2017 Oregon Book Awards Finalists: Children’s Literature

The 2017 Oregon Book Awards ceremony takes place April 24 at the Gerding Theater. Join us! You can purchase tickets to the ceremony at Brown Paper Tickets. You can also cast your vote online for the 2017 Readers Choice Award. This year’s winners of the Oregon Book Award, including the Readers Choice Award, will be announced at the ceremony.  We’ll be featuring this year’s finalists each week until then.


Hannah and Sugar (Abrams Books for Young Readers) by Kate Berube

Hannah is afraid of her neighbor’s dog, Sugar. But one day Sugar goes missing. Will Hannah be able to overcome her fears and make a new friend?

Kate Berube is an author and illustrator who lives in Portland. She earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to writing and illustrating Hannah and Sugar, she illustrated The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley and My Little Half-Moon by Douglas Todd Jennerich.


Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Chronicle Books) by Cathy Camper

 When Elirio Malaria, Lupe Impala and El Chavo Flapjack Octopus discover their cat Genie has been catnapped by Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec God of the Dead, they set off in their galactically customized lowrider on a wild road trip to the underworld, in search of their gato.

Cathy Camper is also the author of the first volume in the Lowriders Trilogy, Lowriders in Space, with a third volume in the works. She has a forthcoming picture book, Ten Ways to Hear Snow, and also wrote Bugs Before Time: Prehistoric Insects and Their Relatives.


Steamboat School (Disney * Hyperion) by Deborah Hopkinson

Steamboat School is a historical fiction picture book set in 1847 St. Louis. It is illustrated by Ron Husband, one of the first African American animators at Disney.

Deborah Hopkinson has written many books for young readers and is a former Oregon Book Award winner. Her 2017 titles include A Letter to My Teacher and Independence Cake. She presents in schools across the country, where she has encountered wonderful students and educators. Deborah lives in West Linn.


The Best Worst Thing (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) by Kathleen Lane

Kathleen Lane writes short fiction and stories for young readers. She is a 2017 recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship and currently working on a short story collection and young adult novel. Kathleen lives in Portland where she co-hosts the art and literary event series SHARE, teaches writing through Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools program, and thanks to a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, will soon begin working with sixth-graders at three Portland middle schools.  

The Otter
(Beach Lane Books) by Cynthia Rylant

The Otter is the sixth book of the Lighthouse Family series, in which the family assists an otter in need. With the help of some friendly dolphins and sawfish, the lighthouse family devises a plan to free the trapped otter—and makes two new friends along the way.


Cynthia Rylant is the author of many novels and picture books for young readers. She is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books. She lives in Portland.


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