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The Towner Award

And the 2021 Towner Award winner is...Nic Bishop Big Cats!  Educator's Choice...Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist!!!

Announcing the 2022 Towner Award Nominees!

2022 Towner Award Nominees Press Release

  • Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring, by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by Felicia Marshall (Creston Books)
  • If You Take Away the Otter, by Susannah Buhrman-Deever, illustrated by Matthew Trueman (Candlewick)
  • Dinosaurs: Fact and Fable: Truths, Myths, and New Discoveries, by Seymour Simon (HarperCollins)
  • The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins and Her New Deal for America, by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Alexandra Bye (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Eat Your Rocks, Croc!: Dr. Glider’s Advice for Troubled Animals, by Jess Keating, illustrated by Pete Oswald (Orchard Books)
  • The Pig War: How a Porcine Tragedy Taught England and America to Share, by Emma Bland Smith, illustrated by Alison Jay (Calkins Creek)
  • Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America, by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Magdalena Mora (Beach Lane Books)
  • Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon, by KT Johnston, illustrated by César Samaniego (Capstone Editions)
  • Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera, by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann (Neal Porter Books)
  • Your Place in the Universe, by Jason Chin (Neal Porter Books)

2021 Towner Award Nominees

2021 Towner Award Press Release



Previous Winners

2020: Avalanche Dog Heroes: Piper and Friends Learn to Search the Snow by Elizabeth Rusch

2019: This Book Isn't Safe by Colin Furze

2018: Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton

2017: Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli

2016: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

2015: Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss

2014: Snakes by Nic Bishop 

Voting is for students in grade 2 through 6 in Washington State. Student votes can be submitted by school and public librarians only. In addition, we will recognize an Educators' Choice. This is your chance to share with other educators which book you found most useful in the classroom.

Join the Towner!

Our enthusiastic committee is looking for a few new members. Click here to apply!

The Washington State Student Award for Informational Text

The Towner Award is named after Bill Towner, longtime Seattle librarian and mentor to dozens of librarians. Bill was an outstanding teacher-librarian who worked with thousands of students from all backgrounds and taught all of them his love of literature. Bill showed us how caring teachers and librarians can make a difference.

This award is intended to complement other awards determined by student vote in the state of Washington; the Sasquatch, Washington’s Children Choice Picture Book and OTTER Book Awards. It is sponsored by the Washington Library Association School Library Division and intended for books enjoyed by students in grades Two through Six.

For the purposes of this award, Informational Text is defined as that which serves chiefly to convey factual information to the reader and may contain biography, narrative and other forms.

Each year a slate of ten books will be selected by a group of librarians from Washington state. This group will include public and school librarians, and members will be selected so as to provide representation for different parts of the state.