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Awards and Programs

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In-house Initiatives

A Baker's Dozen

Every year since 2004, we've named thirteen of the best picture books to support family literacy and to create a love of books and reading with preschool children.


2020: Baker's Dozen Storytime with Ellysa Stern Cahoy


2020: "Homeschool with A Baker’s Dozen Booklist and Activities" by Nicole Miyashiro, Pennsylvania Library Association College & Research Division (PaLA CRD) 

Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is annually presented to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of children’s poetry published in the previous year.

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature was a nationwide writing contest that invited 4-12th-graders to write letters to authors (living or dead) explaining how the author’s work affected them. The program concluded in 2018-2019 in its 27th year.

Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize

The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident.


2021: "Got an Appetite for Visual Storytelling? Dig into the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize Winners!" by Nicole Miyashiro, Pennsylvania Library Association College & Research Division (PaLA CRD)


2020: Schlow Library Podcast #104: King of King Court & the Pennsylvania Center for the Book

WPSU BookMark Reviews

2020: King of King Court by Travis Dandro, reviewed by Jason Griffith

2019: Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug, reviewed by Maria Burchill 

2018: My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris, reviewed by Lars Stoltzfus-Brown

2017: Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah Glidden, reviewed by Ellysa Stern Cahoy

Poems from Life with Juniper Village

Poems from Life annually pairs local poets with residents of the local Juniper Village Senior Living at Brookline to share and celebrate the lives of Juniper residents with the creation and public reading of original, individualized poems.


2020: Schlow Library Podcast #86: Celebrating National Poetry Month with the PA Center for the Book


2022: "Pause with a Poem: A Break for Well-being" by Nicole Miyashiro, Pennsylvania Library Association College & Research Division (PaLA CRD)

2019: "Poems from Life with Juniper Village: Literature Links Communities" by Nicole Miyashiro, Pennsylvania Library Association College & Research Division (PaLA CRD)


2018: "Poets And Retirees Collaborate To Create 'Poems From Life'" by Adison Godfrey, WPSU Arts and Entertainment

Public Poetry Project

Four poets with connections to PA are selected annually for the Public Poetry Project to have their poems featured on posters that are distributed for free to be displayed in public places so that it might become part of the daily lives of a greater number of people.


2022: "Pause with a Poem: A Break for Well-being" by Nicole Miyashiro, Pennsylvania Library Association College & Research Division (PaLA CRD)

Words of Art

Word of Art is an audio collection of ekphrastic poetry by Nicole Miyashiro that invites visitors to spend extra time in art spaces, both introspectively and conversationally, and an educational tool for group or self-led workshops.

Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Projects & Events

2021: "Fem-Fusion: Visual Art + the Written Word" Exhibition and Virtual Book, co-curated with Stacie Bird, The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania - read more in The Daily Collegian

2019: Ekphrastic Poetry Reading, 3 Dots Downtown, featuring Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Marjorie Maddox, Nicole Miyashiro, Mary Rohrer-Dann, and Camille-Yvette Welsch

Wordstruck: Micro Essays on Literature that Redefined You

Wordstruck invited 10-12th graders to describe how a written work had influenced them personally in 350 words or less for a monetary prize. The program concluded in 2022 in its third year.


Library of Congress Initiatives

Great Reads from Great Places

Every year, each Center for the Book state affiliate or state library selects a book to contribute to a list representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands to be distributed by the Library of Congress during the National Book Festival.

2021: Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Author Video Interview

2021: Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, "Great Reads from Great Places: Friendship," interviewed by Joe Davich

YouTube Video

2020: Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Cannaday Chapman

WPSU BookMark Reviews

2020: Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Cannaday Chapman, reviewed by Karla M. Schmit

2019: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, reviewed by Karla M. Schmit

Great Lakes Reads

Great Lakes Reads is a yearly booklist selected by each state or province that borders a Great Lake. 

Read Around the States

Launched in 2021, Read Around the States is a compilation of videos contributed by participating Center of the Book state affiiates that features US Congress members reading books recommended for young people and interviews with the authors.

2021: The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, presented by US Representative Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania’s Fifth District, interview of Jacqueline Woodson conducted by Karla M. Schmit. Penn State News

Route 1 Reads

Route 1 Reads is an annual, themed booklist featuring titles selected by the 16 affiliate East Coast Centers for the Book that represent states that can be traveled by US Route 1.

State Literacy Awards Program

Ridgelines Language Arts was nominated by the PA Center for the Book and selected as a 2020 State Literacy Award winner by the Library of Congress for making "outstanding and innovative contributions to promoting literacy and/or reading" in PA's local community. The Library of Congress State Literacy Awards Program is made possible through the generous support of David M. Subenstein, awarding $2,225 to each winning organization or program.


Co-sponsored Initiatives

Centre County Reads

Centre County community organizations partner up for Centre County Reads to encourage residents to connect with each other and discuss the human condition and current issues by reading the same book.

WPSU BookMark Reviews

2020: Charming Billy by Alice McDermott, reviewed by Michelle Hamme

2019: Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird by Katie Fallon, reviewed by Emily Morrison

2018: Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa, reviewed by Philip Chwistek; also reviewed by Ruth Canagarajah

2017: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, reviewed by Bailey Young

2016: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbot, reviewed by Adison Godfrey

2014: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach, reviewed by Hannah Burks

Penn State Reads (2013-2018)

Penn State Reads was a university and community wide common reading program.

WPSU BookMark Review

2014: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, reviewed by Sanjana Marikunte; also reviewed by Nicole Miyashiro in PSU Library News.