With the celebration of the 2018 ILLINOIS READS initiative a matter of months away, the Illinois Reading Council and ILLINOIS READS Honorary Chairman, Secretary of State, and State Librarian Jesse White, have announced the book titles for 2018.


A statewide project promoting reading for Illinois citizens, ILLINOIS READS annually selects six books in each of six different age categories ranging from read-to books for infants to adult readers.  A variety of topics and themes are chosen for each age group, with an emphasis on selections written by authors with ties to Illinois.


The ILLINOIS READS book selections for 2018 are:

Ages Birth – 4 Years

Cat Knit, Jacob Grant

Go-Go Gorillas, Julia Durango

Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear, Jennifer Ward

Raisin, the Littlest Cow, Miriam Bush and Larry Day (illustrator)

Baby Loves Thermodynamics!, Ruth Spiro

Aberdeen, Stacey Previn


Grades K-2

The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes, Deborah Ruddell

When Penny Met POTUS, Rachel Ruiz

Everybody Sleeps (But not Fred), Josh Schneider

Creepy Pair of Underwear, Aaron Reynolds

The Skin You Live In, Michael Tyler and David Lee Csicsko (illustrator)

The Golden Rule, Ilene Cooper


Grades 3-5

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor, Robert Burleigh

Penelope March is Melting, Jeffrey Michael Ruby

Red, Liesl Shurtliff

Margaret and the Moon, Lucy Knisley (illustrator)

Fresh Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, Michelle Schaub

The Matchstick Castle, Keir Graff


Grades 6-8

Ethan Marcus Stands Up, Michele Weber Hurwitz

YORK: The Shadow Cipher, Laura Ruby

Edgeland, Peter Kujawinski

The Thing About Luck, Cynthia Kadohata

The Harlem Charade, Natasha Tarpley

Sinking the Sultana: A Civil War Story of Imprisonment, Greed, and a Doomed Journey Home, Sally M. Walker


Grades 9-12

Gracefully Grayson, Ami Polonsky

Dividing Eden, Joelle Charbonneau

Say No to the Bro, Kat Helgeson

Other Broken Things, C. Desir

Flip the Bird, Kym Brunner

The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams, Michael Tackett



The Mirror Thief, Martin Seay

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, Kathleen Rooney

The Chicago Way, Michael Harvey

Sisi: Empress on Her Own, Allison Pataki

Church of Marvels, Leslie Parry

Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System, Jack Gilbert, PhD


Booklists for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 can be found on the ILLINOIS READS’ web site:  www.illinoisreads.org


The Southern ILLINOIS READS Book Festival will be a celebration of the 2018 ILLINOIS READS campaign. Readers from all over the state of Illinois are invited to this free event in DuQuoin at the DuQuoin High School on Saturday, March 10.