The Great Stone Face Book Award is given annually to an author whose book receives the most votes from 4th through 6th graders throughout the state.  In April, New Hampshire children vote for their favorite book from a list of 20 recently-published titles that are chosen by the Great Stone Face (GSF) Committee.  The purpose of the award is to promote reading enjoyment, to increase awareness of contemporary writing, and to allow children to honor their favorite authors.

For more information, the mission statement and selection criteria are available (link coming), and you can learn more about the GSF Committee if you are interested in joining by emailing one of the committee co-chairs listed below.

MISSION STATEMENT

To encourage children to value the importance of recreational reading and to promote a life-long love of reading.

THE GREAT STONE FACE BOOK AWARD COMMITTEE

The Great Stone Face (GSF) Committee, sponsored by CLNH, is comprised of children’s librarians from public and school libraries who love to read children’s literature, and who possess an understanding of children’s interests, needs, and issues.  Members form a cross-section of differing skills, knowledge, and life experience.

Committee members participate in the nomination process by reading and evaluating books and by taking part in the discussion of these books at monthly meetings.

Committee Members

  • Lucia Von Letkemann, Co-Chair, Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, NH  lmvonletkemann@cityofportsmouth.com
  • Nancy Sheridan, Co-Chair, Colby Memorial Library, Danville, NH  nancy@colbymemoriallibrary.org
  • Tiffany Maher, Secretary, Amherst Middle School, Amherst, NH
  • Sarah Hydorn, Lee, NH
  • Catherine Ryan, Hopkinton Town Library, Hopkinton, NH
  • Heather Dresser, Hooksett Public Library, Hooksett, NH
  • Lorreen Keating, New London, NH
  • Kim Ahnen, Bedford Public Library, Bedford NH  

Officers

The Co-Chairs of the committee are chosen by the members to represent them at the CLNH Board meetings and at the fall and spring CLNH conferences.  Between them, the chairs preside over the Great Stone Face Tea, keep the members informed of any news relating to the GSF Award, and are responsible for responding to any inquiries from CLNH members and the public at large.  The chairs preside over the monthly GSF meetings and have the same responsibilities as other members.  (The co-chairs are elected for 4 year staggered terms, so that there is always one “older” chair and one “newer” chair serving together. Thus, every 2 years, one new co-chair is elected, while one co-chair steps down after completing their 4-yr. term.)

The Secretary of the committee is chosen by the members and is responsible for recording the minutes of each meeting.  The Secretary maintains and distributes the consideration list.  The minutes and the monthly consideration list are sent to each member within one week after a meeting.  The Secretary keeps the reviews for each book nominated until the final list is determined.  The Secretary will preside over a meeting if both co-chairs are unavailable.

New Members

New members are always welcome on the GSF Committee.  There is a commitment involved, as we attempt to read every book brought to the table.  Meetings are held monthly from August to March. Contact a committee chair if you are interested in serving.

CREATING THE GREAT STONE FACE BOOK AWARD LIST

Each September, the GSF Committee convenes to begin compiling an extensive list of titles under consideration for inclusion on the next GSF Nominees List.  In April, the committee chooses 20 books for the final list of nominated titles.  That list attempts to provide a balance in reading levels, genres, subject areas, reader interest, and appeal.  The final list of GSF Nominees is presented and made public in May.

Nomination Criteria

The Great Stone Face (GSF) Committee has the primary responsibility of nominating titles to be considered.  However, nominations will be accepted from teachers, public/school librarians, students, and publishers, so long as they satisfy the following requirements:

Only titles published within 3 years of the current school year are eligible (i.e., for the school year that ends in June 2023, the eligible pub. dates are 2021, 2022, and 2023)

  • Titles shall be appropriate for grades 4 to 6
  • An author may be a resident of any country
  • More than one title by the same author may be nominated
  • A title in a series must stand alone
  • Newbery Award and other award winners may be nominated
  • Non-fiction titles may be nominated
  • Graphic novels may be nominated

A title originally published outside of the United States may be nominated based on its US publication date.

Selection Criteria

The GSF Committee prepares a list of twenty (20) books that represents the diverse reading abilities and interests of children in grades 4 to 6 for their recreational reading.

The two major criteria used are:

  • Child appeal (i.e., will children find the book engaging and/or entertaining)
  • Quality of writing (i.e., has the author written a story that has a well-developed plot, interesting characters, and a good theme or concept)

Other considerations are:

  • Originality of text and illustration
  • Style of language
  • Suitability of vocabulary, content, and comprehension for the intended grade levels
  • Reflection of the diversity of children’s experiences, interests, and concerns