Abrahams, Peter

Reality Check (Winner)



QB of the varsity football team. Passing grades in all his classes. Dating the hottest - and smartest - girl at school. Summer job paying more than minimum wage. Things in Cody's world seem to be going pretty well. Until, that is, his girlfriend, Clea, is sent off to boarding school across the country, and a torn ACL ends his high school football career. But bad things come in threes - or in Cody's case, sixes and twelves - and the worst is yet to come.


Anderson, Laurie Halse

Speak (Nominee)



After Melinda goes through a traumatic and violent incident at a summer party, she calls the cops and becomes a social outcast. Her freshman year is a disaster. As time passes, she stops talking--except through her paintings in art class. Her healing process has just begun when her perpetrator attacks again. Only this time, she doesn't keep silent.



Arnold, Tedd

Rat Life (Winner)



The dead body found in the river has nothing to do with Todd. Sure, a murder is big news, but what would really interest him? A paying job. Then he meets Rat, who’s already been to Vietnam. And when he offers Todd a gig at the drive-in theater, Todd takes it. But hanging out with Rat leads to a host of perplexing questions. More and more, that corpse from the river is on Todd’s mind, and no matter how he shifts the pieces around, Rat is always part of the puzzle.


Beaufrand, Mary Jane

The River (Nominee)


Veronica Severance feels cut off from the world. Forced to move from the city to rural Oregon with her parents, she is haunted by loneliness and by the chilling sounds of the Santiam, the river that runs through her backyard.
Through the fog of isolation, Ronnie finds herself becoming close with Karen, a young girl who she babysits. But when she discovers Karen's body on the banks of the Santiam, the victim of a supposed accident, Ronnie feels compelled to uncover the truth.
As she becomes increasingly obsessed with solving Karen's death, Ronnie is led deeper and deeper into the woods surrounding the river and to the dark secret hidden within its midst.


Brooks, Kevin

The Road of the Dead (Nominee)



Ruben Ford, 14, feels things. When his sister is murdered on the English moors, he knows she's dead even though he's home in London. He and his brother, Cole, 17, are freakishly linked by Ruben's power to feel what Cole feels. The teens travel to Dartmoor to find Rachel's killer and bring her body home. They're received by a Dickensian assortment of sadistic thugs, greasy criminals, and corrupt cops, all hiding something. Brooks's feel for mood and setting is as masterful here as in his taut, noir Martyn Pig (Scholastic, 2002). A haunting, tense drama builds from the first line and only lets up for scenes of brutal, vivid violence that bring readers back down to earth.



Cappo, Nan Willard

Cheating Lessons (Nominee)



Bernadette Terrell has always known the right thing to do. Not the most popular girl in school, her focus has always been on academic, not social, success. When her favorite teacher names her to Wickham High School's state championship quiz bowl team, she believes that she has reached the pinnacle of her high school academic career. However, her elation quickly fades as she begins to suspect that perhaps someone cheated to get Wickham into the contest and is cheating still. In her search for answers, Bernadette must contend with a situation that isn't black and white, where a community's hope, hard work, and pride are on the line. Is a team -- and a school -- implicated by one person's behavior?


Cooney, Caroline B.

If the Witness Lied (Nominee)



Jack Fountain knows that what’s happened to his family sounds like the most horrible soap opera anyone could ever write. But it’s all true. It happened—to his parents; to his sisters, Smithy and Madison. And to his baby brother, Tris. What made it worse was that the media wanted to know every detail.
 Now it's almost Tris’ third birthday, and everything’s starting again. Aunt Cheryl, who’s living with the Fountain children, has decided that they will heal only if they work through their pain—on camera. It will be a field day for the media, and no one, except Cheryl, wants that. Jack and his sisters gear up to keep Tris’ adorable face off-screen, but they quickly realize that there is more at stake than their privacy. The very identities they’ve created for themselves are called into question. What really happened the day of their father’s accident?


Dowd, Siobhan

Bog Child (Nominee)



Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him, a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.


Feinstein, John

Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery (Winner)



Steven Thomas is one of two lucky winners of the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association's contest for aspiring journalists. His prize? A trip to New Orleans and a coveted press pass for the Final Four. It's a basketball junkie's dream come true! But the games going on behind the scenes between the coaches, the players, the media, the money-men, and the fans turn out to be even more fiercely competitive than those on the court. Steven and his fellow winner, Susan Carol Anderson, are nosing around the Superdome and overhear what sounds like a threat to throw the championship game. Now they have just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing one of MSU's star players . . . and why.


Ferguson, Alane

The Christopher Killer: A Forensic Mystery (Nominee)



As the daughter of a Colorado County coroner, seventeen-year old Cameryn Mahoney is no stranger to death. in fact, she’s always been fascinated by the science of it. so she’s thrilled to finally get some hands-on experience in forensics working as her father’s assistant. but Cammie is in for more than she bargained for when the second case that she attends turns out to be someone she knows—the latest victim of a serial killer known as the Christopher Killer. And if dealing with that isn’t hard enough, Cammie soon realizes that if she’s not careful, she might wind up as the killer’s next victim. 

YA FER Ferraiolo, Jack D.

The Big Splash (Nominee)



Matt Stevens is a seventh-grade Sam Spade who attends a middle school with an organized crime ring run by Vinny Biggs and his goons. Biggs traffics in forgeries, stolen exams, and candy, and has his competition regularly put in the "Outs" with humiliating water-pistol stains to the pants. A kid in the Outs is outcast for life—so when Nikki Fingers, Biggs's most-feared former hit woman, is taken down by an unseen assailant, Matt is hired by both her sister, Jenny, and Biggs himself to find the culprit.


Ford, John C.

The Morgue and Me (Nominee)



Christopher just needed a job to kill time the summer after high school graduation. He didn’t expect it to be in the morgue. Or that he would accidentally discover a murder cover-up. Or that his discovery would lead him to a full-blown investigation involving bribery, kidnappings, more murders . . . and his best friend. And he certainly could never have predicted that Tina—loud, insanely hot, ambitious newspaper reporter Tina—would be his partner. But all of that did happen. And Christopher’s life will never be the same.


Green,   John

Paper Towns (Winner)



Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.


Juby, Susan

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery (Nominee)



Meet Sherman Mack. Short. Nerdy. Amateur P.I. and prepared to do anything for Dini Trioli. Nobody knows who began it or when it became a tradition, but every girl at Harewood Tech fears being D-listed, a ritual that wipes her off the social map forever. When Sherman believes Dini is in danger of being D-listed, he snatches up his surveillance gear and launches a full-scale investigation to uncover who is responsible. Could it be the captain of the lacrosse team? The hottest girls in school, the Trophy Wives? Or maybe their boyfriends? One thing is for sure: Sherman Mack is on the case. And he's not giving up. Part comedy, part mystery, and with all of Juby's trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, Getting the Girl takes on one of the cruelest aspects of high school: how easy it is for an entire school to turn on someone, and how hard it can be to be the only one willing to fight back.


Konigsburg, E.L.

Silent to the Bone (Nominee)



Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened. Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell's wall of silence. But how can he prove Branwell didn't commit the unspeakable act of which he's accused -- when Branwell can't speak for himself?


McDonald, Joyce

Shades of Simon Gray (Nominee)



Simon Gray is the ideal teenager — smart, reliable, hardworking, trustworthy. Or is he? After Simon crashes his car into The Liberty Tree, another portrait starts to emerge. Soon an investigation has begun into computer hacking at Simon’s high school, for it seems tests are being printed out before they are given. Could Simon be involved? Simon, meanwhile, is in a coma — but is this another appearance that may be deceiving?


McNamee, Graham

Acceleration (Winner)



It’s a hot, hot summer, and in the depths of the Toronto Transit Authority’s Lost and Found, 17-year-old Duncan is cataloging lost things and sifting through accumulated junk. And between Jacob, the cranky old man who runs the place, and the endless dusty boxes overflowing with stuff no one will ever claim, Duncan’s just about had enough. Then he finds a little leather book. It’s a diary filled with the dark and dirty secrets of a twisted mind, a serial killer stalking his prey in the subway. And Duncan can’t make himself stop reading. What would you do with a book like that? How far would you go to catch a madman? And what if time was running out?



MacCready, Robin

Buried (Winner)



Careful planning and constant control is Claudine’s protection. Order is her weapon. She’s long buried her own needs and dreams to cover for her alcoholic mom. But when Mom suddenly disappears—another alcoholic binge? Seventeen-year-old Claudine finds herself all alone, and a much darker reality emerges from beneath years of angry denial and enabling behavior. And as the truth comes closer to the surface, Claudine must dig for the answers she’s always worked so hard to cover up.



Miller, Barnabas

7 Souls (Nominee)



Mary Shayne’s seventeenth birthday begins with her lying naked in a strange bed with the worst hangover she’s ever had. Turns out, that strange bed is in the display window of Crate & Barrel in Greenwich Village. Looking back, that just may be the highpoint of her day, since it’s the day Mary Shayne is killed. Once she dies, she comes back, again and again, reliving parts of her last day as seen through the eyes of other people. If Mary begins thinking, “who would want to kill me,” she ends up thinking, “who wouldn’t” as she discovers she’s not as well-loved as she thought.


Mitchell, Saundra

Shadowed Summer (Nominee)



Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared.
His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.
Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."
Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.
What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.


Myers, Walter Dean

Monster (Nominee)



"Monster" is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the "all clear" to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this innovative novel by Walter Dean Myers, the reader becomes both juror and witness during the trial of Steve's life. To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. Interspersed throughout his screenplay are journal writings that provide insight into Steve's life before the murder and his feelings about being held in prison during the trial.


Plum-Ucci, Carol

The Night My Sister Went Missing (Nominee)



A tiny pistol, passed from friend to friend at a party on an abandoned pier, suddenly fires—and Casey Carmody falls into the water below. Kurt, Casey’s older brother, endures a seemingly endless night at the police station while the coast guard searches for his sister and his friends are questioned, one by one. Was the gunfire accidental or deliberate? Or was the whole drama one of Casey’s practical jokes? And where is Casey—or her body—now? 


Plum-Ucci, Carol

The Body of Christopher Creed (Nominee)



Steepleton could have dealt with a runaway, a suicide, an abduction, or even a murder. Other towns survive them. But the thing about Chris Creed's disappearance is that he was just plain gone. Chris Creed grew up as the class freak --- the bullies' punching bag. After he vanished, the weirdness that had once surrounded him began spreading. It was as if a darkness reached out of his void to grab at the most normal, happy people --- like some twisted joke or demented form of justice. It tore the town apart.


Price, Charlie

The Interrogation of Gabriel James (Winner)



Eyewitness to two killings, fourteen-year-old Gabriel James relates the shocking story behind the murders in a police interrogation interspersed with flashbacks. Step by step, this Montana teenager traces his discovery of a link between a troubled classmate's disturbing home life and an outbreak of local crime. In the process, however, Gabriel becomes increasingly confused about his own culpability for the explosive events that have unfolded.


Priestly, Chris

Death and the Arrow (Nominee)



Fifteen-year-old Tom Marlowe, and the rest of London, is fascinated by a string of murders: People are being killed with arrows shot from above, and each victim has a “Death and Arrow” card with him. Danger and intrigue abound, especially when Tom’s friend, a young pickpocket, is also found murdered. But who would want to kill Will? To avenge his friend, Tom sets out with Dr. Harker, a family friend and retired adventurer, to discover who is behind these seemingly unsolvable murders. Unbeknownst to them, they’re caught up in a dangerous web of murder and deception that began years before in the American colonies with a massacre of the Mohawk tribe. A captivating and richly detailed historical novel, set in atmospheric 1715 London and the colonies, is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seat.


Sedgwick, Marcus

The Book of Dead Days (Nominee)



Set during the dead days between Christmas and New Year's in a crumbling, old, European-like city, this story is as dark as a winter's night, illuminated with flashes of shooting-star brilliance. Once an urchin, Boy now belongs to Valerian, a magician. Although the master treats the child poorly, Boy follows his orders dutifully; Valerian is all he has got. So when Valerian reveals that he has only a few days to live (a pact with the devil is coming due), Boy winds his way through the fetid stink of the city, following Valerian's mysterious and dangerous instructions in a race to save his master's life.


Vande Velde, Vivian

Never Trust a Dead Man (Winner)



Selwyn is brokenhearted when the beautiful Anora chooses to marry the awful-but-rich Farold. It’s bad enough when Farold beats him up in front of the villagers, but nothing prepares him for when Farold is found murdered. All accusing fingers point to Selwyn, who is promptly sealed in a burial cave with Farold’s corpse.
But they’re not alone in the cave. A witch appears with an offer of escape if Selwyn will be her servant. The witch brings Farold back from the dead in the form of a bat–too bad he doesn’t know who really killed him! There’s no choice left for Selwyn except to join forces with his worst enemy, a dead man, to find the real murderer.


Werlin, Nancy

Locked Inside (Nominee)



Marnie is tremendously wealthy, and tremendously alone. The 16-year-old daughter of a superstar who was killed years ago in a plane crash, Marnie refuses to take part in her oppressive boarding-school community. She would rather burrow away in the dark, comforting world of her favorite Internet adventure game--especially now that she has started chatting online with another player, an intriguing rogue who calls himself the Elf.
But closing herself off from the people around her doesn't mean she's safe, as Marnie soon discovers. Kidnapped, locked inside an empty basement cell, Marnie is forced to confront painful truths about herself and her famous mother, as she desperately tries to escape her jailer. Oh, how little her cyber-adventure game has prepared her for this real-life dungeon! And how she longs for just one more battle of wits with her mischievous Elf!


Werlin, Nancy

The Killer’s Cousin (Winner)



Guilt, murder, ghosts -- will David and Lily ever escape the past? Recently acquitted of accidently killing his girlfriend but still crucified with guilt, 17-year-old David has moved to Massachusetts to complete his senior year of high school. His aunt and uncle have offered him shelter. His attic apartment in their house is full of ghostly shadows at night, his aunt is cold, and his 11-year-old cousin Lily is hostile. As Lily's behaviour becomes more threatening towards him, David wonders what secrets lurk within Lily. The more he thinks about Lily, the more he is forced to deal with his own past. Is Lily a killer too?


Last Updated: 5/11/2012