2022 Texas Bluebonnet Award Book Selection

Voting is not open for Bluebonnet books right now but you may review the list of books here to decide which you would like to read next.

How do you know when the person who can make the difference . . . is you? 
 Olive is excited to start sixth grade: new teachers, new experiences, and a field trip to the big city with her best buds!  But when Olive finds out that a school policy is keeping some kids from going on the trip, she decides to act. She's prepared to do whatever it takes to be heard—even if it means running against Trent and Sawyer, two of her closest friends, in the student council election! By Kayla Miller

Act
How do you know when the person who can make the difference . . . is you? Olive is excited to start sixth grade: new teachers, new experiences, and a field trip to the big city with her best buds! But when Olive finds out that a school policy is keeping some kids from going on the trip, she decides to act. She's prepared to do whatever it takes to be heard—even if it means running against Trent and Sawyer, two of her closest friends, in the student council election!
Meet Iggy Frangi. He's not a bad kid, he's really not. Okay, so he's done a few (a few is anything up to 100) bad things. And okay, he's not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What's a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn't think so. No one got hurt, so there's not problem. No one got hurt except for that one time, that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time. By Annie Barrows; illustrated by Sam Ricks

The Best of Iggy
Meet Iggy Frangi. He's not a bad kid, he's really not. Okay, so he's done a few (a few is anything up to 100) bad things. And okay, he's not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What's a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn't think so. No one got hurt, so there's not problem. No one got hurt except for that one time, that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time.
From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition. Sometimes, 12-year-old Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbing him By Jewell Parker Rhodes

Black Brother, Black Brother
From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition. Sometimes, 12-year-old Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbing him "Black Brother," Donte's teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter-skinned brother, Trey. When he's bullied and framed by the captain of the fencing team, "King" Alan, he's suspended from school and arrested.
One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora's father and all of their supplies. Discover what happens to Nora in this tale of courage. By Dusti Bowling

The Canyon's Edge
One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora's father and all of their supplies. Discover what happens to Nora in this tale of courage.
Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman - or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved.

But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México. Efrén must juggle his schoolwork and his best friend’s campaign for school president while dealing with his fears of what may come next for his family. By Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Divided
Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman - or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved. But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México. Efrén must juggle his schoolwork and his best friend’s campaign for school president while dealing with his fears of what may come next for his family.
An elephant never forgets...but Lexington Willow can't remember her past. When she was a toddler, a tornado swept her away from everyone and everything she knew and landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo, where an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. 
Now that she's twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind's protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah's message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. By Celesta Rimington

The Elephant's Girl
An elephant never forgets...but Lexington Willow can't remember her past. When she was a toddler, a tornado swept her away from everyone and everything she knew and landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo, where an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. Now that she's twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind's protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah's message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family.
Every year in Namibia, about two thousand zebras suddenly disappear from their grazing area along the Chobe River. Months later, the herd returns. Where do they go? And why? Thanks to satellite-tracking collars, scientists were able to solve the mystery, but several questions remain. Award-winning science author Sandra Markle reveals the process scientists used to study the zebras, and she also delves into the science of migration, exploring how animals know where to go, how to get there, and when to leave. By Sandra Markle

Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery
Every year in Namibia, about two thousand zebras suddenly disappear from their grazing area along the Chobe River. Months later, the herd returns. Where do they go? And why? Thanks to satellite-tracking collars, scientists were able to solve the mystery, but several questions remain. Award-winning science author Sandra Markle reveals the process scientists used to study the zebras, and she also delves into the science of migration, exploring how animals know where to go, how to get there, and when to leave.
This funny poetry book is chockful of unusual characters: panda and pangolin musicians, mail-order eggs that hatch (surprise!) dinosaurs, ten aliens with a garden-gnome pal, a robot uncle, lots and lots of dragons, and a professor who uses his Page Machine to travel to multiple pages within the book. Vikram Madan's ingenious poems take many forms, from limerick to rebus to a fill-in-the-blank poem that offers more than 13.8 billion funny combinations. By Vikram Madan

A Hatful of Dragons: and More than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems
This funny poetry book is chockful of unusual characters: panda and pangolin musicians, mail-order eggs that hatch (surprise!) dinosaurs, ten aliens with a garden-gnome pal, a robot uncle, lots and lots of dragons, and a professor who uses his Page Machine to travel to multiple pages within the book. Vikram Madan's ingenious poems take many forms, from limerick to rebus to a fill-in-the-blank poem that offers more than 13.8 billion funny combinations.
Get up close and personal with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life, complete with exquisitely detailed illustrations. Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann describe the life cycle of the hard-working honeybee in this poetically written, thoroughly researched picture book. By Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
Get up close and personal with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life, complete with exquisitely detailed illustrations. Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann describe the life cycle of the hard-working honeybee in this poetically written, thoroughly researched picture book.
Rex Dexter wants nothing more in the world than to get a puppy for his birthday. When his parents surprise him with a box that has holes in it, he is delighted. That is until he opens it and discovers a chicken. Unfortunately, Rex’s chicken only lives a little over an hour before a steamroller flattens it, Rex has been cursed by the Grim Reaper, and deceased zoo animals are haunting Rex demanding answers. Now Rex, along with his good friend Darvish, must solve the mystery of the zoo animal killer. By Aaron Reynolds

The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter
Rex Dexter wants nothing more in the world than to get a puppy for his birthday. When his parents surprise him with a box that has holes in it, he is delighted. That is until he opens it and discovers a chicken. Unfortunately, Rex’s chicken only lives a little over an hour before a steamroller flattens it, Rex has been cursed by the Grim Reaper, and deceased zoo animals are haunting Rex demanding answers. Now Rex, along with his good friend Darvish, must solve the mystery of the zoo animal killer.

Twelve-year-old physics whiz Lexi Magill won't let anything stop her from winning Wisconsin's Teleportation Tournament--the annual competition where teams teleport around the world to solve science-based puzzles. She needs the prize money if she wants to re-enroll in the science academy her parents can no longer afford.  When Lexi’s two teammates throw them off course by misreading a clue, she wonders if they can recover and make it to the final destination in first place. By Kim Long

Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament
Twelve-year-old physics whiz Lexi Magill won't let anything stop her from winning Wisconsin's Teleportation Tournament--the annual competition where teams teleport around the world to solve science-based puzzles. She needs the prize money if she wants to re-enroll in the science academy her parents can no longer afford. When Lexi’s two teammates throw them off course by misreading a clue, she wonders if they can recover and make it to the final destination in first place.
In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge Mora comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker. By Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illustrated by Oge Mora

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge Mora comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker.
A tiny island is home to Hedgehog and a stuffed dog named Mutty. After a storm carries Mutty away, Hedgehog must be brave and leave the island in search of her best friend. As she follows the clues left behind, she meets a multi-lingual Mole, a wordy Owl, an irritable Beaver, a Hen, and her scatterbrained Chicks, and Annika May Flores, a young girl who is new to the neighborhood. With courage and determination, they work together to find Mutty and discover something else important along the way: each other. By Lauren Castillo

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us
A tiny island is home to Hedgehog and a stuffed dog named Mutty. After a storm carries Mutty away, Hedgehog must be brave and leave the island in search of her best friend. As she follows the clues left behind, she meets a multi-lingual Mole, a wordy Owl, an irritable Beaver, a Hen, and her scatterbrained Chicks, and Annika May Flores, a young girl who is new to the neighborhood. With courage and determination, they work together to find Mutty and discover something else important along the way: each other.
With eight frightening stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes will not disappoint readers. Seven little foxes gather in the dark of night by the campfire begging for scary stories. The little foxes get just the thrills and chills they were expecting and so will readers. By Christian McKay Heidicker; illustrated by Junyi Wu

Scary Stories for Young Foxes
With eight frightening stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes will not disappoint readers. Seven little foxes gather in the dark of night by the campfire begging for scary stories. The little foxes get just the thrills and chills they were expecting and so will readers.
When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future. By Gene Barretta; illustrated by Frank Morrison

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver
When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own. Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future.
A bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist and national icon Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country's Indigenous history.
Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru. By Monica Brown; illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello
A bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist and national icon Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country's Indigenous history. Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru.
In 1933, what's left of the Turner family--twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. As the Turner children move from town to town, searching for work and trying to cobble together the basic necessities of life, they are met with suspicion and hostility. They are viewed as outsiders in their own country. Will they ever find a place to call home? By Sandra Dallas

Someplace to Call Home
In 1933, what's left of the Turner family--twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. As the Turner children move from town to town, searching for work and trying to cobble together the basic necessities of life, they are met with suspicion and hostility. They are viewed as outsiders in their own country. Will they ever find a place to call home?
Tristan’s friend Eddie has died. All this 7th grader has left is Eddie’s journal, full of his Nana’s tales of Black American and African folklore. Then one night, Gum Baby steals the journal and Tristan finds himself tumbling from this world to the monster-filled MidPass. He and his new allies – John Henry and Brer Rabbit – must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole between the worlds so Tristan can get home. By Kwame Mbalia

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Tristan’s friend Eddie has died. All this 7th grader has left is Eddie’s journal, full of his Nana’s tales of Black American and African folklore. Then one night, Gum Baby steals the journal and Tristan finds himself tumbling from this world to the monster-filled MidPass. He and his new allies – John Henry and Brer Rabbit – must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole between the worlds so Tristan can get home.
Ryan Hart loves to spend time with her friends, loves to invent recipes, and has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means changes like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. Because Ryan is all about trying to see the best. Even when things aren’t all she would wish for—her brother is infuriating, her parents don’t understand, when her recipes don’t turn out right, and when the unexpected occurs—she can find a way forward, with wit and plenty of sunshine. By Reneè Watson; illustrated by Nina Mata

Ways to Make Sunshine
Ryan Hart loves to spend time with her friends, loves to invent recipes, and has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means changes like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. Because Ryan is all about trying to see the best. Even when things aren’t all she would wish for—her brother is infuriating, her parents don’t understand, when her recipes don’t turn out right, and when the unexpected occurs—she can find a way forward, with wit and plenty of sunshine.
June, 1893. Audra’s small but fiercely independent country of Lithuania, has been occupied by Russian Cossacks who demand that all become Russian. When Cossacks raid her family’s farm, Audra’s parents send her away with a mysterious package and instructions for delivery. As the Cossacks systematically wipe out the Lithuanian culture by banning their religion, books, and language, an underground network of book smugglers put their lives on the line to preserve their Lithuanian culture. Soon Audra is caught up in this growing resistance movement and will risk her life in order to reunite with her parents and help save the country she loves. By Jennifer A. Nielsen

Words on Fire
June, 1893. Audra’s small but fiercely independent country of Lithuania, has been occupied by Russian Cossacks who demand that all become Russian. When Cossacks raid her family’s farm, Audra’s parents send her away with a mysterious package and instructions for delivery. As the Cossacks systematically wipe out the Lithuanian culture by banning their religion, books, and language, an underground network of book smugglers put their lives on the line to preserve their Lithuanian culture. Soon Audra is caught up in this growing resistance movement and will risk her life in order to reunite with her parents and help save the country she loves.