The California Young Reader Medal program, established in 1974, introduces young readers in California to a variety of book genres and formats, gives them an opportunity to honor their favorite books and authors, and develops and cultivates a love of recreational reading.
The CYRM committee encourages California students to read, read, read! Each year, students, teachers, and librarians send recommendations of their favorite books to the CYRM committee. The committee members read the nominated books and then meet to discuss the merits of each book and their appeal to children. Finally, the committee decides upon a well-balanced list of nominees. Students from all over the state have the opportunity to read all the nominated books in a category and vote for their favorite.
There are five categories for students to consider and for which books may be nominated:
Primary (Grades K-3)
Intermediate (Grades 3-6)
Middle School/Junior High (Grades 6-9)
Young Adult (Grades 9-12)
Picture Books for Older Readers (4th Grade and up)
California children and teens can read the nominated books from May through March and vote for their favorites. Teachers and librarians introduce the nominees, often in exciting and innovative ways. They provide ballots for voting, compile vote totals, and submit results to the CYRM committee. CYRM ballots must be postmarked by April 1st of each year. Winning titles are announced on May 1st on the CYRM website.
The authors and illustrators of the winning books receive their CYRM awards at special ceremonies held annually at the state conferences of each sponsoring organization. Local students are selected to present the
bronze CYRM medals to the winners.
The interest and enthusiasm shown by the young readers of California clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the CYRM program.