Location

Author

Title

Year

YA ALE

Alexander, William

Goblin Secrets (Winner)

2012

 

Rownie is a street urchin, one of several adopted "grandchildren" of Graba, a Fagin-like old woman who unofficially rules the southside of Zombay. Ever since Rownie's big brother Rowan disappeared, he's been sticking with Graba in hopes that she will be able to locate Rowan. Rownie eventually falls in with a group of goblins who run a traveling theatrical troupe -- Rowan was an aspiring actor, even though acting is illegal in Zombay, so perhaps Rownie will be able to locate his brother in that world. Many adventures ensue as Rownie tries to evade Graba's clutches and locate his brother, all in the face of rising floods that threaten to destroy Zombay and all who live there.

YA AND

Anderson, Laurie Halse

Chains (Finalist)

2008

 

If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.

YA ARC

Arcos, Carrie

Out of Reach (Finalist)

2012

 

How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found?

Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.
With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

YA BAC

Bacigalupi, Paolo

Ship Breaker (Finalist)

2010

 

In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life...

YA BIL

Billingsley, Franny

Chime (Finalist)

2011

 

Since her stepmother's recent death, 17-year-old Briony Larkin knows that if she can keep two secrets--that she is a witch and that she is responsible for the accident that left Rose, her identical twin, mentally compromised--and remember to hate herself always, no other harm will befall her family in their Swampsea parsonage at the beginning of the twentieth century. The arrival of Mr. Clayborne, a city engineer, and his university-dropout son, Eldric, makes Briony's task difficult. Clayborne's plan to drain the swamp has made the Old Ones unhappy, particularly the Boggy Mun, who has plagued the village's children with swamp cough in retaliation. When Rose's lingering illness turns into a cough, Briony knows that she must do whatever it takes, even revealing her secrets, to save her sister. While thwarting the advances of an arsenic-addicted suitor, Briony must also deny her feelings for Eldric, even as he helps her solve the puzzle that has become her life.

YA BLU

Blundell, Judy

What I Saw and How I Lied (Winner)

2008

 

When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him...until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.

As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is...who?

YA DUE

Duey, Kathleen

Skin Hunger (Finalist)

2007

 

When her bitter father dies, Sadima, a young woman who can communicate with animals, keeps house for two renegade magicians at a time when magic has been outlawed. Her experiences, which include learning to read and falling in love, alternate with those of Hahp, born generations after Sadima. Exiled by his wealthy, disapproving father, he attends a school of wizardry where, among other unpleasantness, students are starved to death if they can't conjure up food.

YA EDW

Edwardsen, Debby Dahl

My Name is Not Easy (Finalist)

2011

 

Luke knows his I'nupiaq name is full of sounds white people can't say. He knows he'll have to leave it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School things are different. Instead of family, there are students - Eskimo, Indian, White - who line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there's some kind of war going on. And instead of comforting words like tutu and maktak, there's English. Speaking I'nupiaq - or any native language - is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he's not the only one. There's smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader - if he doesn't self destruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. Each has their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School - and in the wider world - will never be the same.

J ERS

Erskine, Kathryn

Mockingbird (Winner)

2010

 

In Caitlin's world, everything is black or white.  Things are good or bad.  Anything in between is confusing.  That's the stuff Caitlin's older brother, Devon, has always explained.  But now Devon's dead and Dad is no help at all.  Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger's, she doesn't know how.  When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs.  In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white - the world is full of colors - messy and beautiful.

J LAI

Lai, Thanhha

Inside Out and Back Again (Winner)

2011

 

For all the ten years of her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by…and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.

But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape…and the strength of her very own family.

YA 974.71 MAR

Marrin, Albert

Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy (Finalist)

2011

 

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames.  The factory was crowded.  The doors were locked to ensure workers stay inside.  One hundred forty-six people—mostly women—perished; it was one of the most lethal workplace fires in American history until September 11, 2001.

But the story of the fire is not the story of one accidental moment in time.  It is a story of immigration and hard work to make it in a new country, as Italians and Jews and others traveled to America to find a better life.  It is the story of poor working conditions and greedy bosses, as garment workers discovered the endless sacrifices required to make ends meet.  It is the story of unimaginable, but avoidable, disaster.  And it the story of the unquenchable pride and activism of fearless immigrants and women who stood up to business, got America on their side, and finally changed working conditions for our entire nation, initiating radical new laws we take for granted today.

YA MCC

McCormick, Patricia

Never Fall Down (Finalist)

2012

 

When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever. Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp: working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun, he sees the other children, weak from hunger, malaria, or sheer exhaustion, dying before his eyes. He sees prisoners marched to a nearby mango grove, never to return. And he learns to be invisible to the sadistic Khmer Rouge, who can give or take away life on a whim.

One day, the soldiers ask if any of the kids can play an instrument. Arn's never played a note in his life, but he volunteers. In order to survive, he must quickly master the strange revolutionary songs the soldiers demand--and steal food to keep the other kids alive. This decision will save his life, but it will pull him into the very center of what we know today as the Killing Fields. And just as the country is about to be liberated from the Khmer Rouge, Arn is handed a gun and forced to become a soldier. He lives by the simple credo: "Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down."

YA MCN

McNeal, Laura

Dark Water (Finalist)

2010

 

Fifteen-year-old Pearl DeWitt and her mother live in Fallbrook, California, where it’s sunny 340 days of the year, and where her uncle owns a grove of 900 avocado trees. Uncle Hoyt hires migrant workers regularly, but Pearl doesn’t pay much attention to them . . . until Amiel. From the moment she sees him, Pearl is drawn to this boy who keeps to himself, fears being caught by la migra, and is mysteriously unable to talk. And after coming across Amiel’s makeshift hut near Agua Prieta Creek, Pearl falls into a precarious friendship—and a forbidden romance.

Then the wildfires strike. Fallbrook—the town of marigolds and palms, blood oranges and sweet limes—is threatened by the Agua Prieta fire, and a mandatory evacuation order is issued. But Pearl knows that Amiel is in the direct path of the fire, with no one to warn him, no way to get out. Slipping away from safety and her family, Pearl moves toward the dark creek, where the smoke has become air, the air smoke.

YA MYE

Myers, Walter Dean

Lockdown (Finalist)

2010

 

It seems as if the only progress that's going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he's picked for the work program at a senior citizens' home. He doesn't mean to keep messing up, but it's not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he's a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he'll be able to convince himself.

YA SCH

Schmidt, Gary D.

Okay for Now (Finalist)

2011

 

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

YA SCH

Schrefer, Eliot

Endangered (Finalist)

2012

 

The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.
When one girl has to follow her mother to her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.

YA 623.451 SHE

Sheinkin, Steve

Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (Finalist)

2012

 

In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

YA GRAPHIC STI

Small, David

Stitches: A Memoir (Finalist)

2009

 

One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.
Believing that they were trying to do their best, David’s parents did just the reverse. Edward Small, a Detroit physician, who vented his own anger by hitting a punching bag, was convinced that he could cure his young son’s respiratory problems with heavy doses of radiation, possibly causing David’s cancer. Elizabeth, David’s mother, tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding, ran the Small household under a cone of silence where emotions, especially her own, were hidden.

YA TAY

Taylor, Laini

Lips Touch Three Times (Finalist)

2009

 

Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:
Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Hatchling: Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

YA WIL

Williams-Garcia, Rita

Jumped (Finalist)

2009

 

All Leticia wants to do is to mind her own business. She's too busy stewing about being assigned to early-morning math tutoring to worry about anyone else's problems. Sure, she's intrigued when she overhears bad-girl basketball player Dominique threaten to beat up bubbly, self-obsessed Trina for bumping her in the hallway—who wouldn't be excited to get the inside scoop on juicy gossip like a girl-on-girl fight after school? But she doesn't feel the need to get involved, even after she realizes that Trina didn't hear Dominique's threats and thus has no idea that she's going to get jumped. Will she follow best friend Bea's advice and warn Trina of the danger she faces, before a potential tragedy can unfold?

J WIL

Williams-Garcia, Rita

One Crazy Summer (Finalist)

2010

 

In the midst of tumultuous political change, 11-year-old Delphine and her two little sisters are sent to visit their estranged mother, Cecile, in Oakland over the summer of 1968. Cecile wants nothing to do with them, preferring to work on her poetry in peace. Sending them out for every meal, she also keeps them out of her hair by putting them in a camp organized by the Black Panthers. While Delphine and her sisters puzzle over their mother's out-right rejection of them, they also receive a radical political education that will change them forever.

YA ZAR

Zarr, Sara

Story of a Girl (Finalist)

2007

 

When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend - Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.