Rebecca Caudill Award

The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades 4 through 8 at participating Illinois schools. The award is named in honor of Rebecca Caudill who lived and wrote in Urbana, Illinois for nearly fifty years. The award was created in recognition of her talent and the universal appeal of her books, which have touched the hearts of many children and young adults. Titles marked with * are available on audio.


Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793. 2000. *
J Fiction AND
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here. 2000.
Jr. High Fiction BAU
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways Diner, they become involved in the diner owner’s political campaign to oust the town’s corrupt mayor.
Bodett, Tom. Williwaw! 1999.
J Fiction BOD
Thirteen-year-old September and her younger brother Ivan disobey their father’s orders by taking the boat out on their Alaska bay, where they are caught in a terrifying storm called a williwaw.
Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes. 1999.
J 379.263 B
Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement when she was six years old in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.
Fogelin, Adrian. Crossing Jordan. 2000.
J Fiction FOG
Twelve-year-old Cass meets her new African-American neighbor, Jemmie, and despite their families’ prejudices, they build a strong friendship around their mutual talent for running and a pact to read Jane Eyre.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Nory Ryan’s Song. 2000.
J Fiction GIF
When a terrible blight attacks Ireland’s potato crop in 1845, twelve-year-old Nory Ryan’s courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbors survive.
Gutman, Dan. Jackie and Me. 1999. *
J Fiction GUT
Joe’s ability to travel through time through baseball cards enables him to meet Jackie Robinson. This turns him into a black boy in the process.
Hill, Kirkpatrick. The Year of Miss Agnes. 2000.
J Fiction HIL
Ten-year-old Fred (short for Frederika) tells the story of Miss Agnes, the new teacher for the Athapascans village in Alaska, and her effect on school and village life there.
Hobbs, Will. Jason’s Gold. 2000. *
r. High Fiction HOB
When fifteen-year-old Jason hears about the discovery of gold in Canada’s Yukon Territory in 1897, he embarks on a 10,000-mile journey to strike it rich.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. Dancing in Cadillac Light. 2001. *
J Fiction HOL
In 1968, eleven-year-old Jaynell’s life in the town of Moon, Texas is enlivened when her eccentric Grandpap comes to live with her family.
Lawrence, Iain. The Wreckers. 1998. *
J Fiction LAW
Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his father and himself while dealing with an evil secret about the English coastal town where they are stranded.
Lisle, Janet Taylor. The Art of Keeping Cool. 2000.
J Fiction LIS
In 1942, Robert and his cousin Elliot uncover long-hidden family secrets while staying in their grandparents’ Rhode Island town, where they become involved with a German artist who is suspected of being a spy.
Lowry, Lois. Gathering Blue. 2000. *
J Fiction LOW
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all powerful Guardians.
Morris, Gerald. The Squire’s Tale. 1998.
J Fiction MOR
In medieval England, fourteen-year-old Terence finds his tranquil existence suddenly changed when he becomes the squire of the young Gawain of Orkney and accompanies him on a long quest, proving Gawain’s worth as a knight and revealing an important secret about his own true identity.
Park, Barbara. The Graduation of Jake Moon. 2000. *
J Fiction PAR
Fourteen-year-old Jake recalls how he has spent the last four years of his life watching his grandfather descend slowly but surely into the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease.
Peck, Richard. A Year Down Yonder. 2000. *
J Fiction PEC
During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.
Pullman, Philip. I Was a Rat! 2000. *
J Fiction PUL
A little boy turns life in London upside down when he appears at the house of a lonely old couple and insists he was a rat.
Robinet, Harriette G. Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues. 2000.
J Fiction ROB
Twelve-year-old Alfa Merryfield, his older sister, and their grandmother struggle for rent money, food, and their dignity as they participate in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in the summer of 1956.
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. 2001. *
Jr. High Fiction SPI
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.
Whelan, Gloria. Homeless Bird. 2000. *
Jr. High Fiction WHE
When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India’s tradition or find the courage to oppose it.