Hoover students participated in the 2018-2019 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.

About 100 Hoover students voted in April 2019! At Hoover, students chose Greetings from Witness Protection (Jake Burt) as their favorite in the Grades 6-9 category; the statewide winner, Restart (Gordon Korman) was also very popular. In the Graphic Novels/Grades 6-9 category, Hoover students chose Newsprints (Ru Xu), while the state winner was All's Faire in Middle School (Victoria Jamieson). In the Grades 4-6 category Hoover's favorite was also the state winner:  Wishtree (Katherine Applegate). The Witch Boy (Molly Ostertag) won at Hoover and across the state in the Graphic Novels/Grades 4-6 category. Lastly, Hoover chose the Grades 9-12 statewide winner as its favorite:  One of Us Is Lying (Karen McManus).    

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.


2019-2020 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 6-9


Rebound by Kwame Alexander
      Historical Fiction in Verse

In a prequel to Crossover, this is the story of Charlie Bell, father of Crossover twins Jordan and Josh.  When Charlie's father dies, he withdraws from everything, and his mother sends him to his grandparents near Washington, DC.  His cousin Roxie urges him to play basketball, which he resists.  His family, friends and his growing basketball skills finally help him begin to rebound from the death of his father.

  Halfway Normal2

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee
     Realistic Fiction

Nora has been out of school for two years battling leukemia.  When she comes back, she finds it challenging to deal with 7th grade mean girls, friendships that have changed, boys, and also her overprotective parents.  With the help of a new friend, Nora discovers that she has been changed by her painful story, and sharing it will help her move forward.  

Game Changer

 Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald
     Realistic Fiction

Teddy Youngblood was injured during football practice, and lies in a coma.  Through  text messages, inner dialogue, social media feeds and other narrative sources, the full story of what really happened is revealed, which involves the dangers of football and hazing.  Eventually, the truth shown challenges everyone's perceptions and expectations.

   Lifeboat 12

Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood
    Historical Fiction (World War II), Survival, Verse Novel

Based on a true story, British children are escaping the dangers of war by traveling to safe ports in Canada on a luxury ocean liner.  Among them is 13 year old Kenneth Sparks.  The children are delighted with the luxuries on the ship, until a German submarine torpedoes the ship and sinks it.  Kenneth, 5 other boys, and about 40 adults make it onto Lifeboat 12, one of the only lifeboats that survives.  They must struggle to survive with little food, water or shelter, and deal with the frustration of many near rescues. 

Deep Water  

Deep Water by Watt Key

 12 year old Julie helps her father run a dive shop.  When her father feels ill, she takes the Jordans, a wealthy and obnoxious father and son, down on a dive alone.  The Jordans don't follow her instructions underwater, and when they surface, the boat is not there.  They must float and try to survive, waiting to be rescued.


Miscalculations of Lightning Girl  

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty
      Realistic Fiction

When Lucy was 8 years old, she was struck by lightning, which made her a math genius.  She has been homeschooled by her grandmother since then, but now Nana wants her to go to middle school, make a new friend, try a new activity and read a book that is not about math.  This is a tough challenge for Lucy, who is also OCD.  She ends up meeting her goals by creating a community service project about a local pet shelter.

 Ghost Boys

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

When Jerome was shot by a white policeman who mistook his toy gun for a real one, Jerome becomes a ghost.  He watches the aftermath of his death, and meets Emmett Till, who tells him he is part of many "ghost boys" whose deaths are all related to bigotry, who cannot rest but try to make the world more just.  The only person who can see Jerome is Sarah, the daughter of the police officer who killed him.  Together they try to understand what has happened and help their families to move forward.

  Amal Unbound

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
     Realistic Fiction

 Amal lives in Pakistan, and loves to learn and go to school, wanting to be a teacher.  However, she must stay home to take care of the home while her mother recovers from childbirth.  When a wealthy landowner almost hits her with his car, she talks back to him, and he insists that she become an indentured servant in his house.  Her life is difficult, but she makes friends and takes comfort in reading books.  When she learns of the landlord's corruption, she must decide what to do.



 Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone
     Realistic Fiction

 Allie has just returned from Code Girls summer camp, where she invented a social-connections game called Click'd.  She prematurely releases the game at school, where everyone loves it.  But then she discovers a glitch that could release private information.  She enlists the help of her competition for the Games for Good program to fix the glitch, but doesn't really trust him.  Her friends help her figure out how to move forward when she must deal with disappointment.

 Chasing King's Killer

Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin by James L. Swanson

This fascinating book has four sections.  The first tells about the upbringing and childhood of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights movement. The second follows assassin James Earl Ray's life, while the third details the assassination plot and killing of King.  The last section discusses the reactions to King's death and searching for his killer.   

2019 - 2020 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 6-9 Graphic Novels


Ethan Aldridge

       Speak Graphic Novel1     

Speak: The Graphic Novel
Laurie Halse Anderson  

     Gods and Thunder1   

 Gods and Thunder: A
Graphic Novel of 
Old Norse Myths
Carl Bowen

  Soupy Leaves Home1   

 Soupy Leaves Home
Cecil Castellucci


Svetlana Chmakova


Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin 

  Space Boy

 Space Boy: Vol. 1
Stephen McCranie

 Wendy Project  

 The Wendy Project
 Melissa Jane Osborne


  Last Pick

 Last Pick
Jason Walz  

 Prince and Dressmaker

 The Prince and the
Jen Wang


2019 - 2020 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 4-6 


 Sweep: The Story of
a Girl and her Monster

Jonathan Auxier

   24 Hours in Nowhere  

 24 Hours in Nowhere
Dusti Bowling  

    The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle 

 The Truth as Told 
by Mason Buttle
Leslie Connor

     Saving Winslow 

 Saving Winslow
Sharon Creech


 Strongheart: Wonder 
Dog of the Silver Screen
Candace Fleming

   Season of Styx Malone

 The Season of 
Styx Malone
Kekla Magoon


Wendy Mass & 
Rebecca Stead 


Kenneth Oppel


 The Real McCoys

 The Real McCoys
Matthew Swanson &
Robbi Behr 

  Front Desk

 Front Desk
Kelly Yang



  2019 - 2020 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees

Grades 4-6 Graphic Novels 


Ian Boothby

       Clem Hetherington     

Clem Hetherington and
the Ironwood Race
Jen Breach

     Sanity and Tallulah   

 Sanity & Tallulah
Molly Brooks

  My Beijing   

My Beijing: Four Stories
of Everyday Wonder
Nie Jun

  Anne of Green Gables

 Anne of Green Gables:
A Graphic Novel
Mariah Marsden  


Yehudi Mercado  

  The City on the Other Side

 The City on the Other Side
Mairghread Scott

  Short & Skinny

 Short & Skinny
Mark Tatulli


  King of the Birds

 The King of the Birds:
Gamayun Tales Vol. 1
Alexander Utkin  




2019 - 2020 Black-Eyed Susan Book Nominees
Grades 9-12

** Books  approved for middle school readers

  Far From the Tree

** Far From the Tree
Robin Benway

 Brightly Burning

** Brightly Burning
Alexa Donne

 Truly Devious

** Truly Devious
Maureen Johnson

 Hey, Kiddo

 **Hey, Kiddo
Jarrett Krosoczka


Jennifer Mathieu

 What I Leave Behind

 What I Leave Behind
Alison McGhee

 After the Shot Drops

 **After the Shot Drops
Randy Ribay

 The 57 Bus

** The 57 Bus
Dashka Slater


 Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters
Francesca Zappia


Ibi Aanu Zoboi