“ILLINOIS READS Project Releases 2018 Booklist” by S.M. O’Connor

The Illinois Reading Council, ILLINOIS READS Committee, and ILLINOIS READS Honorary Chairman Jesse White have announced earlier today, Monday, November 27, 2017, the 2018 ILLINOIS READS Booklist.  Celebration of the 2018 ILLINOIS READS initiative will begin next spring.

The ILLINOIS READS project of the Illinois Reading Council is an annual statewide endeavor to promote literacy amongst Illinois residents.  On an annual basis, the ILLINOIS READS Committee selects six books in each of six different age range categories that reach from books that adults and teenagers can read to infants and toddlers to books for adults and teenagers to read themselves or read to each other.  Committee members make an effort to select books written by authors and authoresses from Illinois or with ties to the state.

The ILLINOIS READS book selections for 2018 are

Ages Birth – Four Years

Cat Knit by Jacob Grant

Go-Go Gorillas by Julia Durango

Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear by Jennifer Ward

Raisin, the Littlest Cow by Miriam Busch (writer) and Larry Day (illustrator)

Baby Loves Thermodynamics! by Ruth Spiro

Aberdeen by Stacey Previn


Grades K-2


The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Bitable Rhymes by Deborah Ruddell

When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) by Josh Schneider

Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler (writer) and David Lee Csicsko (illustrator)

The Bolden Rule by Ilene Cooper


Grades 3-5


Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh

Penelope March is Melting by Jeffrey Michael Ruby

Red by Liesl Shurtliff

Margaret and the Moon by Lucy Knisley (illustrator)

Fresh Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market by Michelle Schaub

The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff


Grades 6-8


Ethan Marcus Stands Up by Michele Weber Hurwitz

YORK: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby

Edgeland by Peter Kujawinski

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley

Sinking the Sultana: A Civil War Story of Imprisonment, Greed, and a Doomed Journey Home by Sally M. Walker


Grades 9-12


Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Say No to the Bro by Kat Helgeson

Other Broken Things by C. Desir

Flip the Bird by Kym Brunner

The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams by Michael Tackett




The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

The Chicago Way by Michael Harvey

Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System by Jack Gilbert, Ph.D.


The book lists for 2013 ILLINOIS READS Booklist, 2014 ILLINOIS READS Booklist, 2015 ILLINOIS READS Booklist, 2016 ILLINOIS READS Booklist, and 2017 ILLINOIS READS Booklist can be found on the Web site of ILLINOIS READS: www.illinoisreads.org.  Readers throughout Illinois are invited to the Southern ILLINOIS READS Book Festival, a free event, in DuQuoin, Illinois.  This will be at the DuQuoin High School on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The address is 500 East South Street, DuQoin, Illinois 62832.

Every year, ILLINOIS READS begins in March and ends in November, culminating on Family Reading Night.  The last Family Reading Night was a few weeks ago on Thursday, November 16, 2017.  This was the 26th annual Family Reading Night.  The theme was “Reading by Design.”  Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois State Librarian, and Illinois State Archivist; the Illinois State Library; the Illinois Center for the Book, iREAD, a program of the Illinois Library Association; and ILLINOIS READS, a project of the Illinois Read Council sponsor Family Reading Night.  Please note that the Illinois Center for the Book is an arm of the Illinois State Library and is the Illinois Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

“This is a night when families are urged to turn off televisions, computers, phones, video games and other electronic devices and spend time reading together,” White stated.  “Reading together creates a positive learning environment and helps children develop language skills, comprehension and a love for reading that can last a lifetime.”


Figure 1 Mike Curato, author and illustrator of the Little Elliot books, came up with this 2017 Family Reading Night poster for iREAD.  This poster was an allusion to his book Little Elliot, Big City, published by Henry Holt Books in 2014.

The Illinois Reading Council and ILLINOIS READS Committee are headquartered in Normal, Illinois.  The address of the Illinois Reading Council and ILLINOIS READS Committee is 203 Landmark Drive, Suite B, Normal, Illinois 61761.  The phone number is (309) 454-1341, the fax number is (309) 454-3512, and the e-mail address is info@illinoisreadingcouncil.org.

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