2022 Children's Choice Awards
and the winner is…

Amari and the Night Brothers  by B.B. Alston.

Libraries partner with schools to promote reading

Each year, thousands of students across the country celebrate Read Across America during the first week of March, coinciding with children’s author Dr. Seuss’s birthday. The celebration promotes the joy of reading to children. This year’s Read Across America celebration coincides with the 10th annual Children’s Choice Awards (CCA). CCA, hosted annually by the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU), also celebrates reading and encourages school and public library collaboration.

This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the culminating event was virtual again, which offered more flexibility for schools to participate and allowed the committee to schedule more presenters. The keynote author was Victoria Jamieson, co-author of When Stars Are Scattered with Omar Mohamed and winner of last year’s CCA. In addition, artist Joe Wos provided an entertaining and interactive cartooning session, musicians Josh & Gab offered an anti-bullying presentation and the ever-popular Battle of the Books returned. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the committee created a video montage of clips from previous winning authors, including Melissa Savage and Chris Grabenstein.


The committee, which is made up of a representative from ACLA, AIU, Bethel Park Public Library and Northland Public Library, with the input of school and public librarians chose the following eight titles:

  • Amari and the Night Brothers, B.B. Alston
  • Ghost Girl, Ally Malinenko
  • Katie the Catsitter, Colleen AF Venable
  • Karma Moon Ghost Hunter, Melissa Savage
  • Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, Erin Entrada Kelly
  • The Elephant in the Room, Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • The Lion of Mars, Jennifer L. Holm
  • Unplugged, Gordon Korman

Students in grades 3-6 are encouraged to read three of the titles to attend the culminating event. Some read on their own, others participate in a library program, and many attend a school that includes the program as part of the curriculum. Throughout the month of February, students voted online for their favorite book. This year’s CCA winning title is Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston.

Nearly 500 students from across the county and region attended this year’s virtual Children’s Choice Awards. There were participants from six charter or private schools and eight from outside of Allegheny County, as well as 21 school districts in Allegheny County, including those listed here with their public library:

    • Allegheny Valley School District (Springdale Free Public Library)
    • Bethel Park School District (Bethel Park Public Library)
    • Brentwood School District (Brentwood Library)
    • Carlynton School District (Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Crafton Public Library)
    • Elizabeth Forward School District (Carnegie Library of McKeesport)
    • Fox Chapel School District (Cooper-Siegel Community Library)
    • Gateway School District (Monroeville Public Library)
    • Hampton School District (Hampton Community Library)
    • Highlands School District (Community Library of Allegheny Valley)
    • Montour School District (Robinson Township Library)
    • Mt. Lebanon School District (Mt. Lebanon Public Library)
    • North Allegheny School District (Northland Public Library)
    • North Hills School District (Northland Public Library)
    • Penn Hills School District (Penn Hills Library)
    • Pine Richland School District (Northern Tier Regional Library)
    • Plum Borough School District (Plum Borough Community Library)
    • Riverview School District (Oakmont Carnegie Library)
    • Sto-Rox School District (F.O.R. Sto-Rox Library)
    • West Allegheny School District (Western Allegheny Community Library)
    • West Jefferson Hills School District (Jefferson Hills Public Library and Pleasant Hills Public Library)
    • Woodland Hills School District (Braddock Carnegie Library, C.C. Mellor Memorial Library and Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale)

In addition to the CCA, ACLA also hosts the Picture Book Children’s Choice Awards for students in grades K-2. This program provides libraries with an opportunity for outreach to younger elementary school students. Libraries are encouraged to visit five times during the school year, reading a book and, if time allows, doing an extension activity at each visit. As with the CCA, the students vote on their favorite title. The purpose of this program is to create awareness of the public library, promote reading and for kids to learn about civic responsibility with the voting component.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries also provides materials for the Pennsylvania One Book initiative, which is geared towards preschool students. This year’s book is Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora. The Pennsylvania One Book initiative highlights the importance of early literacy development in young children and the significance of reading early and often to children, as well as engaging them in conversation and other activities around books.

You can check out the nominated books for all of these programs at your local library. Visit librarycatalog.einetwork.net to place a hold today!