• Illinois Reading Council's 

    Illinois Reads Books for 2020


    2020 Illinois Reads Books

    By Tammy Potts, Illinois Reads Chair


    The Illinois Reading Council is announcing its list of top books to read in 2020 as part of the Illinois Reads program.


    Each year for the past eight years, the IRC and Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the Illinois Reads program, have worked together to select six books in each of six age categories written by authors who have a tie to Illinois.


    A statewide project promoting reading for Illinois citizens, Illinois Reads recommends books ranging from read-to books for infants to books for adult readers. A variety of topics and themes are chosen for each age group.



    The 2020 Illinois Reads Book Festival is also planned for Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Illinois Valley Community College, 815 North Orlando Smith Road, Oglesby, Illinois. Readers from throughout Illinois are invited to the free event. Details will be forthcoming.


    The Illinois Reads book selections for 2020 are:


    Birth to 4 Years Old

    • Bear's Scare by Jacob Grant
    • Beware! by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Larry Day
    • Chinese New Year Colors by Rich Lo
    • Mermaid Dreams by Kate Pugsley
    • Peekity Boo--What You Can Do! by Heidi Bee Roemer
    • Pick a Pumpkin by Patricia Toht

    Grades K-2

    • Jasper & Ollie by Alex Willan
    • Just Read! by Lori Degman
    • My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown
    • Oak Leaf by John Sandford
    • Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty
    • This is How I Do It: One Day in the Life of You and 59 Real Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe

    Grades 3-5

    • Cape: The League of Secret Heroes, Book One by Kate Hannigan
    • Captain Superlative! by J.S. Puller
    • The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie
    • The Superlative A. Lincoln: Poems About Our 16th President by Eileen R. Meyer
    • Time Castaways #1: The Mona Lisa Key by Liesl Shurtliff
    • Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi

    Grades 6-8

    • Fireborne by Rosaria Munda
    • Ninja: Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming by Tyler Blevins
    • Powers in Action, Volume 1: The Hero Squadron! by Art Baltazar
    • Robert E. Lee: The Man, the Soldier, the Myth by Brandon Marie Miller
    • Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez
    • Windy City Magic, Book 1: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari 

    Grades 9-12

    • All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan
    • Sorry for Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley
    • The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
    • Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby
    • Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
    • We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund 


    • An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz
    • The Boat Runner: A Novel by Devin Murphy
    • Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever
    • Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey
    • Radio Flyer: 100 Years of America's Little Red Wagon by Robert Pasin
    • The Vanishing Man: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch

    For more information or to order bookmarks and posters, visit the Illinois Reads website at illinoisreads.org.


    Our Staff:
    • Ms. Young, Assistant Librarian
    • Mr. Holtz, LMC Director/Librarian 
    Please email Mr. Holtz at holtzac@vvsd.org if you have any comments or concerns about this page.