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Young Readers’ Choice Award

Page history last edited by Sue Sherif 15 years, 1 month ago

The Young Reader's Choice Award (YRCA), sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA), is the oldest children's choice award in the United States. Established in 1940 to promote reading for enjoyment, it is unique from other children's choice awards in that it is the only regional award chosen by children of two countries - the United States and Canada.


Students participate in the YRCA by reading (or having read to them) at least 2 books from a list of nominees. There are currently three different divisions in the YRCA. The list of nominees for the "Junior Division" (Grades 4-6) includes 8 titles, all published 3 years prior to the award date (i.e., all nominee titles for the 2006 award were published in 2003.)  The "Intermediate Division" (Grades 7-9)  features 8 titles published in 3 years prior, and the list of nominees for the "Senior Division" includes 8 titles as well. Students are only required to read 2 of the titles, but encouraged to read as many as possible. During the first week of March, students in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alberta are invited to cast their vote for the book they think should win the Young Reader's Choice Award.


Participation in the YRCA is not designed to be competitive, but to provide a reading incentive for students. Many children's book awards, including the Newbery and Caldecott, are selected by adults. The YRCA differs in that the children themselves are the ones who decide which book is best. Children's choice awards are important because they include the children in the process and reflect books that are popular with large numbers of children. As students participate in YRCA reading, they are flexing their reading muscles, being exposed to a variety of genres and in the end cultivating their own reading tastes.


Suggested titles for the YRCA ballot are made by people just like you. The more interested people who participate in the nominating process, the more representative it becomes of fine, popular books for children. The YRCA Committee Chairperson for PNLA makes the final selection of nominees based upon titles submitted from the states and provinces in the Pacific Northwest region.


If you have never participated in YRCA with your students, we encourage you to become involved and to introduce your students to the oldest children's choice award in the country. Participation requires having copies of the books (usually in paperback) for students to read, tallying the votes March 1st and sending them to the committee. Book lists are published in the PUFFIN, newsletter of the Alaska Association of School Librarians, each fall and reproducible ballots appear there in the spring issue. The more reading incentives we provide our young students, the more apt they are to become life-long readers.


Many bookstores  carry paperback stocks of the YRCA books and will frequently give a special discount on a package purchase.


If you have questions, please contact either of the Alaska YRC Chair:


Jane Baird, Librarian

Anchorage Public Library

3600 Denali St.

Anchorage, AK 99503



or visit the PNLA Web Page at http://www.pnla.org/yrca/index.htm. At this site, you'll find  current nominees as well as a list of past winners and nominees since 2000.


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