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The OTTER AwardOtter Book Award Logo

Our Time To Enjoy Reading

The OTTER Award is designed for ALL students in grades K-5.

We recognize that elementary children transition into chapter books at different ages and, as such, do not limit our reading or voting to a specific age or grade level.

This Washington State Award is given yearly to a transitional chapter book starting in 2017. The award is sponsored by Washington Library Association's School Library Division and is voted upon by students in Washington State.

2018 OTTER Award Nominees:

Deadline for voting is Friday, May 4, 2018. Schools and libraries should submit their votes online here.

The Bad Guys Lola Levine is Not Mean! The Great Pet Escape
The Infamous Ratsos I Am Jane Goodall All Paws on Deck













  • The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Inc.)
  • Lola Levine Is Not Mean! by Monica Brown, illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Little, Brown)
  • The Great Pet Escape (Pets on the Loose) by Victoria Jamieson (Macmillan/Henry Holt)
  • The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Matt Myers (Candlewick)
  • I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos (Penguin/Dial)
  • All Paws On Deck (Haggis and Tank Unleashed) by Jessica Young, illustrated by James Burks (Scholastic Inc.)

Please enjoy this introductory video of the 2018 Otter Award Nominees!

2018 Nominees Bookmarks 

2017 OTTER Award Winner:

Hilo Book Cover

The OTTER Award Committee is proud to announce Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick as the winner of the 2017 OTTER Award for transitional readers! 

"D.J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids. But Hilo isn't! Hilo doesn’t know where he came from, or what he’s doing on Earth. (Or why going to school in only your underwear is a BAD idea!) . . . But UH-OH, what if Hilo wasn’t the only thing to fall to our planet? Can the trio unlock the secrets of Hilo's past? Can Hilo SURVIVE a day at school? Find out in HILO-a laugh-out-loud, epic story of friendship! Adventure! (And the occasionaly mutant robot ant)."

In its inaugural year, a total of 4,919 students in 83 Washington schools who read a minimum of 2 books on the OTTER Award list voted for their favorite nominee.  Hilo received 1,521 votes.

 2017 OTTER Award by the Numbers:

83: Schools in Washington State that participated

4,919: Students who read at least 2 books to vote

34: Public schools that promoted and voted for the award

2: Independent schools that promoted and voted for the award

6: Books on the inaugural reading list

603: Votes for Kung Pow Chicken: Let’s Get Cracking!

649: Votes for Shelter Pet Squad: Jelly Bean

664: Votes for The Haunted Library

674: Votes for Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon

808: Votes for Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail

1,521: Votes for Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth

1: Winning book – Hilo: The Boy who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick