Grades 3-5

Sunshine State Young Readers Award Books 2017-2018
List for Grades 3-5

Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes
Born into a family of over-achievers, fifth-grader Allie Velasco has never finished first in anything, and lately things have been going badly: her science project is ruined by a well-meaning student, her former best friend is hanging out with another girl--but now she is determined to win the Trailblazer contest with a photographic presentation about her great grandfather, the first Congressional Medal of Honor winner from their town.

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail’s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle’s minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked! REALLY wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn’t who she says she is.

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep and Joanna Ryder
Feisty dragon Miss Drake's new pet human, precocious ten-year-old Winnie, not only thinks Miss Drake is her pet, she accidentally brings to life her "sketchlings" of mysterious and fantastic creatures hidden in San Francisco, causing mayhem among its residents.

The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson
Eight year-old Stephen Satlow lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves the Brooklyn Dodgers. Stephen can’t believe his luck when his favorite baseball player Jackie Robinson moves in to his neighborhood. Written by Jackie Robinson’s daughter, this fictionalized story based on a true story tells a tale of an unlikely friendship between a boy and his hero.

Framed! by James Ponti
Florian has just moved to Washington, D.C. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things, a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries. But when he teaches it to his new friend, Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn’t little. Not little at all, but part of a much bigger picture!

Maxi’s Secrets: Or What You Can Learn From A Dog by Lynn Plourde
Timminy knows that moving to a new town just in time to start middle school when you are perfect bully bait is less than ideal. But he gets a great consolation prize in Maxi--a gentle giant of a dog who the family quickly discovers is deaf. Timminy is determined to do all he can to help Maxi--after all, his parents didn't return him because he was a runt. But when the going gets rough for Timminy, who spends a little too much time getting shoved into lockers at school, Maxi ends up being the one to help him--along with their neighbor, Abby, who doesn't let her blindness define her and bristles at Timminy's "poor-me" attitude. It turns out there's more to everyone than what's on the surface, whether it comes to Abby, Maxi, or even Timminy himself.

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons
Eleven-year-old Luke is a huge comic-book fan, so when an ill-timed bathroom break results in his 14- year-old brother, Zack, receiving superpowers from a visiting alien, Luke is really upset. But Zack-whose brand of nerdiness only extends to math, not comics-needs help navigating his new identity as Star Guy. When Luke's classmate Lara decides to unmask Star Guy, Luke tries to stop her, but the real danger is the villainous Nemesis, a threat to not one but two universes.

Night of the Living Worms by Dave Coverly
What's a bird to do when his sibling is a big-time celebrity? It's a question Speed Bump has to deal with every single morning, because his brother happens to be the one and only Early Bird. Unfortunately, Speed Bump is a sleepy little bird with a big head and tiny wings who's worried he'll never live up to his brother. But he has a great buddy, the ever-hungry Slingshot, who knows how to lift his spirits. Together, they end up on an adventure deep in the nighttime forest, where they're forced to confront something more terrifying―and slimier―than they've ever imagined. 

Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
The ship “Lucky Star” becomes trapped in the frozen ocean on the first day of True Winter. Ordered to save the cargo consisting of sixty-six pug dogs, Shen and the pugs travel over the frozen environment on their own. He meets Sika, who tells him of the magical “once-in-a-lifetime” winter and of a race to the North Pole where the Snowfather lives. Snowfather will grant a wish to the winner, and Sika would like to win in order to wish. Shen volunteers himself and the (66) pug dogs so Sika may enter the race and possibly win the race.

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Two fifth grade boys discover friendship can come in unexpected ways. Ravi, an excellent student, moves from India to New Jersey, only to find out that his skills aren’t viewed in the same light at his new school, Albert Einstein Elementary School. Joe has always lived in New Jersey, and attended that same school. However, due to his Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and how he handles situations, he doesn’t feel very good about school. Through several events, the boys find out that life isn’t always as it first appears. 

Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly Burnham
Teddy Mars wants to stand out... in a house full of siblings. With the help of his best friends, Lonnie and Viva, Teddy attempts building the biggest snow mound, stuffing the most grapes in his mouth, and lifting a chair with his teeth. He'll try anything, even if it means sleeping in a tent and cleaning up pigeon poop for the Grumpy Pigeon Man. Too bad his little brother, The Destructor, always gets in the way of Teddy's record-breaking plans! His determination will have readers laughing out loud and trying to break records of their own!

The Vanishing Coin by Kate Egan with Mike Lane
Fourth-grader Mike Weiss can’t get the hang of math, forgets his homework, and has trouble sitting still in school. And as if getting sent to the principal’s office the first week of school wasn’t bad enough, classmate Jackson (“Mike’s enemy since birth”) won’t lay off him, and he’s spending his after-school hours with Nora, the gifted new girl next door. One afternoon with Nora, Mike discovers the town magic shop, The White Rabbit, and something that he might actually be good at. The confidence boost helps Mike work harder in school.

A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner
Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn't believe in tests or homework. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other—and find ways to make a difference—in the classroom and on the court. 

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. With no idea as to how she arrived there or her purpose, she only knows she has to survive. She realized that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animals inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals and begins to feel at home, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

Willy Maykit in Space by Greg Trine

Earth-dwelling fourth-grader Willy Maykit couldn’t be more excited about his school field trip to Planet Ed. Willy’s class will blast off for the afternoon, learn about outer space, and be home in time for dinner. But when he wanders off on his own, Willy ends up being left behind on Ed! Can Willy, along with his classmate Cindy and an alien boy named Norp, outsmart the big hungry monsters on Ed until someone rescues them? With a little help from an android who likes knock-knock jokes and a seagull with terrific aim, they just might!