Evaluator's Committee

A rotating committee of between seventy and eighty members meets annually in late January or early February to create the list of nominees. The committee is made up of 4th-8th grade educators and school and public librarians representing geographic locations throughout the state.

  • Evaluators must locate their own copies of titles being considered.
  • The evaluator’s job begins in May each year and requires reading and evaluating ten titles over the summer.
  • Beginning in September, evaluators are expected to read the narrowed list of 50 titles before the annual meeting at the end of January.
  • Evaluators must attend the meeting at the end of January to participate in the creation of the list of 20 titles.

To obtain information on participating in the Evaluator’s Committee, please contact our Evaluators chairs, Michelle Goodwine and Ruth Gheysen at caudillevaluators@gmail.com


Any school in Illinois with students enrolled in any of the grades four through eight and agreeing to meet the requirements below may participate in the program.

Any public library in Illinois serving students in grades four through eight (from schools that are not registered to participate) and agreeing to meet the requirements below, may participate in the program.

  1. Register for the award by February 28th.
  2. Provide a minimum of 12 of the 20 titles on the Master List to the students of the school.
  3. Each child must have read or heard three books in order to be eligible to vote.
  4. Develop voting procedures. 
  5. Plan and conduct motivational activities.
  6. Provide eligible students with an opportunity to vote.
  7. Tally vote totals and report on this website no later than February 28th.