William Allen White Award Books Reviewed by Shawnee Mission Students

William Allen White Book Reviews
Shawnee Mission School District

If you are looking for a good book to read, consider one of the William Allen White (WAW) Book Award books.

Students from across the Shawnee Mission School District provided their video reviews of WAW Book Award books.

These students read their selections and wrote book recommendations based on the 2019-2020 award master list. Their reviews were filmed last spring.

“At Benninghoven, I challenge our students to read eight out of the ten WAW award books,” Lisa Readman, librarian explained. First the students completed written reviews of the books.

Students who accomplished this achievement were selected to present a video review of one of the books.

“It’s a wonderful experience for the students as they collaborate on their script and their classmates are always excited to see them in a video,” Readman said.

By clicking here you can see recommendations for books for the third–fifth grade reading level. The reviews are provided by students from John Diemer, Corinth, ApacheIS, Oak Park-Carpenter, Pawnee, Comanche, Briarwood, Mill Creek, Rhein Benninghoven, and Brookwood elementary schools.

By clicking here you can see recommendations for books for the sixth-eighth grade reading level. Reviews are provided by students from Rhein Benninghoven, Broken Arrow, Santa Fe Trail, Highland, Trailwood, Brookridge, Rushton and Shawanoe elementary schools.   

WAW books feature a variety of literature including fiction, biography, and non-fiction. There are many different genres and have included a graphic novel, a novel in verse, and picture books.

At Brookwood Elementary school, Emily Mihelic, librarian, used the WAW reading list for their inaugural Battle of the Books competition. Mihelic hosted a watch party of the video where Marlee and Lucy, Brookwood students, reviewed “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus” by Dusty Bowling.

“Having Brookwood represented in the video added to the students’ excitement for Battle of the Books,” Mihelic said.

"You could feel the excitement in the library and our WAW shelves speak for themselves because they have been nearly empty since my students watched the videos,” Milhelic noted.

Voting for the 2019-2020 Awards will open in January. One book from each reading level list with the most votes will receive the William Allen White Children’s Book Award.

The William Allen White Children’s Book Award is the oldest statewide Children’s book award in the United States.

It was established in 1952 by the late Ruth Garver Gagliardo, a children’s literature specialist at Emporia State University. To honor the memory of one of Kansas’ most distinguished citizens, the award was titled The William Allen White Children's Book Award. William Allen White was an American author, politician, leader of the Progressive movement and the newspaper editor of The Emporia Gazette.