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Charlie May Simon Book Award (Grades 4-6)

There have been many questions concerning voting for the Charlie May Simon and Arkansas Diamond Book Awards.  The two award committees met, and made the decision to postpone the voting for the 2019-2020 awards until this fall.  By delaying the vote, more students will be able to participate.  All schools and public libraries will be notified once schools are back in session this fall and plans for the new vote are in place.

Questions should be directed to Cassandra Barnett,


The Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award for children's literature has been presented annually since 1971 to an author whose book has been selected through a vote taken by Arkansas school children in grades four, five and six.  The purpose of the award is to promote better reading for children and to recognize Mrs. John Gould Fletcher, an outstanding Arkansas author who wrote under the pen name Charlie May Simon.

Charlie May Simon was born August 17, 1897, at Monticello, Arkansas, but moved to Memphis at an early age. She attended Memphis State University, Stanford University and the Chicago Art Institute. She returned to Arkansas after she married John Gould Fletcher in 1936. Throughout her lifetime, Mrs. Fletcher traveled extensively, gathering information for her many prize winning biographies.   She lived at Johnswood, her home in Little Rock, until her death in 1977.

During her distinguished career, Charlie May Simon wrote over 27 books for children and young adults. Her first work, ROBIN ON THE MOUNTAIN, was published in 1934 and is considered a classic in children's literature. Other works include STRAW IN THE SUN, ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS, and FAITH HAS NEED OF ALL THE TRUTH.


If you would like to be a part of the reading committee for this award, please contact Ruth Hyatt

Bookmark Template     Bookmark Template 50th anniversary

2020-2021 Reading List          Voting in May 2021      


2019-2020 Reading List           Voting in early May 2020                                   



2019 Winner!                              Thank you to everyone who voted!!

   Wish by Barbara O'Connor, published by Square Fish

2nd place in votes Honor goes to      Soar by Joan Bauer, Published by the Penguin Young Readers Group                                                                                                and 3rd place in votes honor goes to     All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor, published by Harper Collins


Links to the 2020 Simon Student Ballot and the 2020 Teacher Tabulation form will be available here in March 2020.

Submit tabulated votes in May, 2020

Contact Person: Ruth Hyatt

Phone Number: 501-682-5288


The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), the Arkansas State Library, and the Arkansas Literacy Association are pleased to announce the annual selection process for the books to receive the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award and the Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award.

The Charlie May Simon (CMS) Children’s Book Award will be selected by children in Grades 4, 5 and 6.  This year’s award will be selected by children across Arkansas who have been participating in reading these books, and hearing the books read aloud by teachers and library media specialists.  This is an opportunity to engage the children in reading carefully selected books from this year’s list.  Please note that children in Grades 4, 5 and 6 should have read or heard at least three of the books from the 2018-2019 Simon list in order to vote.

This year the votes for both awards will be submitted electronically.  The Student Ballots and Ballot Tabulation forms for both the Diamond Primary Book Award and Charlie May Simon Book Award are available on the Arkansas State Library website.  These ballots may be reproduced by the schools and used by the students to vote.  The votes should then be tallied in each school and total votes for each title should be entered electronically on the tally sheets.  Votes should be submitted electronically between May 14 and May 18, 2018.

The 2018-2019 reading lists (pdf) for both the Arkansas Diamond Primary Award and the Charlie May Simon Book Award will be available in March.

The results of this year’s voting will be posted in May 2018.

If you have any questions about the reading lists or the award, contact Ruth Hyatt, , 501-682-2860.

Newbery / Caldecott and other national book awards

Arkansas State Library
900 W. Capitol, Suite 100
Little Rock, AR 72201
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