Dorothy's List

Heard On 'Vermont Edition'

Now reading for March: Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk 

New episodes drop the last Monday of the month. Catch up on recent episodes below! 

February (aired early March): Last Day on Mars, by Kevin Emerson

January: Refugee, by Alan Gratz — and we put together a bonus episode about Ban This Book, also by Gratz.

December (aired early January): Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, by Dusti Bowling 

November: The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked and Found, by Martin W. Sandler

October: Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes, by Mary E. Lambert 

September: I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups, by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith

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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.

Dorothy's List is curated and reported by VPR's Amy Kolb Noyes.

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 Dorothy Canfield Fisher 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.

Nominated Books

Find more information about the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award in recent years:

How to get involved

How does your school or library do Dorothy's List? 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!

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.

Ways to Connect

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This month we go to Grand Isle School, where fifth graders have been reading Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle. The book draws on Federle's own experience in musical theater and the classic middle school experience of feeling like an outcast.

Amy Noyes / VPR

Today marks the beginning of season two of Dorothy's List, Vermont Edition's series about the books that are nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher children's book award. Each month this school year, this series will bring you a story about one of the books on the list of award nominees. The winning book is selected in the spring by the Vermont middle grade students who read and discuss these books.

Random House

Each school year Vermont middle grade students read the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, then vote for a winner. Earlier this month, the DCF committee tallied the students' votes and announced the winner:  Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Random House

Voting among Vermont's fourth through eighth graders for the 2013-2014 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award concluded on Friday. And the winner is...

Wonderby R.J. Palacio!

HMH Books for Young Readers

The annual cycle for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s book award begins in the spring, when the nominating committee releases the Master List of 30 titles. The books on the list are aimed at readers in grades four through eight. The committee aims to have something on the list for every reader in that age range – from novels to nonfiction picture books. To be eligible to vote for the winner, students must read at least five books on the list.

Vermont author Rebecca Rupp takes us inside a transformative summer for Danny Anderson, when he makes a set of new friends who help him overcome his grief in the novel After Eli.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Temple Grandin: How The Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism And Changed The World by Sy Montgomery tells the story of how Dr. Temple Grandin grew from a toddler who couldn’t communicate to a college professor and one of the world’s leading animal welfare experts.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Take a look around Liz Greenberg's fifth and sixth grade classroom at Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro and some catchy student-designed bumper stickers just might grab your attention. Each bumper sticker has a saying – a precept. Guiding words, if you will. And if you ask, the students will tell you how the precepts relate to their own lives and how they connect to R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder.

Here are some examples:

It’s not enough to be friendly, you have to be a friend.


Phoebe Stone's The Boy on Cinnamon Street has been called a modern-day love story. The protagonist, Louise, has a secret admirer who leaves her anonymous notes and messages.

When Brattleboro Area Middle School Librarian Marry Linney got together with the seventh and eighth graders in her BAMS Book Bunch, she wanted to know if that rang true for these students of the digital age.

Random House

August "Auggie" Pullman doesn't look like your average fifth grader, but that's exactly what he wishes he could be. He feels ordinary, but other people don't see him that way. That's because Auggie was born with a facial deformity.

Auggie's family is fiercely protective of him, but they can't shelter him from the world forever. After being home schooled through elementary school, Auggie is accepted at Beecher Prep. But no matter how prestigious, middle school is still middle school and not everyone is kind.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Jo Knowles has made a career writing powerful young adult novels for older teens. See You at Harry’s is her first book for middle grade readers. And judging from the standing-room-only crowd that came to meet her at Burnham Memorial Library, in Colchester, she’s also pulling at the heartstrings of this younger audience.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Seventh graders at Camel’s Hump Middle School in Richmond are reading Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.  The non-fiction book by Steve Sheinkin is one of 30 nominated for this year's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

Roaring Brook Press

Spies, geniuses, commandos and world leaders – you’ll find them all in Steve Sheinkin’s book Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.

It’s a real-life spy novel about the race to build, and use, the atomic bomb. And it’s our next selection on Dorothy’s List!

Bomb was named a National Book Award Finalist, a Newbery Honor Book, and it’s a nominee for Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

McSweeney's McMullens

The Expeditioners is the first book in an adventure series featuring three orphaned siblings in a futuristic world where there are no computers or electronic technologies. The book, by Hartland, Vermont author S.S. Taylor, was recently nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.


Each school year, thousands of Vermont students read the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award. Thirty books make the annual list, and fourth through eighth graders vote for their favorite title in the spring.