Thursday, January 23, 2020

Teen/Tween Thursday: Black Eyed Susan Awards

Black-Eyed Susan Awards

group of teens cheering

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

The Black-Eyed Susan Award honors outstanding picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels.  Each year 15 picture books, 10 chapter books, and 10 graphic novels are nominated for the award.  Students in the state of Maryland vote for the winning book in each category.

How it Works

Students may cast one vote for the book they consider to be the most outstanding book in each of the categories. All votes from schools across the state of Maryland are submitted to the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award committee to be tallied in order to determine the winners. The winning authors and/or illustrators receive an award engraved with the book title, the year, and the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award logo. Authors, illustrators, and publishers recognize the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award as an honor bestowed by Maryland student readers. 

Voting Ends: April 25, 2020

Where to Vote

With your school’s librarian or you can submit your vote here: 


  1. To participate, students must read, or have read to them, a minimum of 4 of the 15 picture books nominated. Based on the premise that picture books are for everybody, there are no grade level restrictions.
  2. To participate in Grades 4 through 6, students must read, or have read to them, a minimum of two of the nominated books.
  3. To participate in Grades 6 through 9, students must read, or have read to them, a minimum of two of the nominated books.
  4. To participate at the high school level, students must read a minimum of three of the nominated books.

Picture Book

  • Ben-Barak, Idan – Do Not Lick This Book: *It’s Full of Germs
  • de la Pena, Matt – Carmela Full of Wishes DB092621   BR022483
  • Doerrfeld, Cori – The Rabbit Listened
  • Fogliano, Julie – A House That Once Was
  • Higgins, Ryan T – We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! DBC16370   BR022390
  • Kerascoet – I Walk with Vanessa: a Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
  • Le, Minh – Drawn Together
  • Lilly, Elizabeth – Geraldine BR022615
  • Messner, Kate – The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs
  • Montgomery, Sy – Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
  • Pimentel, Annette Bay – Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
  • Rex, Adam – Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
  • Wade Stef – A Place for Pluto
  • Wallace, Sandra Neil – Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery DB090207
  • Woodson, Jacqueline – The Day You Begin BR022673
  • Grades 4-6
  • Auxier, Jonathan – Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster DB093737
  • Bowling, Dusti – 24 Hours in Nowhere DB093527
  • Connor, Leslie – The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle DB092524   BR022555
  • Creech, Sharon – Saving Winslow DB094323
  • Fleming, Candace – Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen
  • Magoon, Kekla – The Season of Styx Malone DB092720
  • Mass, Wendy & Rebecca Stead – Bob DB090947
  • Oppel, Kenneth – Inkling  DB092960
  • Swanson, Matthew & Robbi Behr – The Real McCoys  
  • Yang, Kelly – Front Desk DB091215

Grades 6-9

  • Alexander, Kwame – Rebound   DB092794
  • Dee, Barbara – Halfway Normal  DBC16283
  • Greenwald, Tommy – Game Changer DB095657
  • Hood, Susan – Lifeboat 12
  • Key, Watt – Deep Water
  • McAnulty, Stacy – The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl DB090950
  • Rhodes, Jewell Parker – Ghost Boys DB090875  BR022276
  • Saeed, Aisha – Amal Unbound DB091665
  • Stone, Tamara Ireland – Click’d  DB091551
  • Swanson, James L. – Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin  DB090082   BR022191

High School

  • Benway, Robin – Far from the Tree  DB089587
  • Donne, Alexa – Brightly Burning  DB091433
  • Johnson, Maureen – Truly Devious DB090251
  • Krosoczka, Jarrett – Hey, Kiddo  
  • Mathieu, Jennifer – Moxie  DB090111
  • McGhee, Alison – What I Leave Behind DB091162
  • Ribay, Randy – After the Shot Drops DB091542   BR022401
  • Slater, Dashka – The 57 Bus DB089757   BR022221
  • Zappia, Francesca – Eliza and Her Monsters  DB090014
  • Zoboi, Ibi Aanu – Pride  DB093056

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tech Tips: Alexa Skills

Tech Tips: Alexa Skills

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist

alexa show 10

Alexa now has a skill that will allow specific Echo devices to identify products that you hold in your hand, such as “a can of sweet peas” or “green beans.” The skill called Show and Tell is only available on the Echo Show 10. Consumers need to be aware that there are other versions of the Echo Show, but the Show and Tell feature does not presently work on those models. You will also need a little practice learning to hold products within the camera range to get adequate feedback from the device.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Marylandia: Update

Marylandia Collection: Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Assistant Director

Marylandia Boiler Plate

The Marylandia Collection is produced by the LBPH Recording Studio. This collection includes books by Maryland authors and select regional authors and books of particular interest to Marylanders.  The Marylandia Collection is available for download through Braille & Audio Reading Download (BARD).  

January is Braille Literacy Awareness Month in honor of Louis Braille, born January 4, 1809, who originally developed the braille code of reading using raised dots. To celebrate, we are highlighting a newly available braille title, the 2019 Maryland Humanities’ selection for its One Maryland One Book program. This book is also available in digital audio format as DB 92227.
BRL 00003 – What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, by Mona Hanna-Attisha
In 2014, when the state of Michigan shifted the source of its water supply to the Flint River, citizens began complaining about the water quality. After initially believing state officials, the author – a pediatrician – soon realized that she needed undeniable proof to stop the lead poisoning. In this book, Dr. Hanna-Attisha details this fight of her life. Four volumes.