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The annual Vermont Golden Dome Book Award goes to the year's best new middle-grade children's book as chosen from a list of 25 by Vermont children in grades 4-8. The winner is announced in the spring and the author is invited to Vermont to speak about writing for children.

2023-2024 Book List

Monica Roe

Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2022

ISBN:  978-0-37438-865-2

272 pp.


Emmie is gritty in more ways than one. Not only is she strong, fierce, and independent, she’s also not afraid to get literal grit in her elbows while pursuing her chosen sport: she’s an aspiring extreme wheelchair athlete. She was born with spina bifida, but took her parents at their word when they said that she can do anything other kids can do. In order to truly compete, though, she needs a new wheelchair. Emmie is earning money through her own home business - but when some well-meaning community members learn of her goal, Emmie struggles with how and when to accept help, while remaining true to herself.

Grades 5 and Up

Lora Senf

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66590-267-0

288 pp.


Coraline meets Alice in Wonderland in this spooky tale. Evie Von Rathe and her aunt, Desdemona, live in Blight Harbor – the seventh-most-haunted town in America. When Desdemona disappears in the town’s creepy abandoned slaughterhouse, it’s up to Evie to face her fears (and breathe through her anxiety), confront a murderous ghost, and rescue her aunt from the supernatural Clackity.

Grades 5 and Up

Alexander, Kwame

Little, Brown, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-44186-5

416 pp.


Until the unthinkable happened, Kofi spent his carefree days swimming in the river Offin, playing oware with his grandfather, and trying to avoid his bully of a cousin. Kofi had been warned by his family to be careful around the water at night and that there are “Things about the water that you don’t know,” but one night Kofi ignores their warnings and goes for a late-night swim - and this mistake sends him on a journey of no return. This novel in verse is the first in a trilogy, starting in the West African Asante Kingdom of Ghana.  Kofi’s journey will draw you in and break your heart - but this is a story that must not be missed.

Grades 5 and Up

Karina Yan Glaser

Clarion, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-54487-640-8

368 pp.


Huey House, a homeless shelter, is home for Tyrell and his mother while she is out of work, and now for June and family, after the traumatic loss of her father leaves them adrift. Both kids find solace in classical music and connect over music lessons with a persnickety neighbor. When proposed changes in the city’s homelessness policies threaten the housing program, June and Tyrell rally the residents of Huey House to fight for the organization that has meant so much to them.

Grades 5 and Up

Gillian McDunn

Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-54760-625-2

288 pp.


Elliott is being thrown a lot of curveballs at once: his parents´ divorce, a new half-sibling on the horizon, and a best friend who just moved away. Along with this, he is trying his best to manage the impulsivity and disorganization that accompanies his ADHD - and all together, these are making for a challenging school year. When his teacher assigns the class a project to create a business, he ends up partnered with Maribel, a popular and fastidious girl who, on the surface, seems like his polar opposite. However, it turns out that Maribel and Elliot share a love of cooking - a mutual interest that spawns not only their Desperation Pie business, but an unexpected friendship.

Grades 4 and Up

Will Taylor

Scholastic, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-33875-373-8

256 pp.


After his parents’ recent separation, Jeremy and his dad head to a cabin on the Oregon coast while his mom moves out of their house. The vacation is not a success – Jeremy’s father, coping with grief by drinking, becomes more and more distant and curt. Things take a turn for the better, though, when Jeremy sees a boy running on the beach and meets Evan, with whom he forms a bond. This is a bittersweet story about a first crush – and about finding yourself, even when it seems that your family has come unmoored.

Grades 6 and Up

A.S. King

Scholastic, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-33868-052-2

272 pp.


When Mac and friends discover that their classroom reading copies of Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic have phrases blacked out, they protest – and find themselves up against teacher Laura Sett, who believes that “I am here to protect all of us from the ugly world.” As the kids battle censorship, they also find themselves confronting questions about the nature of truth and the importance of standing up for oneself.

Grades 5 and Up

Kyle Lukoff

Dial Books, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-59311-118-5

320 pp.


Bailey, the new kid in Annabelle’s class, is cool, fashionable, funny, and non-binary -  which last is new to the small-town community. Annabelle is fascinated with Bailey, but as their friendship progresses, why is Annabelle’s father being so weird about it? Why does the presence of one preteen have such an impact on him and other community members? Annabelle is open to learning and willing to lead the way to a more inclusive town, a town with room for different kinds of fruit.

Grades 5 and Up

Brown, Waka T.

Quill Tree Books, 2022

ISBN: 978-0063017160

347 pp.


As the daughter of Japanese immigrants, Annie Enoway has been raised to dream big – of starring roles in the theater, for example, or of taking her basketball skills to the NBA. But when Annie is passed over in favor of her best friend Jessica for lead roles in Annie and The King and I, her faith in her dreams begins to falter. Soon she finds herself navigating changing friendships, racial bias, and the opinions of others about what she can and cannot do as an Asian-American girl. Come cheer Annie on as she chases her big dreams in this inspiring coming-of-age story.

Grades 4 and Up

Ernesto Cisneros

Quill Tree Books, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06288-172-4

304 pp.


Isaac and Marco have always had each other’s backs. Whether at school or home, their friendship is as solid as a rock. However, now that they are in middle school, their different strengths send them down different paths. Marco finds friends in his college-track classes, while Isaac is embraced by the basketball team. Can they still lift each other up while facing the new challenges that come from this next phase in their lives?

Grades 5 and Up

Pamela Turner

Charlesbridge, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-62354-250-4

176 pp.


In this entertaining, up-to-date, and utterly fascinating account of human evolution, Pamela Turner traces the history of our species in seven steps from “We Stand Up” through “We Smash Rocks,” “We Invent Barbecue,” and “We Become Storytellers.” Substantive reader-friendly science presented with wit, humor, and some very cool footnotes.

Grades 5 and Up

Soontornvat, Christina


Candlewick, 2022

ISBN: 978-1536204957

368 pp.


Set in a rich, Thai-inspired fantasy world. Twelve-year-old Sai could have a bright future if she sticks with her job as assistant to Paiyoon, the Mangkon Royal Navy’s Master Mapmaker - but Sai has secrets. Born into poverty with a conman for a father, Sai constantly struggles to keep her origins a secret. When Paiyoon and Sai are asked to join a mapping expedition to the Southern Seas, Sai sees an opportunity to change her luck - but will have to decide who to trust and what sacrifices she is willing to make to chase her dreams.

Grades 5 and Up
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