Iowa Children's Choice Award

Purpose of the Iowa Children's Choice Award

  • To encourage to read more and better books

  • To provide an avenue for positive dialogue between teachers, parents, and children about books and authors

  • To give recognition to those who write books for children

  • To provide children an opportunity to choose a book to receive the award

  • To offer an avenue for students to suggest books for the yearly reading list

The Iowa Children's Choice 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.

2020-21 Iowa Children's Choice Award Books

Voting Specifications

Deadline for Voting: Extended to NOVEMBER 20, 2020

2019-2020 School Total Tally Form

ICCA 2019-20 Individual Voting Ballot

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. In the spring, 3rd through 6th grade students across Iowa take part in the nomination of books for the Iowa Children's Choice Award. The nominations may come exclusively from these students so that it is ensured that these are the favorites of students in this age group. Nominations are not allowed from authors or publishers.

  2. After the suggestions are submitted, these books are reviewed by the committee and volunteer readers and the list is narrowed. During the summer, the adult readers read and rate the titles. The committee members finalize the list a year ahead of time.

  3. Students should read at least two titles to be eligible to vote. It is acceptable for students to read these themselves or have heard them read aloud.

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

  5. 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 Iowa Children's Choice chair. There will be a voting template available created by the ICCA chair for those attendance centers who wish to use them. Students can then suggest titles for upcoming ICCA 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. Iowa Children's Choice 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 ICCA website.

Iowa Children's Choice Selection and Nomination Criteria

Selection Criteria

Book Criteria

  • Book must be of appropriate in content of high literary quality and appropriate for children from grades 3 through 6. The list should be well-balanced with a wide range of interests and reading levels represented.

  • Book should be written in English and currently in print. Only one title per author will be on the final list.

  • Fiction or nonfiction is accepted, providing the nonfiction books have a definite storyline (nonfiction titles should be kept to a minimum). Series books are accepted if they can stand alone. Graphic novels are accepted.

  • The book’s original publishing date should be within the four years previous to the year of nomination (example, if nominated for the 2015 list, it should have been published from 2011-2015). Books should have received a positive review from at least one major selection periodical.

  • The total number of books on the final list will be flexible between 15-25 titles.

  • Excluded: Texts, readers, Newbery Medal winners (but Honor Books accepted), books that have previously appeared on an IASL State Book Award list.

Previous Iowa Children's Choice Award Winners


Barbra O'Connor


W. Bruce Cameron


Lauren Tarshis


Kirby Larson


Dan Poblocki


Rob Buyea


Peg Kehret


Raina Telgemeier


Peg Kehret

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

Contact Information

Iowa Children's Choice Award Committee

Shalar (Brown) Knupp, ICCA Award Chairperson

Diane Fight

Kristi Harper

Awards Chair

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