Black Eyed Susan Award

Guidelines for Participation | Voting Process | Current Nominees | Most Recent Winners | Past Winners | Order Stickers | Join the Committee | Lessons


What is the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award?

The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award is a student choice award for the state of Maryland that has been awarded each year since 1992. The award seeks to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature.

Reading committees of school and public librarians, and other interested members of the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) meet to determine which books will be nominated and placed on student reading lists.

There are six different reading lists:

  • Picture Books,
  • Fiction/Nonfiction for
    • Grades 3-5
    • Grades 6-8, and
    • High School
  • Graphic Novels for 
    • Grades 3-5,
    • Grades 6-8, and
    • High School

How are the books chosen?

The nominated books are expected to be outstanding books that broaden the human experience and provide students with new insights into their own lives. Books may be suggested for consideration by students, teachers, parents, or other interested readers. If you would like to submit a nomination for consideration, please do so at this form by December 1 of each year.

Criteria for Nominated Books:

  • May be fiction or nonfiction.
  • Published within the last 4 years (2022 or newer).
  • Readily available.
  • Positively reviewed in at least 2 professional review sources (such as School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, etc.)

Books must have been read, discussed, and voted upon by the appropriate Black-Eyed Susan reading committee before being placed on the corresponding list. Applications for the 24-25 school year are now closed.  Committee members will be notified by May 31, 2024.  You must be a MASL member in order to serve on the committee. 

How are the winners chosen?

Students who have followed the “Guidelines for Participation” may cast one vote for the book they consider to be the most outstanding book in each of the categories. The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Committee gathers and tallies all votes from across the state to determine the winner.

The winning authors and/or illustrators receive an award engraved with the book title, the year, and the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award logo. Authors, illustrators, and publishers recognize the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award as an honor bestowed by Maryland student readers.

Display this eye-catching badge to share the excitement that your school is participating in the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Program!

Guidelines for Participation | Voting Process | Current Nominees |  Most Recent Winners | Past Winners | Order Stickers | Join the Committee | Lessons