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  • 2009 Winner

    Thirteen Reasons Why
    By Jay Asher
    The story takes place after the suicide of a teenage girl and takes the unique perspective of the girl. Hannah’s story is revealed in tapes she has recorded that are sent to the thirteen young people who have influenced her actions. Narrated by Clay Jenson, one of the thirteen, teens will be challenged to consider the effect of their own actions and words on others.
    The Hunger Games
    By Suzanne Collins

    The story is set in a futuristic America. A boy and girl from each of 12 provinces are chosen lottery style each year to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised reality show where only 1 will emerge alive to earn wealth and extra food for their providence. When 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen's little sister is selected, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. This is the story of her struggle to survive. The first in the series, The Hunger Games is followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Collins is also the author of the award winning series,
    The Underland Chronicles.
    By Kristin Cashore 

    In the Seven Kingdoms, Gracelings have special skills. Katsa’s is a gift for killing, which her uncle, the king, exploits for his own purposes. Secretly, she has formed the Council to use her skills to right wrongs in the kingdom. While on a Council mission, she meets Po, also a Graceling and a prince from a neighboring kingdom, and together they go on a dangerous quest involving secrets, greed, and kidnapping.


    Maze Runner
    By James Dashner

    Thomas awakes in the middle of a maze, with no memory. The other boys have been searching for a way out for two years, and when the first girl to ever arrive bears a strange message, time is running out. Thomas realizes he may hold the answer, if he can ever access his memory.

    By Veronica Roth 

    In this dystopian society, each person is forced to join one of  five factions, determined by taking a personality test. Sixteen year old Beatrice "Tris" Prior chooses the physically daring Dauntless faction, and embarks on a grueling initiation reminiscent of "The Hunger Games."  Meanwhile, Tris must keep secret that she is actually a Divergent, a misfit, who would be targeted for death by the dangerous ruling class.

    The Fault in Our Stars
    by John Green

    After struggling with terminal cancer for three years, sixteen-year-old Hazel Lancaster prefers books to people, and lives her life in the gray area between sickness and health. After being forced by her parents to attend a Cancer Kids Support Group, she meets Augustus Waters and must face her fear of letting people in.
    Elanore and Park 
    by Rainbow Rowell
    Eleanor is the new girl at school and bullied because she's overweight and dresses in a flamboyant manner. Park is a half-Korean boy who has lived in Omaha, Nebraska, all his life but still feels like an outsider.  This is a story of first love, which very slowly builds from the first day Eleanor sits next to Park on the school bus.  First they ignore each other, and then they slowly become friends through their love of comic books and 1980s alternative music.  Eleanor’s home life is miserable. Park adores everything about Eleanor, and she finds refuge at his house after school with his understanding parents. Things finally explode at Eleanor's house and Eleanor and Park's relationship is truly tested.  Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

    The Program
    By Suzanne Young

    Teen suicide is an international epidemic, and the adults are bound to stop it through participation in the Program, a treatment facility where memories are erased. Sloan and James are two teens confident that their passion will overcome depression, yet the handlers from the Program seem to have their eyes on the teens’ every move. Will their love survive the Program?
     All American Boys
    By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
    In this painful and all-too-timely book, two authors--one black, one white--present a story of police brutality.  Rashad is the innocent victim of a police beating.  Quinn is a horrified witness.  The  book moves quickly, starting on a Friday night with the boys--classmates who don't know each other--preparing for a party, and ending with a social media-inspired protest march one week later.  For Rashad, the week means facing the physical and mental effects of what has happened, including a father who initially assumes that Rashad is guilty.  For fatherless Quinn, the struggle comes from the fact that the policeman involved in the beating is not only the other brother of a close friend, but also a father figure.  The scenario has become a recurrent feature of news reports.  This book lets readers think it through outside of the roiling emotions of a real life event.   
    2018 Award Winner
    Salt to the Sea
    by Ruta Sepetys
    The paths of four teenagers from different homelands converge during their escape from the violence of WWII.  Follow their journey in this rich historical fiction novel as it retells one of the greatest and least known maritime tragedies of this time through the eyes of these diverse characters. 
    Clayton, Dhonielle. The Belles. Disney-Hyperion, 2018.
    In the extravagant world of Orleans, where everyone is born gray, beauty is life and life is beauty. Only a select group of young women called the Belles can bring the citizens what they desire with their magical powers to transform anyone and make them beautiful. Camellia Beauregard was born for her role as a Belle and is destined to become the Queen’s favorite, but all is not as lovely as it seems. Politics, jealousy and deception threaten the Belles and the whole way of life in Orleans. What is the true nature of the Belles’ powers? Is Orleans worth saving? Will Camellia find her inner strength in time to save her world as she knows it?
    Levenseller, Tricia. Daughter of the Pirate King. Feiwel & Friends, 2017.
    Alosa, the daughter of the Pirate King and a Siren, is a fierce pirate princess who isn’t intimidated by anyone except her father. When he sends her on a mission to find an ancient map, she purposely gets kidnapped by an enemy ship so she will have ample time for her search. Alosa is clever and manipulative but may have met her match in Riden, the attractive and equally deceptive first mate. When her search comes up empty, Alosa resorts to using her secret power, but will she find what she is looking for before it is too late?
    Gray, Claudia. Defy the Stars. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017.
    Noemi Vidal, a soldier fighting for the survival of her planet, Genesis, knows what it means to sacrifice one’s life. Abel is a machine, lost and isolated in space for 30 years. His advanced programming is evolving and his only goal is to be found so he can reunite with his creator. Noemi’s path crosses Abel’s when she is forced to board his ship. Enemies to one another, they are thrown on an interstellar path where loyalties are questioned, and bonds are forged.
    Zentner, Jeff. Goodbye Days. Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017.
    Carver’s three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake, are gone – they were killed in a car crash just after Carver sent a text message to the driver. Not only is he dealing with his own guilt over the accident, but he’s trying to reconstruct his life without his friends while surrounded by people who blame him for their deaths. Blake’s grandmother introduces Carver to the idea of Goodbye Days. But when the other families start asking to spend Goodbye Days with Carver, he is skeptical. Do they want to seek revenge or are they all just looking for a way to cope and make peace? Will the Goodbye Days help him forgive himself or will he end up institutionalized, incarcerated, or dead himself?
    Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. Balzer + Bray, 2017.
    Starr Carter is a typical 16-year old who’s just trying to navigate family, friends and school. She has been managing to fit in at her fancy suburban prep school where most of the students don’t even know that she comes from the neighboring ghetto of Garden Heights, but fitting in means straddling two worlds. Starr’s worlds collide one fateful night when she accepts a ride home from a party from her childhood friend, Khalil, and they are pulled over by police. Khalil, who is unarmed, is shot and killed by the police officer. The incident becomes a national headline and suddenly Starr is faced with finding her voice, even if it means upsetting her friends and throwing her community into chaos. Can one person’s voice make a difference?
    Brennan, Sarah Rees. In Other Lands. Big Mouth House, 2017.
    Elliot is smart, obnoxiously so, and has always wanted to see a mermaid. When he goes on a field trip with his class and is the only one who can see a wall, he does the logical thing; climbs over it. Elliot finds himself in the Borderlands, a place where technological devices explode and harpies and elves are abundant. Elliot falls in love with one such elf, Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, and as such must also suffer the company of her human friend, sunny and lovable Luke. Though classes are mostly focused on battle training, Elliot manages to find a world of exotic books. Pairing his brain with his friends' brawn, he might be able to improve his new home in the Borderlands.
    Graudin, Ryan. Invictus. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017.
    Farway has always dreamed of becoming a time traveler like his mother, but those hopes are shattered when he fails his final exam and is expelled from the Corps, obliterating his chances of working on a Central Time Machine. He is despairing his fate when a letter arrives offering him a second chance as the captain of a crew for a black market operation that travels through time to steal valuable historical artifacts. When an odd girl named Eliot shows up during a routine heist, she shakes things up with secrets that could change everything. Can Farway and his crew save the universe from a mysterious threat before it’s too late?
    Kemmerer, Brigid. Letters to the Lost. Bloomsbury, 2017.
    Juliet Young and Declan Murphy don’t travel in the same circles. Juliet is an AP student who once loved photography but hasn’t picked up a camera since her mother, a famous photojournalist, was killed in car accident. Declan is a barely passing student who has been court-ordered to clean the cemetery after a drunk driving accident. When he finds a letter Juliet has left on her mother’s grave, he is intrigued and writes back. Both enraged and curious, Juliet responds and an unusual correspondence begins. While Juliet and Declan’s real-life encounters are anything but pleasant, their letters demonstrate a shared understanding of one another’s pain. Is it possible for their connection to survive when their identities are revealed, or will the truth drive them apart?
    Roe, Robin. A List of Cages. Disney-Hyperion, 2017.
    Adam is pleased to discover that his former foster brother goes to his high school. Julian, now fourteen, lived with Adam's family after his parents died in a car accident and Adam has always thought of him protectively as a younger brother. Adam wants to include him in activities with his friends, but Julian has changed. He's withdrawn and secretive. Something's strange, too, about the way his uncle showed up to claim him from foster care and the way Julian just disappeared. When Julian disappears again, Adam wants to know why. He tracks Julian down, but the truth can be dangerous and far creepier than Adam ever imagined.
    Ahmed, Samira. Love, Hate & Other Filters. Soho Press, 2018. 
    Seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz wants nothing more in the world than to graduate and move to New York City and go to film school. And maybe to spend her senior year dating Phil, a boy she has known forever who may finally be noticing her. The only issue is that as a Muslim and an Indian-American, her parents have a different set of expectations for her. They expect her to attend college close to home and date a suitable Muslim boy who she can eventually marry. Maya is struggling to find a way to make them understand that she needs to follow her dreams when suddenly her disagreement with her parents is insignificant. A terrorist attack takes place in the United States. It stokes the fires of racism and fear in her community and causes Maya to face the ugliness in the world and find inner strength. Does she dare to dream about her own future when she needs to worry about the safety of her family?
    Larbalestier, Justine. My Sister Rosa. Allen & Unwin, 2016.
    Che, a smart, charming, and handsome boxer in training, is funny, kind, and caring. His pretty little sister Rosa only pretends to be those things, as her fake smile and adorable dimples hide the fact that she fits the profile of a budding psychopath. As Che tries to balance being in a new country, a love interest, finding new friends and missing old ones, he also is losing hope that his parents will ever see Rosa the way he does. Although he loves his sister, he recognizes that she is terrifyingly good at deception, and feels it’s only a matter of time before she hurts someone – or worse. Still, Che feels it’s his duty to protect his sister, even though it’s more likely that the world needs protection from her.
    Barr, Emily. The One Memory of Flora Banks. Philomel (Random Penguin House), 2017.
    Flora Banks has no short-term memory thanks to a tumor that was removed from her brain when she was ten years old. Flora is used to losing her memories until she kisses her best friend's boyfriend, and that's the one new memory that sticks. Flora is convinced that there must be something powerful between her and Drake, so she decides to fly to Norway to reunite with him and see if his love can heal her. Will seeing Drake again heal her mind, or will more mysteries be revealed?
    Elston, Ashley. This Is Our Story. Disney-Hyperion, 2016.
    "A ten-point buck and a dead body make the same sound when they hit the forest floor." The opening line of this page turner introduces the mystery of the River Point Boys. Five boys go hunting. Only four come back. The boys won't say who fired the shot that killed their friend. The evidence shows it could have been any one of them and their vow to stick to “their story” almost destroys them all. Kate Marino is spending her senior year interning at the DA’s office. When her boss is handed the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen, she is determined to do her part to solve the crime. As the mystery unravels, personal and political secrets of small town life are revealed.
    Pon, Cindy. Want. Simon Pulse, 2017.
    In near-future Taipei, the air is so polluted that the poor are suffering and dying while the rich wear suits filled with purified air. Jason Zhou is devastated by the loss of his mother who died due to the pollution and becomes determined to change things. Jason and his friends discover that the Jin Corporation is most likely the cause of the pollution. They come up with a plan to save their city--Jason will infiltrate the company to discover its secrets. However, his involvement with Jin daughter's, Daiyu, and the information he discovers puts him and his allies at risk.
    Buxbaum, Julie. What to Say Next. Delacourte, 2017.
    At first glance, Kit Lowell and David Drucker have little in common. Kit is a pretty and popular while David, who describes himself as having a “borderline case of Asberger’s” has no close friends. However, when Kit’s friends don’t understand why she can’t move past her grief over her Dad’s recent death, Kit impulsively takes a seat beside David in the cafeteria and an unexpected friendship is born. Kit appreciates that David always tell her the truth (whether she wants to hear it or not) while David admires Kit’s beauty and kindness. Gradually, they find out that friendship and maybe even love can be found in the most unlikely situations. 
Last Modified on August 25, 2018