I’m happy as can be to spread the news that the 2017-18 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List announced last weekend at the Texas Book Festival here in Austin includes Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions.
Whoosh! is my second collaboration with my friend Don Tate. Its predecessor, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, is on the 2016-17 Bluebonnet list. Students and librarians often ask me how it feels — and what it means to me as an author — to have a Bluebonnet book, so I want to talk a little about that.
Put simply, the recognition has had a gigantic impact on my career.
How gigantic? Well, having a book on the Bluebonnet list created an opportunity for me — 15 1/2 years into my career as a children’s author — to make a leap of faith and leave my day job. For the past several months, I have gratefully, blessedly, enthusiastically been a full-time author.
I now spend many of my days visiting Texas schools. I’ve been to 52 campuses so far this school year, with many others in store during the next few months.
So, getting onto the list once has been marvelous. But to be back on the Bluebonnet list for a second straight year? I hardly know what to say except, to the Texas Bluebonnet Award committee, thank you for again including Don Tate and me in such fine company.
Readers, here’s the full list for 2017-18 — congratulations to all these authors and illustrators!
Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Best Man by Richard Peck (Penguin/Dial)
Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle)
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers/Workman Publishing)
The Great Pet Escape (Pets on the Loose!) by Victoria Jamieson (Macmillan/Henry Holt) [Special congrats to Victoria, author/illustrator of Roller Girl, for also returning to the Bluebonnet list for a second year in a row!]
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg (Bloomsbury)
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall, illustrated by James Mark Yellowhawk (Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS)
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd (Scholastic Inc.)
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate (Penguin/Viking)
Little Cat’s Luck by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Lola Levine: Drama Queen by Monica Brown, illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Little, Brown)
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen (HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray)
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh (Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS)
Soar by Joan Bauer (Penguin/Viking)
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart (Scholastic Inc.)
The Storyteller by Evan Turk (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum)
Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown)
Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung (Scholastic Inc.)
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate (Charlesbridge)