2024-2025 SC Children's Book Award

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The South Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees are appropriate for a 3-6 grade level. Visit SCASL's SC Children's Book Award page to learn more about past nominees and other materials.

Book Cover of A Perfect Mistake

A Perfect Mistake

By Melanie Conklin

This novel follows a girl looking for answers about a mysterious boy as she learns about grief and putting the pieces back together. A moving, voice-driven novel about friendship, responsibility, and fighting against unfair expectations.

Book Cover of A Rover's Story

A Rover’s Story

By Jasmine Warga


Meet Resilience, a Mars rover determined to live up to his name.

Res was built to explore Mars. He was not built to have human emotions. But as he learns new things from the NASA scientists who assemble him, he begins to develop human-like feelings. Maybe there’s a problem with his programming….

Human emotions or not, launch day comes, and Res blasts off to Mars, accompanied by a friendly drone helicopter named Fly. But Res quickly discovers that Mars is a dangerous place filled with dust storms and giant cliffs. As he navigates Mars’s difficult landscape, Res is tested in ways that go beyond space exploration.

Book Cover of Controlled Burn

Controlled Burn

By Erin Soderberg Downing

The story of twelve-year-old Maia, who is battling some huge personal demons and anxieties, but begins to conquer her fears while spending the summer with her grandparents after her younger sister is badly burned in a house fire.

Book Cover of Duet


By Elise Broach

A secret adventure takes a goldfinch named Mirabelle and a boy named Michael further than they could ever imagine—in friendship, in music, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that might once have belonged to the great composer Frédérick Chopin

Book Cover of Finally Seen

Finally Seen

By Kelly Yang

A gripping middle grade novel about a young girl who leaves China to live with her parents and sister, after five years apart, and learns about sisterhood, family, and the power of community.

Book Cover of Freddie vs. the Family Curse

Freddie vs. the Family Curse

By Tracy Badua

Freddie Ruiz is cursed.

While other people may have bad days, Freddie and his family have had bad generations: from bird poop splatting on him during picture day to the many tumbles and trips that earned him the nickname Faceplant Freddie. He’s learned to lay low and keep himself out of trouble—which means no fun, no friends, and definitely no risks.

But when he discovers a family heirloom, a century-old amulet from the Philippines that’s supposed to bring good fortune, Freddie thinks his luck is finally about to change.

Book Cover of Haven: A Small Cat’s Big Adventure

Haven: A Small Cat’s Big Adventure

By Megan Wagner Lloyd

When her cherished Ma Millie falls ill, a timid housecat ventures into the wild to seek help in this adventure about love, loss, and finding the truest version of ourselves.

Book Cover of Honestly Elliott

Honestly Elliott

By Gillian McDunn

Why does life feel so messy? Simon loves to cook--it's the place where his ADHD brain shines and everything seems to click into place. Unfortunately, Dad doesn't think cooking is a good career--or even a good hobby! When Simon's summer at culinary camp is threatened, he must team up with a friend on a school project to show the world what he can do.

Book Cover of Hummingbird


By Natalie Lloyd

Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease) so she’s thrilled when she finally convinces her overprotective parents to let her attend Macklemore Elementary. Olive can’t wait to go to a traditional school and make the friends she’s always longed for, until a disastrous first day dashes her hopes of ever fitting in.

Then Olive hears whispers about a magical, wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives near Macklemore. It’ll be the solution to all her problems! If she can find the bird and prove herself worthy, the creature will make her most desperate, secret wish come true.

Book Cover of Just Harriet

Just Harriet

By Elana K. Arnold

There are a few things you should know about Harriet Wermer:

  • She just finished third grade.
  • She has a perfect cat named Matzo Ball.
  • She doesn’t always tell the truth.
  • She is very happy to be spending summer vacation away from home and her mom and dad and all the wonderful things she had been planning all year.

Okay, maybe that last one isn’t entirely the truth.

Of course, there’s nothing Harriet doesn’t like about Marble Island, the small island off the coast of California where her nanu runs a cozy little bed and breakfast. And nobody doesn’t love Moneypenny, Nanu’s old basset hound. But Harriet doesn’t like the fact that Dad made this decision without even asking her.

When Harriet arrives on Marble Island, however, she discovers that it’s full of surprises, and even a mystery. One that seems to involve her Dad, back when he was a young boy living on Marble Island. One that Harriet is absolutely going to solve. And that’s the truth.

Book Cover of Manatee Summer

Manatee Summer

By Evan Griffith

Peter and his best friend, Tommy, have a goal for their last summer before middle school: finish their Discovery Journal, a catalog of the wildlife around their Florida town. When they spot a manatee in a canal, Peter knows they’ve found something special—and when the manatee is injured by a boat, something to protect!

Book Cover of Nellie vs. Elizabeth: Two Daredevil Journalists’ Breakneck Race Around the World

Nellie vs. Elizabeth: Two Daredevil Journalists’ Breakneck Race Around the World

By Kate Hannigan

Nellie Bly was an energetic and eager reporter, but she wasn't able to think of a good story for her editors. Wishing she was on the other end of the earth, Nellie had an inspiration-she would travel around the world, just like in the fictional adventure book Around the World in Eighty Days. When a fellow journalist, Elizabeth Bisland, heard about Nellie's plans, she decided to up the stakes-by beating Nellie in her own race!

Book Cover of Out of Range

Out of Range

By Heidi Lang

After months of squabbling, their parents ship them off to summer camp together to figure out their issues. The girls succeed in ignoring each other most of the time, but a hike gone wrong on their last day forces them to work together against hunger, near-drownings, and bear attacks.

Book Cover of The Curse on Spectacle Key

The Curse on Spectacle Key

By Chantel Acevedo

A sweetly spooky ghost story about a Cuban American boy who befriends a pair of spirits and tries to break the curse on his island home . . . only to discover a seemingly lost piece of his family’s history in the process.

Book Cover of The Girl in White

The Girl in White

By Lindsay Currie

A chilling story about a twelve-year old girl who must face down the most notorious ghost in her haunted East coast town to stop a centuries-old curse that threatens to destroy everything.

Book Cover of Trex


By Christyne Morrell

As a child, Trex Wilson received an experimental brain implant that saved his life, but it came with an unusual side effect: he shocks everything he touches. To make matters worse, his overprotective mother has kept him out of school and on the move his entire life. She’s convinced that the scientists who saved him now want to exploit the technology in his head. When she finally agrees to send him to a real school for sixth grade, Trex is determined to lead a normal life at last – which means keeping his mother calm and, above all, keeping his unique brain a secret. Unfortunately, the electricity sparking from his fingertips is getting more powerful by the day. 

Book Cover of We Own the Sky

We Own the Sky

By Rodman Philbrick

A thrilling historical adventure about the rise of the KKK, targeting immigrants in Maine in 1924.

Davy and Jo Michaud have been recently orphaned. Taken in by a distant relative—a famous aviator—they are now working with a group of stunt pilots who spend their time wing walking, leaping from plane to plane, and flying through fireworks! But though the stunts are dangerous, the real threat is building behind the scenes.

When Davy and Jo cross paths with the Klan, they get tangled up in a terrible revenge plan. Can they escape with their lives?

Book Cover of Wildoak


By C.C. Harrington

Set in the Big Freeze of 1963, Wildoak tells of an unlikely friendship between a young girl and a snow leopard, two outcasts trying to find their place in an often unfriendly world.

Maggie has always struggled at school. She enjoys learning and wants to make friends but feels constantly held back by her severe stammer. She has become well-practised at avoiding situations where she has to speak in class or read out loud. But when one of her avoidance tactics results in her third expulsion in two years, her parents issue an ultimatum. She will be sent to Cornwall to stay with her Grandfather in the hope that the country air will ‘cure’ her. If not, she’ll be sent to Granville Place, a residential treatment centre with a fearful reputation.

Book Cover of Witchlings


By Claribel A. Ortega

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.

And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can't wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn't placed in one of the five covens. She's a Spare!​

Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn't work! They're stuck as Witchlings―and will lose their magic.

Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they'll gain their full powers. If they fail... Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

Book Cover of Your Pal Fred

Your Pal Fred

By Michael Rex

In a brutal world far in the future where only the savage survive, a life-size toy suddenly activates. Fred was built to be a best buddy, and his relentless kindness never fades, even when everyone else is rude. Determined to make the world a better place, he has the bright idea to talk the two most powerful and battle-hungry warlords, Lord Bonkers and Papa Mayhem, into being friends. It's a mission doomed to fail, unless Fred can find a way to inspire everyone to play nice!