The Panda Book Awards is an exciting reading initiative that invites students and teachers from international schools throughout China to vote for their favorite books. A Steering Committee comprised of international school librarians publicizes lists of highly recommended books in four categories (younger readers, middle readers, older readers, mature readers). Twelve titles in each category are available for students to read from the beginning of the school year and vote on after the New Year, with winners announced shortly thereafter. All books are available for checkout at the libraries, and some local foreign language bookstores also carry them for purchase (call to confirm, or order online).
This was the fourth year for the very popular reading program. During the first year, five international schools participated; this year, 18 schools joined the initiative and over 4,000 students cast their votes for favorite books. The book “winners” chosen this year by students included:
Younger Readers (EC-Grade 2)
We Are in a Book by Mo Willems: Piggie realizes that she and Gerald the elephant are in a book and that she can make the reader say words, but when Gerald comes to understand the danger of the book ending, Piggie comes up with a solution to get the reader to keep reading.
Middle Readers (Grades3-5)
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass: Four gifted twelve-year-olds, including Logan, the candymaker’s son, are set to be contestants in the Confectionary Association’s national competition to determine the nation’s tastiest sweet, but nobody anticipates that a friendship will form between them.
Older Readers (Grades 6-8)
The Enemy by Charlie Higson: When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician – every adult – fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive. Now there are rumors of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London.
Mature Readers (Grades 9-12)
Bossypants by Tina Fey: From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy.
To see the complete list of nominated booksthis year and previous years, as well as to find out about the nomination process and other details, click here.