California Young Reader Medal Program
The California Young Reader Medal program encourages recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state. Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal.
The CYRM program is sponsored by four statewide organizations committed to books and reading: California Association of Teachers of English (CATE), California Library Association (CLA), California Reading Association (CRA), and California School Library Association (CSLA). A committee of representatives from each organization coordinates CYRM activities at the state level. The committee develops a promotional packet about the program and provides all the materials needed for participation. These materials include the ballots, nomination forms, and nominee lists.
Young people suggest the names of favorite books for nomination, or teachers and librarians note repeatedly read or requested titles, and these are submitted to the California Young Reader Medal Committee. Members of the committee read the suggested books, discuss their merits and appeal to children, and then decide upon a well-balanced list of nominees. A book to be considered for nomination must be an original work of fiction published within the last five years by a living author. Recommendations for nomination are due each year by April 1 for consideration as a nominee the following year. It is a two-year cycle from the time of nomination by students to the presentation of the California Young Reader Medal to the winning authors (and illustrators in the Primary category).
Books are nominated for the medal in four categories: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-6), Middle School/junior High (6-9), and Young Adult (9-12). Students may read and vote for books in any and all categories, but they must read all the books nominated in a category to be eligible to vote.
Students read the nominated books from July through March and vote for their favorite. Teachers and librarians introduce the nominees to students, often in exciting and innovative ways. They provide ballots for the students, compile vote totals, and submit results to the CYRM committee. All CYRM ballots are due by April 1 of each year.
The authors (and illustrators in the Primary category) of the winning books receive their California Young Reader Medal awards at special ceremonies held annually at the state conferences of each sponsoring organization. Local students are selected to present the CYRM bronze medals to the winners.
The interest and enthusiasm for the nominated books shown by the young readers of California clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the California Young Reader Medal program in achieving its goal: their introduction to the enjoyment of reading purely for pleasure.
2015-2016 Award Winners
California Young Reader Medal
Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal – a program to encourage recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state.
- Primary: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Illus. by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, 2013.
- Intermediate: A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean. Katherine Tegen Book, 2012.
- Middle School/Junior High: Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge. Bloomsbury USA Children's, 2011.
- Young Adult: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, 2012.
- Picture Book for Older Reader: Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport. Illus. by Matt Tavares. Disney-Hyperion, 2012.
Current California Library Association Representatives to CYRM
Elizabeth Bell (Chair)
El Segundo Public Library
San Mateo County Library
Kern County Library