Goldfinch Award (K-3)

Purpose of the Goldfinch Award

  • To encourage children to read more and better books.

  • To discriminate in choosing worthwhile books.

  • To provide an avenue for positive dialogue between teacher, parent, and children about books and authors.

  • To give recognition to those who write books for children.

The Goldfinch Award is unique in that it gives children an opportunity to choose the book to receive the award and to suggest books for the yearly reading list.

Iowa Goldfinch Award Books

Goldfinch slides 2018-19

Voting Specifications

Deadline for Voting: Extended to Fall 2020

2019-2020 Goldfinch Voting School Tally Sheet Google Form

Individual Goldfinch Voting Sheet PDF

Individual Goldfinch Voting Sheet with Book Covers - Thanks to Jennifer Houlette

Nature of award: Engraved plaque

Frequency and/or number of awards given: 1 each year

Funding from sale of posters, bookmarks and label supplies for award books.

Voting Process for selecting winner

Voting Process

  1. Students must read at least five titles to be eligible to vote. It is acceptable for students to read these themselves or have heard them read aloud.

  2. Students may vote for only one title and may not vote for any title they have not read or heard read.

  3. Voting will be conducted on ballots produced by each attendance center. Each participating school will send the results by web ballot unless another method is designated by the Goldfinch Award chair. There will be a voting template available created by the Goldfinch Award chair for those attendance centers who wish to use them. Students can then suggest titles for upcoming Goldfinch reading lists at this same time.

Process for notification

  • Notification is sent immediately after winner is announced. Winner is contacted through publisher or agent, or through personal contact. Goldfinch Award chair notifies winner.

Requirements of winners, if any, with details as to compliance follow-up procedures

  • None, although if thank you letters are received from winners, they are included on the Goldfinch Award website.

Goldfinch Selection and Nomination Criteria


Book Criteria

  • Books chosen for the master list are those written within the last five years. Titles are fiction or nonfiction, with a wide range of interests and reading levels appropriate for children in grades preschool through three. No textbooks are included.

  • AEA Co-op gets bids for book sets during Fall (usually by the end of September). This list is developed from the summer readers who read and select from titles recommended by the students.

Process for nominations (including dates/time frames)

  • Books are nominated by students to the Goldfinch Award Committee. Students vote for their favorite book.

  • The Committee reads and creates a list of books from the nominations.

  • Books to read for the award are introduced during the spring of the current year by librarians to the students.

  • Students may read until they vote in the spring of the following year.

Previous Iowa Goldfinch Award Winners


Chris Gall


Adam Rubin


B.J. Novak


Drew Daywalt


Aaron Reynolds


Major Brian Dennis


Maria Frazee


Vicki Myron


Maranke Rinck

Previous Award Winning Books by Year, University of Northern Iowa Rod Library

Contact Information

Goldfinch Committee

Amy Gardner, Goldfinch Award Chair

This Committee is currently seeking volunteers.

Awards Chair

  • The Awards Chair is a Board-level position, and oversees all the book and personal awards.