Libraries, Ltd., in conjunction with the Arizona Library Association, have selected Sonja Stone as 2018's Judy Goddard Award winner! Please see the EVENTS page for more information. 

DESERT DARK Reading Group Guide

Resources for Educators


*From the Bank Street College of Education website"The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2017 Edition includes more than 600 titles chosen by the Children’s Book Committee as the best of the best published in 2016. 

In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. 

Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes."

Sonja Stone

View the reproducible Desert Dark Reading Group Guide

The Reading Group Guide features Instructional Standards, Questions for Discussion, and Classroom Activities (and includes CCSS Codes, CCSS discussion & essay questions, themes, and excerpts of reviews from notable publications).

Desert Dark has appeared on a number of teacher- and librarian-recommended reading lists, for both middle and high schools. 

Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee*
The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2017
Ages 14 and up (14-16)

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)*
ALAN Picks March 2016
*From ALAN's website: "ALAN Picks is a regular book review column compiled and edited by Dr. Bryan Gillis of Kennesaw State University. It features the newest YA titles, reviewed by teachers and librarians."

Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle Commission
Kansas NEA Reading Circle Catalog
(A top selected or recommended title by the Kansas State Reading Circle Commission) 
Grades 9-12

Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee, 2018-2019
Novel category (formerly Young Adult): titles appropriate for Grades 6-9
(Sponsored by Nebraska Library Association's School, Children's and Young People's Section)

Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee, 2017-2018

High School Master List (Grade 9-12 list)
(Sponsored by the Kentucky Association of School Librarians)

Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee, 2019
Teen Category (10 YA novels)

(Sponsored by the Arizona Library Association)

Southwest Books of the Year, 2016

Ann Dickinson's Picks for Kids

(Published annually by the Pima County Public Library.)

Children’s Book Council*
CBC SHOWCASE: Lions and Lambs

*From"In honor of the proverb 'March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb,' our Spring Seasonal Showcase is looking for titles that feature protagonists both 'lion' and 'lamb'—big or small, tough or gentle, and outwardly powerful or internally empowered."

March Madness Battle of the Books
Einstein Middle School, Shoreline, Washington
(16 books selected to compete – 15 of us lost to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Cursed Child. Talk about bringing a knife to a gun fight!)

Henderson County High School, Summer Reading 2018-2019
Henderson County High School, Henderson, Kentucky
(Desert Dark assigned to incoming 9th and 10th graders taking English II and English II Advanced)

Lake Washington School District Battle of the Books, 2018-2019
Lake Washington School District Middle Schools, Washington

(Teams from six middle schools – grades 6-8 – compete to answer questions about selected books. The goal: encourage students at all reading levels to engage in teamwork while reading some of the best in children’s literature.)

Rose Hill Middle School Summer Reading List, 2018-2019
Rose Hill Middle School, Redmond, Washington
6th and 7th Grade, Desert Dark listed as: Above Standard/Challenge (Realistic/Suspense)

Kalamazoo Public Schools
Summer 2017 Recommended Reading List
Rising 9th Grade 2017-2018

Centerville City Schools
Middle School Reading List 2017

(Prepared by the CCS Secondary School Librarian and the Washington-Centerville Public Librarians)

Richmond Public Library: High-Octane Reads 

(recommendations for teens)

Omaha Teen Librarians: Back to School  

(recommendations for teens)

Seattle Public Library: Mystery Booktalk for Middle Schoolers

(geared for Grades 6-8)

New Hartford Public Library, Spies & Intrigue list

(for 7th and 8th grade readers)

Alaska Battle of the Books, 2018-2019
(High School Selections, alternate)