Hoover students participated in the 2017-2018 BES Award program in a big way! The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award program in Maryland is designed to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature. It's easy to do: read at least 3 of the 10 nominated books in a category, and in April you can vote for your favorite book. Hoover students primarily read books in the Grades 6-9 category, but are also eligible to vote for the Grade 4-6, Grade 4-6 Graphic Novel, Grade 6-9 Graphic Novel and High School categories. Only students vote; teachers and other adults don't. The votes from Hoover and those of students throughout the state are tabulated to determine Maryland students' favorite book.

Over 100 Hoover students voted in April 2018! At Hoover, students chose Sophie Quire and the Last Story Guard (Jonathan Auxier) as their favorite in the Grades 6-9 category; the statewide winner, A Night Divided (Jennifer Nielsen) was also very popular. In the Graphic Novels/Grades 6-9 category, Hoover students chose Orange (Ichigo Takano), which was the state winner as well. In the Grades 4-6 category the there was a tie for the Hoover winner: Space Case: A Moon Base Alpha Novel (Stuart Gibbs) and Pax (Sara Pennypacker), while Wild Robot (Peter Brown) won across the state. Ghosts (Raina Telgemeier) won at Hoover and across the state in the Graphic Novels/Grades 4-6 categoryMy Lady Jane (Hand, Aston & Meadows) was Hoover's favorite in the High School category, but The Sun is Also a Star (Nicola Yoon) won the state.      

Want to join in the fun? Stop by the Media Center to pick up a bookmark or two of next year's nominees and get started reading! Here is the BES Book Review form -- three of these must be turned in (starting when we return to school in the fall) to be eligible to vote next April.

Visit the MASL site for more information on this terrific program.


2018 - 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9


Posted, by John David Andeerson
      Realistic Fiction

In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.


Greetings from Witness Protection!, by Jake Burt

Funny and poignant, about a foster-care girl who is placed with a family in the witness protection program, and finds that hiding in plain sight is complicated and dangerous.


 The Only Road, by Alexandra Diaz
     Realistic Fiction

Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead. Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed—like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.


Projekt 1065, by Alan Gratz
    Historical Fiction (World War II)

Infiltrate. Befriend. Sabotage. World War II is raging. Michael O'Shaunessey, originally from Ireland, now lives in Nazi Germany with his parents. Like the other boys in his school, Michael is a member of the Hitler Youth. But Michael has a secret. He and his parents are spies.


Refugee, by Alan Gratz
     Realistic/Historical Fiction

Three different kids with one mission in common: ESCAPE. Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest in her country in 1994. Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction. All three embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.


Slider, by Pete Hautman
      Humorous Realistic Fiction

David can eat an entire 16" pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad, but he knows he can do better. In fact, he'll have to do better: he's going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world's greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom's credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. With equal parts humor and tenderness, this one is too delicious to put down.


Restart, by Gordon Korman
     Realistic Middle School/Bullying

Chase does not remember falling off the roof, in fact he does not remember anything about himself, and when he gets back to middle school he begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the other kids. But he's really not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed -- can he take the opportunity amnesia has provided and restart his life?


Up from the Sea, by Leza Lowitz
     Historical fiction

A novel-in-verse. Kai, a teenager, survives the March 2011 tsunami that devastates his coastal Japanese village but loses nearly everyone and everything he cares about in the storm. When he’s offered a trip to New York to meet kids whose lives were changed by 9/11, he realizes he also has a chance to look for his estranged American father. Visiting Ground Zero on its tenth anniversary, Kai learns that the only way to make something good come out of the disaster back home is to return there and help rebuild his town.


 The Evil Wizard Smallbone, by Delia Sherman

When 12-year-old Nick runs away in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore. He also meets its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either.


Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk
      Historical Fiction

 12-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was a newborn baby, Crow's only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

2018 - 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 6-9 Graphic Novels


Nidhi Chanani

Bessie Stringfield:
Tales of the
Talented Tenth
Joel Christian Gill  


 As the Crow Flies
Melanie Gillman


 All's Faire in
Middle School
Victoria Jamieson


Power Up
Kate Leth  


 I Am Alfonso Jones
Tony Medina


 A Silent Voice, Vol. 1
Yoshitoki Oima

 John Blake  

The Adventures of

John Blake: Mystery
of the Ghost Ship

 Philip Pullman



 5 Worlds Book 1:
The Sand Warrior

Mark Siegel  


Ru Xu


2018 - 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 4-6 


Katherine Applegate

The Safest Lie
Angela Cerrito


 Amina's Voice
Hena Khan


Me and Marvin

Amy King


 A Long Pitch Home
Natalie Dias Lorenzi


 Chester and Gus
Cammie McGovern


 An Eagle in the Snow
Michael Morpurgo


  The Someday Birds
Sally Pla



 Stef Soto, Taco
Jennifer Torres


 Clayton Bird Goes

Rita Williams-Garcia



 2018 - 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 4-6 Graphic Novels


Lorena Alvarez

Time Shifters

Chris Grine  


 Bats: Learning to FLy
Falynn Koch


Star Scouts
Mike Lawrence


 The Time Museum
Matthew Loux  


 The Tea Dragon
Katie O'Neill  


 The Witch Boy
Molly Ostertag


 The Big Bad Fox

Benjamin Renner 



Sean Rubin  


 Arthur and the Golden
Joe Todd-Stanton


2018 - 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 9-12

** Books  approved for middle school readers


** The Rains

Greg Hurwitz


Grendel's Guide to
Love and War

A. E. Kaplan


** Dreamland
Jennifer Latham


The Radius of Us
Marie Marquardt


** One of Us is Lying
Karen McManus


 ** The Radium Girls:
The Dark Story of
America's Shining Women
Kate Moore


 Sleeping Giants

 Sylvain Neuvel


** As You Wish
Chelsea Sedoti



** Piecing Me Together
Renee Watson


Goodbye Days
Jeff Zentner