughty answers real questions from kids about death, dead bodies, and decomposition.


The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250196705
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - January 8th, 2019

"Sometimes a story comes along that just plain makes you want to hug the world. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is Dan Gemeinhart’s finest book yet — and that’s saying something. Your heart needs this joyful miracle of a book." —Katherine Applegate, acclaimed author of The One and Only Ivan and Wishtree

A 2020 ILA Teachers’ Choice


Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534424760
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 17th, 2019

Fast-paced, smart, and action-packed...a real page-burner. —Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestelling author of the Mr.


Scary Stories for Young Foxes Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250181428
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - July 30th, 2019

A 2020 Newbery Honor Recipient!

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship.

"Clever and harrowing." —The Wall Street Journal


The Dark Lord Clementine Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781616208943
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

The new face of big evil is a little . . . small.
 
Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be.


Song for a Whale Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781524770266
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Yearling - December 31st, 2019

In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the Schneider Family Book Award-winning story of a deaf girl's connection to a whale whose song can't be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.


The Story That Cannot Be Told Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534430686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - October 8th, 2019

A powerful middle grade debut that weaves together folklore and history to tell the story of a girl finding her voice and the strength to use it during the final months of the Communist regime in Romania in 1989.

Ileana has always collected stories.


Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat #1 Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781524787202
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Penguin Workshop - February 26th, 2019

"Applaud for KLAWDE. Two paws up!"--Dav Pilkey, creator of the Dog Man series.

"Funny, savage, and brilliant, Klawde is the pet I wish I had."--Max Brallier, author of the New York Times Best Seller The Last Kids on Earth


Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368039932
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - October 15th, 2019

Winner of a Coretta Scott King Author Honor

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.


The World Ends in April Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524767617
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - September 3rd, 2019

Is middle school drama scarier than an asteroid heading for Earth? Find out in this smart and funny novel by the author of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl.

Every day in middle school can feel like the end of the world.


Free Lunch Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781324003601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Norton Young Readers - September 10th, 2019

Winner of the 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.


White Bird: A Wonder Story Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780525645535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

Inspired by her blockbuster phenomenon Wonder, R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable, Sydney Taylor Book Award-winning story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war. 


The Best at It Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062866417
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 8th, 2019

Stonewall Honor Book!

From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. Perfect for fans of Tim Federle’s Nate series.


A Wolf Called Wander Cover Image
By Rosanne Parry, Mónica Armiño (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062895936
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 7th, 2019

A New York Times bestseller

“Don’t miss this dazzling tour de force.”—Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal winning author of The One and Only Ivan


Staff Pick Badge
A Good Kind of Trouble Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 12th, 2019

From debut author Lisa Moore Ramée comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what’s right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and the novels of Renée Watson and Jason Reynolds.


The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling Cover Image
$7.95
ISBN: 9781643750330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - April 14th, 2020

“Funny, exciting, and ultimately epic. Wow. I can’t wait for the next one.” —Adam Gidwitz, author of the New York Times bestseller A Tale Dark and Grimm

“Set in a magical world filled with incredible creatures from folklore, this fast-paced fantasy will keep readers turning the pages . . .


We're Not from Here Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781524773076
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Yearling - March 10th, 2020

Imagine being forced to move to a new planet where YOU are the alien! From the creator of the Tapper Twins, New York Times bestselling author Geoff Rodkey delivers a topical, sci-fi middle-grade novel that proves friendship and laughter can transcend even a galaxy of differences.


To Night Owl From Dogfish Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525553236
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Dial Books - February 12th, 2019

From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters.


Roll with It Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534442559
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019

“A big-hearted story that’s as sweet as it is awesome.” —R.J.


Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry Cover Image
$11.95
ISBN: 9780393356502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Norton Young Readers - February 5th, 2019

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s #1 New York Times best-selling guide to the cosmos, adapted for young readers.


The Bridge Home Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524738112
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - February 5th, 2019

"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive.


The Bridge Home Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781524738136
Availability: Usually Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Puffin Books - April 14th, 2020

"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers."--Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestseller Amal Unbound


Other Words for Home Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747808
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 28th, 2019

Newbery Honor Book!

A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.