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Students, it's time to get with the reading program

(ran PW, PS editions)

Since 1983, Florida students in grades 3 through 8 have hit the books to take part in the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award Program.

The program, sponsored by the School Library Media Services of the Department of Education and the Florida Association, often comes in the form of book battle contests held on the school and district level. Those who qualify by reading enough books on the Sunshine State Reading List earn the privilege of voting for their favorite book on the list.

According to the Florida Department of Education Web site, in 2001-02, more than 82,000 students in public and private schools participated in the voting process. Last year's winners were Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, grades 3-5; and Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix, grades 6-8.

No doubt there already are some eager readers ready to cast their vote. Those who haven't started might want to hit the bookstore or local or school library and check out this year's selections, listed below.

Library Media Services Sunshine State Young Reader's Award Program 2002-03 Reading List.

Grades 3-5

Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin

Dork in Disguise by Carol Gorman

Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher

Francie by Karen English

Gracie's Girl by Ellen Wittlinger

Holes by Louis Sachar

The Lost Flower Children by Janet Taylor Lisle

Mister and Me by Kimberly Willis Holt

My Brother Made Me Do It by Peg Kehret

Not My Dog by Colby Rodowsky

The Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy

The School Story by Andrew Clements

Star in the Storm by Joan Harlow

Surviving Brick Johnson by Laurie Myers and Dan Yaccarino

Williwaw! by Tom Bodett

Grades 6-8

The Art of Keeping Cool by Janet Taylor Lisle

Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin

Francie by Karen English

The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park

Gracie's Girl by Ellen Wittlinger

Here Comes Heavenly by Todd Strasser

Holes by Louis Sachar

Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

I'm Not Who You Think I Am by Peg Kehret

Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs

Midnight Magic by Avi

My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt

Williwaw! by Tom Bodett

Zach's Lie by Roland Smith

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