The following books are finalists for the 2020 Oregon Book Award in Children’s Literature. Each year, this program honors the state’s finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in genres of poetry, fiction, graphic literature, drama, literary nonfiction, and literature for young readers. Winners will be announced on June 22, 2020. Congratulations to all the finalists!
Cathy Camper of Portland, Lowriders: Blast from the Past (Chronicle Books)
The new installment in the acclaimed Lowriders in Space series combines comics, science, Spanish, and a superhero origin story for an out-of-this- world graphic novel experience.
Cathy Camper is the author of several books, including the Lowriders series. A graduate of VONA/Voices writing workshops for people of color, Cathy works as a librarian in Portland, where she does outreach to schools and kids in grades K–12.
“References to the Asco art collective, and visual nods to Mexican fine, folk, and street art draw attention to and celebrate the artistic and political traditions that inspire the series.” —Judge Amy Pattee
Deborah Hopkinson of West Linn, Carter Reads the Newspaper (Peachtree Publishing Company)
Black History Month was begun in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the son of enslaved parents who valued education and the importance of being an informed citizen. Carter Reads the Newspaper is a nonfiction picture book biography celebrating his life and legacy.
Deborah Hopkinson has written more than fifty books for children and teens. Her 2020 titles include a picture book, Mindful Day, and a work of nonfiction, We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport. She lives in West Linn.
This a truly wonderful biography that expands history and the people who helped shape the way we should study it.”
—Judge Pablo Cartaya
Jody J. Little of Portland, Mostly the Honest Truth (HarperCollins)
After an accident with her father, Jane is taken to Three Boulders, an unusual place, where she waits for her father to get out of rehab. There, she discovers secrets about herself and the true meaning of family.
Jody J. Little is a third-grade teacher who loves sharing the joy of children’s literature with her students. Her heart-centered novels, Mostly the Honest Truth and Worse Than Weird, explore the many meanings of family and friendship. A long-time Oregonian, Jody now calls Portland home.
“Readers will remember the likes of G, Loam, and Dandy long after they’ve finished reading.” —Judge Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Rosanne Parry of Portland, A Wolf Called Wander (Greenwillow Books)
Wander’s story is a wolf’s eye view of the wilderness, from the loss of his home ground, to the dangerous and lonely thousand-mile journey that leads a to a new home.
Rosanne Parry is the author of six middle grade novels. She’s a part-time bookseller at Annie Blooms, and is the captain of the League of Exceptional Writers, a free mentoring workshop for future authors & illustrators. She writes in a treehouse in her backyard.
“A Wolf Called Wander is a wholly engaging thrill ride from its first sentence.” —Judge Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Rebecca Stefoff of Portland, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
If you ever wanted to read Darwin’s revolutionary masterwork but wished it were more streamlined, this adaptation of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was written for you.
After childhood in the Midwest and graduate school on the East Coast, Rebecca Stefoff chose the Pacific Northwest as home and has been happy ever since. She has written and adapted many nonfiction books for children and young adults
“This is a book to have as a resource and guide. It provides a jumping off point directly from the source material for budding scientists interested in evolutionary science and its original rabble rouser.” —Judge Pablo Cartaya