Maryland Black-Eyed Susan nominees are released


Courtesy of Andrew Chan

A photo of the Black Eyed Susan voting party at WCHS.

By Andrew Chan, Sports Editor

Typically, students have to search long and hard just to find a decent book. But imagine if there was a list with the best books of the year specifically tailored for high schoolers. Such a list exists, and it is called the Black Eyed Susan novels list.

Each year, a group of librarians choose several novels and nominate them to become a part of the Black Eyed Susan novels list. This year, the list includes some titles such as The Rains, The Radius of Us and Goodbye Days. The program itself is designed to decide which books were the most impactful among Md. high schoolers. At WCHS, many students have been participating in this unique program.

Students all across the state of Maryland read the books and then vote for the book they think is the best,” WCHS Media Specialist Paige Pagley said.

The books are selected early in the year, so the students can begin reading as soon as school starts. These books are usually fiction and are extremely popular among those who read them.

“I enjoy reading the Black Eyed Susan novels because they are picked by librarians, so they are always interesting,” sophomore Zoe Schaap said.

The main purpose of the Black Eyed Susan program is to encourage more reading among high schoolers and engage students in the literary world.

“We hope it gets students reading and enjoying the journey and experience of reading,” Pagley said.

This is not all the program does. Students are able to voice their own opinions and choose what they like. A refreshing change from awards that are normally chosen by adults.

“The BES award is the only award I know of where teens are saying which book is best for teens, rather than adults saying it,” Pagley said.

The staff involved with the program find it to be beneficial and a great way for WCHS students to express themselves.

“I really like the BES program because it gives students a voice on what they think is best for them,” Pagley said.

WCHS Students also find the program interesting and interactive. Each student who participates gains something new.

“I like taking part in the program because it introduces new topics and great books to me,” sophomore Maddi Bell said.

The voting itself occurred after spring break and happened at a party held at WCHS Apr. 25. The party is an annual tradition and a reward for participants. It offers the chance for the students to meet other readers and vote on the book they think deserves the Black Eyed Susan award. Although the program has followed a similar pattern each year, the WCHS staff members are always open to a change.

“There are many ways to run a BES program,” Pagley said. “We always welcome student ideas on how to enhance the program here at WCHS.”