Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award

The Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award was established by the Arkansas Elementary School Council in 1998 to encourage reading for students in Grades K-3. The name of the award reflects that Arkansas is the only diamond producing state.

2019-2020 Award Delayed

Due to the pandemic, voting on the 2020 reading list is postponed until this fall to allow more students to participate.

All schools and public libraries will be notified once schools are back in session and plans for the new vote are in place. Online ballots and school tabulation sheets will be available at that time.

Schools may direct questions about the voting process to Cassandra Barnett at the Arkansas Department of Education.

Reading Selection & Awards Process

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), the Arkansas State Library, and the Arkansas Reading Association are pleased to announce the annual selection process for the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award.

Titles are selected by the reading committee per established guidelines. Anyone interested in serving on the reading committee can contact Ruth Hyatt at for more information.

The Arkansas Diamond Award winner is selected by an annual vote. Children in Grades K-3 must have read at least three of the titles from the annual reading list and may vote for one title. Student voting takes place in May each year.


The Diamond Primary Book Award winner is selected in April by students in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. Children in Grades K-3 must have read or been read at least three of the books from the annual selection list in order to vote. Children may vote for only one title.

Students at participating schools are encouraged to read the books on the annual selection list, and teachers and library media specialists to select some titles to read aloud in class.

Due to the age group involved, the reading committee suggests that teachers and media specialists devise a plan to help children to vote on books that are read to children. Teachers may read all of the books to the children over a condensed period and then have the children vote. Books can be read to the children over an extended period of time, but a review the books read may be necessary before voting, as young children may forget books read at the beginning of the year.

For more information about the program, contact: