To encourage children to value the importance of recreational reading and to promote a life-long love of reading.
The Great Stone Face (GSF) Committee has the primary responsibility of nominating titles to be considered. However, nominations will be accepted from teachers, public/school librarians, students, and publishers, so long as they satisfy the following requirements:
- Only titles published within 3 years of the current school year are eligible (i.e., for the school year that ends in June 2018, the eligible pub. dates are 2016, 2017, and 2018)
- Titles shall be appropriate for grades 4 to 6
- An author may be a resident of any country
- More than one title by the same author may be nominated
- A title in a series must stand alone
- Newbery Award and other award winners may be nominated
- Non-fiction titles may be nominated
- Graphic novels may be nominated
- A title originally published outside of the United States may be nominated based on its US publication date
The GSF Committee prepares a list of twenty (20) books that represents the diverse reading abilities and interests of children in grades 4 to 6 for their recreational reading.
The two major criteria used are:
- Child appeal (i.e., will children find the book engaging and/or entertaining)
- Quality of writing (i.e., has the author written a story that has a well-developed plot, interesting characters, and a good theme or concept)
Other considerations are:
- Originality of text and illustration
- Style of language
- Suitability of vocabulary, content, and comprehension for the intended grade levels
- Reflection of the diversity of children’s experiences, interests, and concerns
Creating the Great Stone Face Book Award List
Each September, the GSF Committee convenes to begin compiling an extensive list of titles under consideration for inclusion on the next GSF Nominees List. In April, the committee chooses 20 books for the final list of nominated titles. That list attempts to provide a balance in reading levels, genres, subject areas, reader interest, and appeal. The final list of GSF Nominees is presented and made public in May.
The Great Stone Face (GSF) Committee, sponsored by CLNH, is comprised of children’s librarians from public and school libraries who love to read children’s literature, and who possess an understanding of children’s interests, needs, and issues. Members form a cross-section of differing skills, knowledge, and life experience.
Committee members participate in the nomination process by reading and evaluating books and by taking part in the discussion of these books at monthly meetings.