Skip To Main Content

Bluestem 2024

What is the Bluestem Award Program?

The Bluestem Program is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades 3-5 in participating Illinois schools. It is designed for students who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles. 

Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists. 

Who may participate?

Any student in grades 3-5 may participate. At Meadowbrook, third graders are required to read five, fourth graders must read six, and fifth graders must read seven out of the twenty books on the current Bluestem list in order to be eligible to vote.  New this year for every grade, at least one of the required books must be a chapter book. 

How do I participate?

Students must read or listen to their minimum number of books from the Bluestem List to be eligible to vote. Students who read or listen to their minimum number of books, with one being a chapter book, and pass each corresponding quiz with 70% accuracy are invited to come to a Bluestem Party in the library. 

Why participate?

This list represents an excellent array of children's book authors and illustrators. Students practice reading, are exposed to different genres and writing styles, and have fun discussing Bluestem and other books with their grade-level peers at our parties. It's a win-win!

Ebooks and Audiobooks are available through Boundless. Login with your school Google credentials.