Dorothy's List cover image

And the winner is...

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein! Throughout the school year, Dorothy's List visits schools and libraries around Vermont to talk with students reading books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award. We interview the authors and let the kids ask the questions! Dorothy's List will return to Vermont Edition for a third season in September. In the meantime you can click “listen” next to the books below to hear past episodes.

Dorothy's List will return to Vermont Edition in September. Happy summer reading!

Dorothy's List will return to Vermont Edition in September. Happy summer reading!

Featured This Year

33 Minutes ...Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt book cover

5th grade & up

33 Minutes ...Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt

By Todd Hasak-Lowy

In exactly 33 minutes, Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked by his ex-best friend Morgan Sturtz. How could this happen? Did it start when Morgan began hanging out with the new kid? Or was it when Morgan joined the football team and Sam became star of the ArithmeTitans math team? And wait – who cares about that stuff? Is Sam going to get his butt kicked in 33 minutes or not?

Listen 9 min 53 sec

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Better Nate Than Ever book cover

5th grade & up

Better Nate Than Ever

By Tim Federle

Nate Foster has always wanted to be a star in a Broadway show. But how is he supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankbug, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal, Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York, to try out for E.T.: The Musical. Can Nate sing his way to the top, and make it home before his parents find out?

Listen 8 min 21 sec

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Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War book cover

5th grade & up

Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

By Helen Frost

Anikwa and James, 12 years old in 1812, spend their days exploring together in the forests of the Indiana Territory. To Anikwa and his family, members of the Miami tribe, this land has been home for centuries. As traders, James’s family has ties to the Miami community as well as to the American soldiers in the fort. Now war is on the horizon and the Miami tribe and the soldiers are taking different sides. James and Anikwa must decide where their deepest loyalties lie.

Listen 9 min 20 sec

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Courage Has No Color book cover

6th grade & up

Courage Has No Color

By Tanya Lee Stone

During World War II thousands of American soldiers fought against the injustices brought on by Hitler in Europe. But back on the home front there was rampant discrimination against African Americans, including in the military. Tanya Lee Stone examines the little-known history of the Triple Nickles, the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion and America’s first black paratroopers, who first had to battle for relevance in WWII.

Listen 11 min 20 sec

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Golden Boy book cover

7th grade & up

Golden Boy

By Tara Sullivan

Thirteen-year-old Habo has light eyes, yellow hair and white skin. Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. When his family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, Habo knows he is to blame. On their journey across Tanzania, Habo learns a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. To survive, Habo must run, and find a way to love and accept himself.

Listen 11 min 44 sec

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P.S. Be Eleven book cover

5th grade & up

P.S. Be Eleven

By Rita Williams-Garcia

When Delphine and her younger sisters return to Brooklyn after spending the summer with their Black Panther mother in Oakland, they find things have changed. Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell is home from Vietnam, but he’s not the same. Yet their grandmother, Big Ma, still has high expectations for Delphine, who confides her troubles in letters to her mother. The letters she gets back remind her to “be eleven.”

Listen 11 min 37 sec

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The Center of Everything book cover

4th grade & up

The Center of Everything

By Linda Urban

Ruby Pepperdine has lost her center. Her best friend, Lucy, is mad at her. Her new friendship with Nero is pretty bumpy too. And worst of all, Ruby has one big regret – she didn’t listen to her grandmother Gigi, and now Gigi is gone and she can’t take it back. But she does have one thing going for her. Can her twelfth birthday wish fix everything?

Listen 10 min 58 sec

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Prisoner 88 book cover

5th grade & up

Prisoner 88

By Leah Pileggi

It’s 1885 and 10-year-old Jake Oliver Evans is sentenced to five years in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary for shooting a man who threatened his father. Now he must face each day with hardened criminals and, worst of all, a warden who is forcing him to learn to read and write. On the up side, he has never eaten so well in his life and he has a bed to sleep in every night. Maybe prison isn’t the worst place to be.

Listen 10 min 7 sec

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library book cover

5th grade & up

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

By Chris Grabenstein

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is about a group of 12-year-olds who are locked inside a brand new state-of-the-art library, with features like a holographic librarian and shelf-stocking robots. The library was built by a master game-maker, Mr. Lemoncello. And the kids are competing to be the first to find their way out, using only the tools found within the library.

Listen 10 min 44 sec

Read Original Post

Last Year's Books

The Expeditioners book cover

The Expeditioners

By S.S. Taylor

Computers have failed, electricity is extinct, and the race to discover new lands is underway! Kit the brain, M.K. the tinkerer, and Zander the brave have inherited a strange map from their dead father. But why are so many government agents trying to steal it?

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Listen 10 min 55 sec
Bomb book cover


By Steve Sheinkin

In 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory used uranium to split an atom in two – a simple discovery that would launch a scientific race that spanned three continents. Bomb is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, deceit and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon: the atomic bomb.

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Listen 8 min 23 sec
See You At Harry's book cover

See You At Harry's

By Jo Knowles

For 12-year-old Fern, starting middle school brings all the usual challenges -- at school and at home. If it weren't for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Then the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal.

Read Original Post

Listen 7 min 17 sec
The Boy On Cinnamon Street book cover

The Boy On Cinnamon Street

By Phoebe Stone

Seventh-grader Louise should be the captain of her school's gymnastics team—but she isn't. She's fun and cute and should have lots of friends—but she doesn't. And there's a dreamy boy who has a crush on her – but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her—so what’s holding her back?

Read Original Post

Listen 12 min 21 sec
Wonder book cover


By R.J. Palacio

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion and acceptance.

Read Original Post

Listen 9 min 44 sec
Temple Grandin book cover

Temple Grandin

By Sy Montgomery

Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University whose world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. Diagnosed with autism at the age of two, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make. This compelling biography takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.

Read Original Post

Listen 11 min 20 sec
After Eli book cover

After Eli

By Rebecca Rupp

Some people die heroically, others accidentally. When Daniel Anderson’s older brother Eli dies, he wonders which category Eli’s death falls into. In an attempt to understand, Danny creates a Book of the Dead — an old binder that he fills with details about dead people, how they died, and, most important, for what purpose.

Read Original Post

Listen 9 min 14 sec

Other Books On The List

5th grade & up

Doll Bones

By Holly Black

4th grade & up

Flora & Ulysses

By Kate DiCamillo

6th grade & up

Saturday Boy

By David Fleming

6th grade & up

Zebra Forest

By Adina Rishe Gewirtz

6th grade & up


By Mark Goldblatt

5th grade & up

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius

By Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan

6th grade & up

Sure Signs of Crazy

By Karen Harrington

5th grade & up

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel

By Deborah Hopkinson

5th grade & up

The Thing About Luck

By Cynthia Kadohata

4th grade & up

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig

By Chris Kurtz

6th grade & up

The Vine Basket

By Josanne LaValley

6th grade & up

Boy on the Wooden Box

By Leon Leyson

5th grade & up

Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace

By Nan Marino

7th grade & up

Far Far Away

By Tom McNeal

5th grade & up

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

By Jim Ottaviani

4th grade & up

The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail

By Richard Peck

6th grade & up

Counting by 7s

By Holly Goldberg Sloan

6th grade & up

“The President Has Been Shot!”: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

By James Swanson

5th grade & up

One Came Home

By Amy Timberlake

4th grade & up


By Vivian Vande Velde

5th grade & up


By Vince Vawter

What is Dorothy's List?

Dorothy’s List is VPR’s book club for kids! Each month we highlight a book nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award. We visit schools and libraries where the book is being read, check out how young readers are interacting with the book and relay students’ questions to the author.

The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

First given in 1957, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award has honored quality literature for children for over 55 years. Each spring, 30 nominees are named to the DCF Master List. After reading at least five books from the list, Vermont students in grades four through eight vote for their favorite. Learn more here.

How to get involved

How does your school or library do DCF? Let us know! Share an activity or a lesson plan. Tell us what books you’d like to see highlighted on Dorothy’s List and why. And please let us know if you’re interested in participating in a future program!

Project Curator

Amy Kolb Noyes

Dorothy's List is curated and reported by VPR's Amy Kolb Noyes, is produced by Angela Evancie and is funded in part by the VPR Journalism Fund. Share your questions and suggestions with Amy on Twitter or via e-mail.

Want to put up a poster for Dorothy's List in your classroom or library?

Click here for a printable poster or here for a flyer.