A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song
March 22, 2018

The State Library of Ohio and the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Council are pleased to announce that A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song, has been selected as the third annual Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) “Floyd’s Pick” title, in memory of children’s literature expert, advocate, and librarian Floyd Dickman.

Each year, the CTRO Advisory Council selects an outstanding book in Ohio children’s literature to be Floyd’s Pick. This selection is in addition to the 20 titles featured in the biennial CTRO booklist. The inaugural Floyd’s Pick selection was Little Tree by Loren Long. The second Floyd’s Pick was The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari.

Stella Dickman calls A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices (Charlesbridge, 2017) “a delightful and creative twist on the trials and tribulations of going to school.” The book introduces readers to six children, one each in kindergarten through 5th grade, as they begin school in the fall. It is organized as a story cycle in four sections: “The Night Before,” “In the Morning,” “At School,” and “After School,” with a poem from the perspective of each child in each section. In “The Night Before,” readers meet kindergartner Ethan first, then each of the others in grade order, as they prepare with trepidation for a new school year at J.W. Riley School. The “In the Morning” poems start with 5th grader Mia and continue in reverse grade order. The pattern is repeated in the final two sections. As the children reflect on their day in “After School,” their nervousness has given way to relief, budding confidence, and delight in new friends.

Sally Derby is the author of numerous children’s books, including No Mush Today (Lee & Low Books), Whoosh Went the Wind (Marshall Cavendish), and Kyle’s Island (Charlesbridge).  She is the winner of the 2017 Juvenile/Middle Grade Ohioana Book Award for Jump Back, Paul (Candlewick). Sally Derby and her husband live in Cincinnati.

Illustrator Mika Song grew up in Manila, Philippines and Honolulu, Hawaii before moving to New York, where she lives and works.

Visit the Charlesbridge website for more information on Sally Derby, Mika Song, and A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices.

Floyd Dickman

Floyd Dickman passed away in June 2015. He was a Library Consultant at the State Library and retired in 1999 after 23 years of service. Floyd was a tireless advocate for children’s literature and librarianship, who had a tremendous positive impact on library and literacy services in Ohio and across the country. Upon his retirement, the State Library of Ohio Board’s retirement resolution recognized Floyd’s leadership, commitment, and passion for library services, children’s literature and family literacy. Floyd is also remembered for his dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring librarians and library science students. During his career he was awarded the Ohio Library Council Librarian of the Year award and was named Outstanding Friend by the Ohio Family Literacy Task Force.

Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO), a project of the State Library of Ohio, Ohioana Library, and Ohio Center for the Book, encourages public libraries, schools, families, and others to build a community of readers and an appreciation of Ohio authors, illustrators, and literature. Every two years, a booklist of 20 representative titles for all ages is selected, with the input of dozens of Ohio librarians, educators, and others invested in readers and reading. The CTRO Advisory Council makes recommendations on statewide implementation of CTRO including marketing, title selection, toolkit development, program sustainability and future growth.

The 2019 & 2020 CTRO booklist will be unveiled at the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Explore the 2017 & 2018 CTRO booklist, and download free readers’ toolkits for all 95 CTRO titles since the program’s inception in 2009: library.ohio.gov/ctro.

The CTRO Advisory Council established Floyd’s Pick in December 2015 with a proclamation by Beverly Cain, State Librarian of Ohio.  The proclamation recognized Floyd as a founding member of the CTRO Advisory Board, and praised him as a beloved state and national expert and advocate for children’s literature.  Click here for more on Floyd’s Pick.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov