The Volunteer State Book Award Voting Currently Taking Place at MJHS

Every year, the Tennessee Library Association sponsors the Volunteer State Book Award. Students across the state are asked to read books from the nominated list and vote for their favorites.

There are four divisions for voting: primary, intermediate, middle school and high school.

On the Tennessee Library Association official website, they say, “The purpose of the Volunteer State Book Award is to promote awareness, interest and enjoyment of good new children's and young adult literature.”

And this year, the MJHS library is participating.

All schools in Tennessee have the option of doing it, and Brooke Holloway, MJHS media center specialist, wanted to bring the awards here. This year is the first for the library.

Holloway said, “I thought this would be a new fun book promotion that would get kids reading quality literature.”

There is a large variety of books that students can hear about through this award. All kinds of genres are among the nominated. From fantasy to mystery, there is something for every student.

For historical fiction fans, “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler” is among the nominees. A group of Danish teenagers commit a series of acts against the Nazi party and are consequently arrested. In reaction, a full-blown resistance forms to back them.

“The Sun is Also a Star” is on the list for those who appreciate a good romantic contemporary. The entire novel takes place in one day and follows Daniel and Natasha, who just met. Natasha is a cynic and about to be sent back to Jamaica. She is doing everything in her power to prevent it. Along the way, she meets Daniel. A prodigal son who soon believes it was fate meeting Natasha. Their story unfolds and the universe reveals what is in store for them. This novel is so well liked that it is soon to be made into a film.

These novels are just two of the 20 books nominated. This award is one of the few that is completely based on the votes on students. To participate, the student must read at least three books on the list of nominees, and Holloway wants as many people as possible to get involved.

“This is a great way to get your opinion out there,” she said.

She wants students to share their thoughts about something they are passionate about. Along with being able to share their opinion, every student that votes for the award is optioned to win “The Dark Vault” by Victoria Schwab.

The complete list of nominees is on the Tennessee Library Association’s website. Voting starts after spring break, so if you haven’t read three of the nominees yet, get reading!


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