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One of our students favorite library traditions is participating in the Chickadee Award: The Maine Children’s Choice Picture Book Project. Each year a committee of librarians and teachers from across the state select 10 of the best newly published children’s books (the nominees). We read each of the 10 nominees aloud in the library and the students vote for their favorite book. The appearance of the voting booth in March is almost more exciting than the announcement of the winner. Our school votes are added to votes from all over the state (20,000+ last year) and the winner is announced in early April. We will begin reading this years books in October – voting will be in March!
Last year our school favorite was The Catawampus Cat by Jason Carter Eaton. The statewide winner, however, was Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and Marta Álvarez Miguéns. At 9 years old, Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks after a visit to an aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as nothing but dangerous, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Eugenie worked very hard and was able to study sharks and share their beauty with the world.