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Free Spirit Awards
And the winner is . . .
Free Spirit books have garnered recognition, kudos, and “way to go’s” from respected organizations around the country. Here is a list of our recent accolades.

  New Awards

Advancing Differentiation
Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century
Richard M. Cash, Ed.D. 
  • AEP Distinguished Achievement Award Finalist



Going Blue
A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands
Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A.Philippe Cousteau, and EarthEcho International 
  • Nautilus Gold Award winner in the Middle Grade & Teen Nonfiction category 
  • ForeWord Book of the Year Award Winner, ForeWord Magazine
  • Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family 
  • 100 Best Children’s Products—Dr. Toy
  • 10 Best Socially Responsible Products—Dr. Toy



How to Talk to an Autistic Kid
Daniel Stefanski 
  • ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Award Winner
  • Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family
  • Books for a Better Life Awards finalist
  • Best of the Best 2012—Chicago Public Library



I’m Like You, You’re Like Me (hardcover)
A Book About Understanding and Appreciating Each Other
Cindy Gainer and illustrated by Miki Sakamoto 
  • Nautilus Silver Award winner



Mealtime
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



On-the-Go Time
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award




  Previous Awards

26 Big Things Small Hands Do
Coleen Paratore and illustrated by Mike Reed 

Awards for the hardcover version:

  • Creative Child Magazine “Top Creative Toy Award”, Winner
  • National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA) Children’s Resources, Honor Award
  • iParenting Media Awards Holiday Call Winner
  • Creative Child magazine's Seal of Excellence
  • National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA) Honor Award



Be the Boss of Your Pain
Self-Care for Kids
Timothy Culbert, M.D., and Rebecca Kajander C.P.N.P., M.P.H. 

Awards for the Be the Boss of Your Body Series:

  • Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products
  • Mom’s Choice Award



Be the Boss of Your Stress
Self-Care for Kids
Timothy Culbert, M.D., and Rebecca Kajander C.P.N.P., M.P.H. 

Awards for the Be the Boss of Your Body Series:

  • Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products
  • Mom’s Choice Award

Awards for Be the Boss of Your Stress:

  • National Parenting Publication (NAPPA) Award



Be Confident in Who You Are
Middle School Confidential™ Series
Annie Fox, M.Ed., and illustrated by Matt Kindt 
  • Learning and Laughter Favorite Educational Product Award Winner
  • Kidlutions Preferred Product Award (PPA)
  •  Parental Wisdom's Good Parenting Seal



Be Fit, Be Strong, Be You
Rebecca Kajander C.P.N.P., M.P.H., and Timothy Culbert, M.D. 
  • Midwest Book Award
  • iParenting Media Outstanding Product Award



Be Polite and Kind
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



Bedtime
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



Building Everyday Leadership in All Teens
Promoting Attitudes and Actions for Respect and Success
(Curriculum Guide for Teachers and Youthworkers)

Mariam G. MacGregor, M.S. 
  • Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards



Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain
Trevor Romain 
  • Read, America! Selection



Bye-Bye Time
Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • iParenting Outstanding Products Award
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



Calm-Down Time
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award
  • Gold Mom’s Choice Award® Winner



Clean-Up Time
Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



The Complete Guide to Service Learning
Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action (Revised & Updated Second Edition)
Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A. 

Awards for the previous edition:

  • Seal of Excellence, Council for Service-Learning



The Courage to Be Yourself
True Stories by Teens About Cliques, Conflicts, and Overcoming Peer Pressure
Edited by Al Desetta, M.A., and Educators for Social Responsibility 
  • ForeWord Book of the Year Award, Finalist



Diapers Are Not Forever Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • 100 Best Children’s Products—Dr. Toy



Dude, That’s Rude!
(Get Some Manners)
Pamela EspelandElizabeth Verdick, and illustrated by Steve Mark 
  • iParenting Media Award Winner: Excellent Product



Everyday Leadership
Attitudes and Actions for Respect and Success
Guidebook for Teens

Mariam G. MacGregor, M.S. 
  • Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards



Feet Are Not for Kicking Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Award
  • Creative Child magazine's Seal of Excellence
  • Read, America! Selection
  • Dr. Toy's Smart Play/Smart Toy Products Winner



GLBTQ
The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens
Revised & Updated Second Edition

Kelly Huegel 

Awards for the previous edition:

  • Independent Publisher Book Awards Winner
  • Benjamin Franklin Book Awards Winner
  • ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist, Foreword Magazine
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • ALA/YALSA “Popular Paperback for Young Adults”, Selected



A Gebra Named Al
A Novel
Wendy Isdell 
  • A “Children’s Books Mean Business” Selection, American Booksellers Assn.
  • Best Children’s Book Award of Merit, Midwest Independent Publishers Assn.

     




Germs Are Not for Sharing
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Midwest Book Awards: First Place
  • Dr. Toy Smart Play/Smart Toy Product of Excellence Award



Germs Are Not for Sharing Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • MIPA Midwest Book Award—Children
  • Mom’s Choice Award Finalist—Children’s Book–Educational



Get Organized Without Losing It
Janet S. Fox 
  • Midwest Book Awards: Merit Award
  • National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA)



The Gifted Teen Survival Guide
Smart, Sharp, and Ready for (Almost) Anything (Revised & Updated 4th Edition)
Judy Galbraith, M.A., and Jim Delisle 
  • Read, America! Selection



Hands Are Not for Hitting
Revised & Updated Edition
Martine Agassi, Ph.D., and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Parent Council®  Selection
  • Parents' Choice Approved



Hands Are Not for Hitting Board Book
Martine Agassi, Ph.D., and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially Responsible Products
  • Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Special Needs Award
  • Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Winner
  • iParenting Media Award Winner
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
  • Read, America! Selection 
  • Midwest Independent Publisher Award



How Rude!®
The Teenagers’ Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out
Alex J. Packer, Ph.D. 
  • ALA/YALSA “Popular Paperback for Young Adults”
  • Book for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • ALA/YALSA “Quick Pick”

     




How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up
Trevor Romain 
  • Read, America! Selection

     




How to Take the GRRRR Out of Anger
Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis 
  • National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA)
  • Children's Resources Honors Award



I Can Play It Safe
Alison Feigh and illustrated by Laura Logan 
  • iParenting Greatest Products Award
  • Gold Mom's Choice Award® winner in the Children's Picture Books-Growing Up category



I Like Being Me
Poems for Children About Feeling Special, Appreciating Others, and Getting Along
Judy Lalli, M.S., and Photographs by Douglas L. Mason-Fry 
  • Parent Council® Selection

     




Join In and Play
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



The Kids’ Guide to Working Out Conflicts
How to Keep Cool, Stay Safe, and Get Along
Naomi Drew, M.A. 
  • iParenting Media Awards, Winner
  • Honor Award, Skipping Stones Multicultural Magazine, Winner
  • Nautilus Book Awards, Finalist
  • National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA) Children’s Resources Winner



The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects
Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference (Updated 2nd Edition)
Barbara A. Lewis 
  • VOYA Nonfiction Honor List

Awards for the First Edition:

  • Endorsed by Youth Service America
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • Notable Children's Trade Books—The Children's Book Council



A Leader's Guide to The Adding Assets Series for Kids
Book with CD-ROM
Activities and Strategies for Positive Youth Development
Ann Redpath, Ed.D.Pamela Espeland, and Elizabeth Verdick 
  • Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards



Listen and Learn
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



Listening Time
Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



Making Differentiation a Habit
How to Ensure Success in Academically Diverse Classrooms
Diane Heacox, Ed.D. 
  • AEP Distinguished Achievement Award, Professional Development



Manners Time
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



Moving Past Perfect
How Perfectionism May Be Holding Back Your Kids (and You!) and What You Can Do About It
Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D. 
  • National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA) Parenting Resources Gold Award
  • Parents’ Choice® Approved Award Winner



Naptime
Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Book of the Year Award



The New Bully Free Classroom®
Proven Prevention and Intervention Strategies for Teachers K–8 (Revised & Updated 3rd Edition)
Allan L. Beane, Ph.D. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award
  • Parent Council® Selection



Pacifiers Are Not Forever Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Preferred Choice Award, Creative Child Magazine
  • GOLD Mom’s Choice Award, Children’s Picture Books/Growing Up Category



The Power to Prevent Suicide (Updated Edition)
A Guide for Teens Helping Teens
Richard E. Nelson, Ph.D.Judith C. Galas, and new foreword by Bev Cobain, R.N.,C. 
  • Book for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • ALA/YALSA “Recommended Book”



Reach Out and Give
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Winner, Carol D. Reiser Book Award



Ready for Bed!
A Tale of Cleaning Up, Tucking In, and Hardly Any Complaining
Stacey R. Kaye, MMR, and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba 
  • Gold Mom's Choice Award® winner in the Children's Picture Books—Growing Up category
  • "Top Ten New Sleep Products for Kids"ButYouDontLookSick.com



Ready for the Day!
A Tale of Teamwork and Toast, and Hardly Any Foot-Dragging
Stacey R. Kaye, MMR, and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba 
  • Gold Mom's Choice Award® winner in the Children's Picture Books—Growing Up category
  • iParenting Media Awards Outstanding Product



Real Friends vs. the Other Kind
Middle School Confidential™ Series
Annie Fox, M.Ed., and illustrated by Matt Kindt 
  • Learning and Laughter Favorite Educational Product Award Winner
  • Kidlutions Preferred Product Award (PPA)



Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change
Courageous Actions Around the World
Garth Sundem 
  • iParenting Media Awards Best Product (Awarded for previous title, The Doggy Dung Disaster)



Respect
A Girl's Guide to Getting Respect and Dealing When Your Line Is Crossed
Courtney Macavinta and Andrea Vander Pluym 
  • iParenting Media Awards Greatest Products, Winner
  • ForeWord Book of the Year Awards, Finalist



Share and Take Turns
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



Sharing Time
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award



Speak Up and Get Along!
Learn the Mighty Might, Thought Chop, and More Tools to Make Friends, Stop Teasing, and Feel Good About Yourself
Scott Cooper 
  • Read, America!, Selection



Stick Up for Yourself!
Every Kid’s Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem (Revised and Updated Edition)
Gershen Kaufman, Ph.D.Lev Raphael, Ph.D., and Pamela Espeland 
  • National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval
  • Parent Council®Selection



Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves!
Trevor Romain and Elizabeth Verdick 
  • Parent Council® Selection

     




The Survival Guide for Kids with LD (Learning Differences)
(Revised and Updated Edition)
Gary Fisher, Ph.D., and Rhoda Cummings, Ed.D. 
  • ALA’s Top 20 LD Resources for Libraries List



Tails Are Not for Pulling
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award, Winner



Tails Are Not for Pulling Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products, Winner
  • Dr. Toy's 100 Best Products winner
  • ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award, Winner
  • Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially Responsible Products, Winner
  • iParenting Media Awards Greatest Products, Winner
  • Read, America!, selection



Teaching Beyond the Test
Differentiated Project-Based Learning in a Standards-Based Age, Grades 6 & Up
Phil Schlemmer, M.Ed., and Dori Schlemmer 
  • Distinguished Achievement Award for Differentiated Instruction/Professional Development/Adult from the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP)



Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom
Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use
(Revised & Updated 3rd Edition)

Susan Winebrenner, M.S., and Dina Brulles, Ph.D. 
  • Learning Magazine's Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



Teaching Kids with Mental Health & Learning Disorders in the Regular Classroom
How to Recognize, Understand, and Help Challenged (and Challenging) Students Succeed
Myles L. Cooley Ph.D. 
  • AEP Distinguised Achievement Awards Finalist



Teambuilding with Teens
Activities for Leadership, Decision Making, & Group Success
Mariam G. MacGregor, M.S. 
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, Curriculum/Teaching Resources/Activity Books category—The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP)



The Teen Guide to Global Action
How to Connect with Others (Near and Far) to Create Social Change
Barbara A. Lewis 
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Selection
  • Winner, VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award



Teeth Are Not for Biting Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and Illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially Responsible Products
  • Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Award
  • Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Winner



They Broke the Law—You Be the Judge
True Cases of Teen Crime
Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D. 
  • ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards Finalist
  • ALA/YALSA “Quick Picks for the Reluctant Young Adult Reader”, Winner
  • ALA/YALSA “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults”, Selected



Too Old for This, Too Young for That!
Your Survival Guide for the Middle School Years (Updated 2nd Edition)
Harriet S. Mosatche, Ph.D., and Karen Unger, M.A. 
  • Parent Council®  Selection
  • National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) “Parenting Resources Award”



Treasure Hunt for Primary Ages In a Jar®
  • Dr. Toy Best Vacation Children’s Product



Understand and Care
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



What Are My Rights?
Q&A About Teens and the Law (Revised & Updated Third Edition)
Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D. 
  • ALA/YALSA “Quick Pick”
  • Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
  • ALA/YALSA “Popular Paperback for Young Adults”



What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies?
Trevor Romain 
  • Parent Council® Selection



What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough
The Real Deal on Perfectionism: A Guide for Kids
Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D. 
  • ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards Finalist



What to Do When You're Scared & Worried
A Guide for Kids
James J. Crist, Ph.D. 
  • iParenting Media Awards Winner



What’s Up with My Family?
Middle School Confidential™ Series
Annie Fox, M.Ed., and illustrated by Matt Kindt 
  • Learning and Laughter Favorite Educational Product Award Winner



When a Friend Dies
Revised & Updated Edition
Marilyn E. Gootman, Ed.D. 
  • Recommended Books for the Reluctant YA Reader--American Library Association
  • Books for the Teen Age--New York Public Library
  • ALA/YALSA “Quick Pick”



When I Feel Afraid
Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. 
  • Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist



When Nothing Matters Anymore (Revised & Updated Edition)
A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens
Bev Cobain, R.N.,C. 
  • Suicide Prevention Voices of Education (SA\VE) Reading List selection



Words Are Not for Hurting Board Book
Elizabeth Verdick and Illustrated by Marieka Heinlen 
  • Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Winner
  • iParenting Media Awards “Hottest Products”
  • The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval Winner
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Book Award Winner



Special Savings! Set of 8 Adding Assets Books
Pamela Espeland and Elizabeth Verdick 

The Free Spirit Adding Assets Series for Kids: Student Books

  • Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards