Texas Bluebonnet Award
E-news Committee: Teresa Caddell, Vonne Powell, Katie Poche
In this issue…. Summer 2006
TBA Reception Photos Be a Part of the TBA Program!
Bluebonnet Luncheon TBA Booth at TLA
New Coordinator TBA Video Premiere
Intellectual Freedom Additional Help for List
TBA Reading Ideas for Public Libraries
Texas Bluebonnet Award winning
illustrator, Mark Siegel and author
Lisa Wheeler signed copies of their
book Seadogs: An Epic Operetta for
the youth representatives at a
reception held before the
Bluebonnet luncheon on April 27,
2006. The youth representative from
District 10 is showing off his newly
up to receive this
book. Simon &
and Mark Siegel
created a unique
Lisa Wheeler and Mark Siegel clown around with eleven youth representatives during the official photograph
session between the Texas Bluebonnet Award reception and luncheon. The TBA awards are on the table
directly in front of Mrs. Wheeler and Mr. Siegel.
Youth representatives, their families, and the librarians
who nominated them joined the TBA committees at a
reception for Mrs. Wheeler and Mr. Siegel. The
children were given the opportunity to ask the author
and illustrator questions after introductions were made.
All youth representatives received a special
program listing information about each child
representing the ten TLA districts. The children
greeted each other during the reception and
signed each other’s program while visiting.
2006 Texas Bluebonnet Award
This year’s luncheon took place in the Grand
Ballroom at the Hilton Americas in Houston on
April 27. Twenty TBA committee members, eleven
youth representatives, and about 1,500 other
attendees were present to see author Lisa Wheeler
and illustrator Mark Siegel receive this year’s Texas
Bluebonnet Award for the book Seadogs: An Epic
The youth representatives introduced themselves and
announced the district they represented. Select
representatives (based on a preset, rotating schedule)
recapped the winning book, provided the author’s
biography and the illustrator’s biography, and
presented the awards to Lisa Wheeler Mark Siegel.
Karen Kessel, the TBA committee member in charge
Lisa Wheeler recalls her inspiration for
of coordinating the youth participation, was also this
Seadogs in her gracious acceptance
year’s recipient of the Siddie Jo Johnson Award. speech at the Luncheon.
This award is presented by Children’s Round Table
to recognize an outstanding Texas Librarian and
member of Children’s Round Table who works with
children from preschool to eighth grade and who has
been active within the last twelve months.
Mark Siegel accepts his award with a moving
speech about the importance of art.
The TLA Executive Board has named the next Texas Bluebonnet Coordinator and she will be Beth Thames.
Beth will begin her three-year tenure in April of 2007.
Beth has long been associated with TBA, first as a student of Jan Paris (who started the Bluebonnet program at
Sam Houston State University); then as a librarian who sponsored a youth representative; later as a committee
member; and now as an active supporter of the program. Beth has worked in the Aldine Independent School
District (north of downtown Houston) as a classroom teacher and a school librarian. She retired in 2005, but is
back in an Aldine school library, job-sharing and loving it.
Beth has long been interested Freedom Intellectual in literature and those who
The purpose of having been instrumental reading for pleasure. Children, just like
write it, the Texas Bluebonnet Award program is to promotein bringing numerous
authors to Aldine.
adults, find pleasure in reading different genres, formats, and a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles. The list is
created with the purpose of the program in mind – offer a wide array of reading choices on several different
reading levels and there should be something for everyone. Just like all adults won’t want to read every book on
any given list,join me in welcoming Beth as TBA every title on the list miss this
Please neither will all children. Teachers or librarians who stress reading Coordinator.
point. All children must be granted the freedom to pick up a book, read a few pages, and decide for themselves
whether or not the book is worth finishing. This decision is an important part of a child’s right to intellectual
As adults who choose materials for children’s consumption, we need to keep in mind that our values aren’t
necessarily the values of the families we serve; neither are our viewpoints always the same. Censorship in any
form can be dangerous. As the author Chris Crutcher said so eloquently in the essay, “A Dangerous Thing”:
I think people who believe we can protect our children by keeping them ignorant of hard
times and the language those times are told in, don't realize that by showing our fear of issues
and language that are "everyday" to our children, we take ourselves off that short list of
people to turn to in a real crisis.1
No library is required to buy all the books on the list; however, if a library is participating in the TBA program,
the Texas Bluebonnet Committee asks that those who provide a list include all the titles on the list. Dropping a
title and/or adding a title to modify the list are in violation of the licensing agreement.
There are whole web pages on what Intellectual Freedom is and how to promote it. See
http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/basics/Default2272.htm if you’d like to know the American Library Association’s
stance. The Texas Bluebonnet Committee follows the TLA guidelines for ensuring Intellectual Freedom; these
guidelines can be found at http://www.txla.org/groups/tba/freedom.html. “The committee . . . feels a
responsibility to the children we serve. The mission of the Bluebonnet program is to encourage children to read,
children in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6.” 2
1. Crutcher, Chris. "A Dangerous Thing." powells.com. PowellsBooks. 25 May 2006
2. Carter, Betty. "'Olive's Ocean.'" E-mail to Texas Bluebonnet Award Program Committee Distribution List. 31 Jan. 2006.
TBA Reading Ideas We Want You!
for Public Libraries Teaming with Bluebonnets
The TBA program is not just for schools. Public Become part of the Texas Bluebonnet Award
libraries can participate by registering, buying the program! You can help shape the program – the
books and the promotional video, and providing Master List to be specific – by sending book
programming that highlight the books. Jackie suggestions for the TBA Selection Committee’s
Caverly, a branch manager of the San Antonio consideration. The Selection Committee reads,
Public Library and a member of the TBA Selection reviews and discusses titles suggested by librarians,
Committee, sends out a letter to school librarians to teachers, parents, students or any interested person.
inform them what the public library has to offer – Visit the TBA Suggest a Title page to find out more:
multiple copies of the titles on the list and librarians http://www.txla.org/groups/tba/forms/tbasuggest.html
who can come to schools and introduce the books. .
We all know the benefits to children when they
read through the summer. In El Paso this last
summer the school district and the public library Bluebonnet Booth
collaborated to offer Camp Bluebonnet on the
campus of a community college for six At the 2006 TLA conference, TBA and TLA
Wednesdays with TBA Selection Committee combined their booths and set up right outside of the
member Lavonya Friday as Captain. The Fort exhibit area. More volunteers were recruited and the
Worth Public Library has offered the current TBA hours were extended in hopes more people would be
Nominee AR tests at the downtown library for the able to visit the booth.
past few years. FWPL has also conducted programs
for home-schooled children with the TBA list as The latest addition to the TBA supply list – the
the focus. As Jackie ends her letter, “Together we magnet frame – sold out at the conference. There are
can continue this great program, and reach the TBA still many other items available as well as the new
goal, promoting a lifelong love of reading in our video.
Order supplies by using either the online or print-out
supply form found on the TBA web page:
If you have additional ideas and suggestions for
public library participation in the TBA program,
please email Teresa Caddell at New items are being considered for next year’s
email@example.com – or Vonne Powell at conference including another conference exclusive so
firstname.lastname@example.org. we hope to see you in the booth at 2007 TLAC.
Help is on the Way!
Check out the TBA web page for additional help in promoting the new TBA Master List, courtesy of the TBA
Program Committee. The Readers Advisory is now online with books that can be connected to each of the
twenty books on the list. http://www.txla.org/groups/tba/advisory.html
Readers’ theatre scripts are also available and provide an excellent way to involve students in sharing TBA
Another new addition is a webliography listing related links for each of the books on the list.
Reviews for each title on the master list are also available online: http://www.txla.org/groups/tba/reviews.html
TBA Viideo Premiiere
TBA V deo Prem ere
It was a night of stars! A red-carpeted entrance, a star-lined walk, autographs from the stars themselves – the
children who introduced the 2006-07 Texas Bluebonnet Award master list in the video The Incredible Chase,
The Video Premiere was held on April 4 at the Pat May Center in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. Attendance was
impressive and response to the video was quite positive. The video is of excellent quality and, new this year, the
presentation is divided into three shorter segments of about ten minutes each.
All attendees received a complimentary Bluebonnet poster. Several videos were purchased that night. Many
more were purchased during the TLA conference. Videos can be purchased from the TBA office using either
the online or print-out supply form found on the TBA web page: http://www.txla.org/groups/tba/.
And the Oscar goes to…..the Video Subcommittee – Kiera Elledge, Jacqueline Bridges-Sheppherd, Debra
Marshall, and Becky Bouchard. Excellent job, ladies! The 2007-08 TBA Video Premiere is set for March 19
and will be held again at the Pat May Center. Mark your calendars!!