Award Descriptions- updated!

VA READS awards two awards each year to each category, Picture Books and Middle Grade Readers.

Students, teachers and librarians are eligible to vote if they have read at least half of the books on the list.

Votes will be collected via a Google Form on this website in the spring.

In prior years, the award had two categories-

VA READS Enlighten Award :

This award is for the book from the list that represents diversity the best from the books on the list.

Award Criteria:

Note: Characters can be diverse without their diversity being the major theme of the book. Natural representation of diversity is preferred in picture books today. For example, a character uses a wheelchair for mobility but the character being in the wheelchair is not the focus of the book.

VA READS Illuminate Award :

This is awarded as the voters' favorite from the list of ten books.

Award Criteria:

  • Quality literature for children
  • This is the readers' overall favorite from the 10 books on the list.
  • This book shines as an outstanding example of children's literature.


Winners will be notified by VA READS in May.