2013 Sakura Medal Books

What is the Sakura Medal?

Polly Dunbar and the Sakura Medal

2009 Picture Book Winner for “Penguin” Polly Dunbar and the Sakura Medal

The Sakura Medal program brings together students from international schools across Japan each year to vote for their favourite books.

Each year, librarians from various international schools meet and select 25-30 books in each of the Sakura Medal categories (Picture Books, Chapter Books, Middle School, High School, Japanese Picture Books, Japanese Chapter Books, Japanese Middle School, and Japanese High School).  Books are chosen that are no more than two years old and that are from a variety of backgrounds and across a wide range of reading abilities.

Students who read five books (four for Middle School and three for High School books) in any category will be eligible to vote for their favourite.  Votes will then be tallied across all participating schools and the winning author in each category will receive a Sakura Medal.  While staff and parents are encouraged to participate, voting is only open to students. The deadline for voting will vary for each participating school, so please contact your library for details.

While all are welcome to comment on any of the books on this site, we reserve the right to not publish or remove any offensive, off-topic, or unnecessary comments.

Sakura in blossom (photo ©Brian Farrell)

Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossoms, which are celebrated in Japan each year as a sign of spring.

This site is maintained by the Tokyo Korean School Library.

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22 thoughts on “What is the Sakura Medal?

  1. The Books Dogku, Priceless Gifts, Sarah’s Little Ghosts, Psst! and Henry’s Freedom Box were nice.

  2. I read all five of these books in one sitting, because they were so nice.

  3. I think that the Peasant Prince is very good.

  4. What do other people think?

  5. Whoever selected my book for the high school list – a big thank you! 🙂


  6. Pingback: Sakura Medal reading programme | YIS English Department

  7. Thank you so much for including my book The Were-Nana in your picture book list. I feel very honoured 🙂

  8. Thank you for choosing my book, A Ghost in My Suitcase as one of the finalists for the Sakura Medal. Wow. I am so honoured.
    Gabrielle x

  9. Many thanks for nominating The Bored Book!


  10. Hi Sakura Medal friends,

    Thanks for nominating my book, FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE. It’s an honor, and I hope your students enjoy it!

    All best,

    Allen Zadoff
    Los Angeles, CA

  11. Thank you so much for nominating “Tracey Binns is Trouble”. I feel very honoured, and so does Tracey!

  12. Belated thanks for nominating Crazy Beautiful! I just learned of this yesterday and am very grateful.

  13. I love that book it is very fun


  14. Me-wow! Won Ton and I are honored to be nominated for the Sakura medal. Best fishes and warmest purrs,
    Ms. Lee Wardlaw
    Won Ton – A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

  15. Thank you for including my book, The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, for this wonderful award. I am honored!

  16. So very happy to have Tussock nominated! What an amazing honor. Thanks so much and I love the trailer… totally cool.

  17. Kudos on another guide that’s well researched. Well done!

  18. Pingback: Sakura Medal Book Trailers | Learning Hub ES

  19. Pingback: The Art of Secrets: a book review - Jared Pangier

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