VA READS is now an official award and reading program of Virginia Association of School Librarians.

Our mission is to provide educators and parents with an annual list of quality, diverse children's literature to be used in classrooms, homes and libraries to provide students with the opportunity to experience windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors in children's literature.

*Note: Confused by the term sliding doors? "Sliding door moments are opportunities in life where the decisions we make alter our destiny. Moments in which we turn left or right, towards change or towards more of the same." (Mirrors, windows and sliding doors originated from Dr. Ruth Sims Bishop.)

Voting will be in the spring for this year's nominees.




Previous Lists

2020-2021 VA Reads Picture Books

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Bread for Words, A Fredrick Douglass Story by Shana Keller

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

Just Ask, Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed

Soccerverse: Poems about Soccer by Elizabeth Steinglass

A Normal Pig by K-Fai Steele

Big Papa and the Time Machine by Daniel Bernstrom

2019-2020 VA Reads Picture Books

  • I Really Want to See you Grandma by Taro Gomi

  • Planting Stories The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Adlamuy Denise

  • Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena

  • Drawn Together by Minh Le

  • Home is a Window by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard

  • A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

  • Thank You Omu by Oge Mora

  • Bob Not Bob by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon

  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

  • Seeing Into Tomorrow Haiku by Nina Crews and Richard Wright


2020-21 VA READS

Middle Grade Book List

2020-2021 VA Reads Middle Grades

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

Operation Frog by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Dog Driven by Terry Lynn Johnson

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown

What Lane by Torrey Maldonado

Contact us: or contact director, Ami Schroder at