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William Allen White

Check out the books from this year's William Allen White Children’s Book Award Master Lists!
6th – 8th Grade Master List

Dragon Castle / Joseph Bruchac

Hidden / Helen Frost

Dead End in Norvelt / Jack Gantos

Take Me to the River / Will Hobbs

Small as an Elephant / Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Drawing from Memory / Allen Say

Bluefish / Pat Schmatz

Okay for Now / Gary Schmidt

The Silver Bowl / Diane Stanley

The Running Dream / Wendelin Van Draanen

 3rd – 5th Grade Master List

 Close to Famous / Joan Bauer

America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell / Don Brown

Tuesdays at the Castle / Jessica Day George

True…Sort Of / Katherine Hannigan

Wonderstruck / Brian Selznick

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade / Melissa Sweet

The Summer of Hammers and Angels / Shannan Wiersbitzky

Breaking Stalin’s Nose / Eugene Yelchin

The 2012-2013 winners were Ghost Dog by Peg Kehret (6th – 8th) and Guinea Dog  by Patrick Jennings (3rd – 5th)!


William Allen White was a world famous journalist born in Emporia, KS in 1868. He attended college at Emporia and the University of Kansas. He worked for several newspapers in Kansas before purchasing the Emporia Gazette in 1895. He was owner and editor of the Gazette for forty-nine years. In 1947, he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his Autobiography of William Allen White. 

In May, 1921 White’s 17-year old daughter, Mary, was killed. Mary was energetic, intelligent and popular. Soon after, White wrote an editorial about her life. In the editorial he spoke of her favorite authors and stated, “She loved books”. White’s secretary, Ruth Garver Gagliardo, also a specialist in children’s literature and former Gazette writer, founded the William Allen White Children’s Book Award in 1952. Her purpose: honor the memory of White and encourage boys and girls of Kansas to enjoy quality books just as Mary White had.


The WAW Children’s Book Award is the oldest state children’s book award in the nation. More students participate in the William Allen White Children’s Book Award than in any other state. The award is presented every autumn to two authors chosen by Kansas students; one by students in grades 3 - 5 and one by students in grades 6 – 8. Winners are selected from a master list created by a committee of Kansas teachers and librarians dedicated to promoting quality literature. More than 51,000 Kansas students vote each April.

Past and current master lists along with book summaries can be found at:

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