Soaring Eagle Book Award (Grades 7-12)

The Soaring Eagle Book Award provides the opportunity for Wyoming youth in grades 7-12 to select a favorite book and honor its author. Its purpose is to help Wyoming students in grades 7-12:

  • Become acquainted with the best contemporary authors.
  • Become aware of the qualities that make a good book.
  • Choose the best rather than the mediocre.
  • Set a goal to read at least three good books.
  • To honor an author whose books Wyoming students have enjoyed.
The Soaring Eagle Book Award is sponsored by the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association. 

2024-2025 Awards

2024-25 Nominee Materials 
  • 2024-2025 voting form (coming January 2025)

2025-2026 Awards

  • 2025-2026 nominations form (coming January 2025, due March 1, 2025)  Make sure to collect and save student nominations throughout the year.

Winners & Nominees (2020-2025)



Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Tilly in Technicolor by Mazey Eddings

Rez Ball by Byron Graves

Above the Trenches (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #12) by Nathan Hale

The Red Palace by June Hur

A Door in the Dark (Waxways #1) by Scott Reintgen

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown by Steve Sheinkin

Yonder by Ali Standish

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir



The Inheritance Games (#1)
by Jennifer Barnes


You'd Be Home Now
by Kathleen Glasgow


This Light Between Us
by Andrew Fukuda 


The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder Button Pusher by Tyler Page

Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices of the Donner Party by Allan Wolf


I Must Betray You
by Ruta Sepetys

You'll Be the Death of Me

by Karen M. McManus

The Similars

by Rebecca Hanover


The Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen
Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury
Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson


Dear Martin
by Nic Stone

First runner-up
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder
by Holly Jackson

Second runner-up
Dragon Hoops
by Gene Luen Yang

Charming as a Verb
 by Ben Philippe
Desert Dust by Paul W. Papa
Fable by Adrienne Young
Pretend She's Here by Luanne Rice
by Marie Lu
A Tale of Magic … 
by Chris Colfer
We Are Not Free
 by Traci Chee


They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera

First runner-up
by Alan Gratz

Second runner-up
Game Changer
by Tommy Greenwald


Ash Princess
by Laura Sebastian

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
by Laurie Halse Anderson

by Kwame Alexander

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
by Joelle Charbonneau

Wizard for Hire
by Obert Skye


The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

First runner-up
One of Us Is Lying
by Karen M. McManus

Second runner-up
An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir

Defy the Stars
by Claudia Gray
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
by Atia Abawi
Little White Lies
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
by Marissa Meyer
What If It's Us
by Becky Albertalli

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Co-Chair Jenn Beckstead (WLA)

Co-Chair Leanne Woodfill (WSLA)

Brenna Franklin (WLA)

Cindy Hagen (WLA)

Trena Hamilton (WSLA)

Shelley Hunsaker (WSLA)

Marcy Mathis (WLA) 

Milli Moore (WSLA)

Past committee members list

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Committee Composition & Responsibilities

  • Eight members: four from each sponsoring organization, appointed by governing members of the organizations or designees.
  • Three-year terms with four terms expiring annually, provided not more than half the committee is new.
  • Two consecutive terms allowed.
  • Terms begin before the spring meeting.
  • Any member serving a partial term is eligible to serve three additional terms.
  • Two members, acting as co-chairs, one from each organization, will be responsible to the parent organizations.
  • Members must be on the committee for at least one year before becoming a co-chair.
  • Co-chairs' terms of office should expire on alternate years.
  • Expenses (cost of the award, postage, display board, treats for the meeting, packet expenses) will be submitted to the WLA secretary.
  • Letters sent to the publishers will be coordinated between the committees.

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Award Guidelines

The Soaring Eagle Book Award will consist of one list for grades 7-12. Librarians, reading, and English teachers solicit nominations from Wyoming students in grades 7-12. The nominations are sent to the committee by March 1. If any nomination summary forms are returned with incomplete information, the committee may disregard them. The award committee meets to finalize a list of titles for grades 7-12. This list becomes the ballot for the next school year.


  • The book may be fiction or nonfiction.
  • The book must currently be in print and have a copyright date within the last five years.
  • Adult books may be nominated.
  • The book must not have appeared first as a movie or TV show.


  • Each Wyoming student in grades 7-12 who has read at least three books on the list may vote for his or her favorite book.
  • Voting takes place during the month of March. The sponsoring librarian or teacher tabulates the ballots and the ballot tally sheet is returned to the committee by March 15.


  • Use published guidelines for nominations.
  • Consider the number of student nominations.
  • There must be at least two positive recommendations in professional book reviewing publications or by committee members.
  • Each book for the final ballot will have been read by at least one committee member.
  • Only one title by each author will be included on the list. Consider the number of student nominations as the deciding factor.
  • Books that are past winners of the Soaring Eagle or Indian Paintbrush Awards can't be on the list.
  • No books by the winning author can appear on the following year’s list.
  • No title can be on the list two consecutive years.
  • When two or more books, in a series by the same author, have reviews which are equally good and have an equal number of nominations, the earlier one in the series is added to the list.
  • For books by Wyoming authors with no reviews, committee members decide on quality of the book after it is read by at least two committee members.
  • Consider grade level appropriateness of nominations.
  • Consider including some high interest/low vocabulary books.
  • Young adult books may contain some adult language and situations.
  • The list shouldn't exceed ten titles.

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Wyoming Library Association

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Ballwin MO 63021

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