The Bluestem Award is an Illinois Readers’ Choice Award for grades three through five. Named in honor of the Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch, Battle, and Rebecca Caudill lists. Twenty books are nominated each year, and children must read at least 4 of the books to be eligible to vote. The vote is taken towards the end of
February and the results are announced in mid-March.