California Young Reader Medal

California Young Reader Medal

California students nominate, read, and vote for books used in the program. Students present the winning authors (and illustrators) with the award.

Announcing the 2017-2018 California Young Reader Medal Nominees

February 1, 2017 is the long awaited date for the announcement of the 2017 nominated California Young Reader Medal books. The CYRM committee spent the last year reading many excellent books, that were recommended to the committee, by students, teachers, and librarians. This year’s nominated books will send students on exciting adventures as they take rockets into outer space, tinker with the many amazing inventions of Nikola Tesla, and discover the joy of words through the lens of one of our early lexicographical nerds. Congratulations to each of the nominees!

Learn more about all the nominated books and begin your adventure by clicking on the book covers below!



Middle School/Junior High

Young Adult

Picture Books for Older Readers


Primary and Picture Books For Older Readers categories) with their awards at conferences held annually by the sponsoring organizations: California Association of Teachers of English, California Library Association, California Reading Association, and California School Library Association.

A committee of representatives from each organization coordinates CYRM activities at the state level. The committee develops a promotional packet about the program, which includes all materials needed to participate: ballots, nomination forms, and nominee lists. Teachers and librarians facilitate the program by introducing the nominated books and tallying the votes, but it is the young people who choose the winners.

Young people suggest the name 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 decide upon a well-balanced list of nominees. A book must be an original work of fiction published within the last five years by an author who is still living to be considered for nomination 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 and Picture Books For Older Readers categories).

Books are nominated for the medal in Five Categories:

  • Primary (K-2)
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle School/Junior High (6-8)
  • Young Adult (9-12)
  • Picture Books for Older Readers (All ages)

Students may read and vote for books in any and all categories, but they MUST read all books nominated in a category to be eligible to vote. Students read the nominated books from July through March and vote for their favorites. 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.

Winning titles are announced in May.

The authors (and illustrators in the Primary and Picture Books for Older Readers categories) 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 in and enthusiasm for the nominated books shown by the young readers of California clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the California Young Reader Medal program.

Related link: Official CYRM Home Page at