Our 2023 Nominees
Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson
Who killed Brooke Donovan? It's the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks they know what happened. But they're wrong. Two unlikely friends come together to solve the case in this fast-paced, fun, modern Agatha Christie inspired thriller.
Beneath the Wide Silk Sky
Emily Inouye Huey
With the recent death of her mother and the possibility of her family losing their farm, Samantha Sakamoto does not have space in her life for dreams, but when faced with prejudice and violence in her Washington State community after Pearl Harbor, she is determined to use her photography to document the bigotry around her. (Suitable for all teens)
Blackout: A Novel
Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon
Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love to this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming novel that shines a bright light through the dark.
Jay discovers that mountain resort where he lives and works with his friends and family is also a doomsday oasis for the rich and powerful who expect top-notch customer service even as the world outside the resort's walls disintegrates.
The Golden Hour
After witnessing a violent attack at school, Manuel struggles with anxiety but his cell phone camera helps him find anchors when he dissociates, and an unexpected friendship opens up new possibilities.
Gideon Green in Black and White
Gideon's short-lived run as a locally famous boy detective ended when middle school started, and everyone else has moved on. Now he's sixteen and officially retired. That is, until Lily shows up suddenly at Gideon's door, needing his help. As a cover, Gideon joins Lily on the school paper. Surprisingly, he finds himself warming up to the welcoming, close-knit staff, especially Tess, the cute, witty editor-in-chief. (Suitable for all teens)
Safiya Mirza dreams of becoming a journalist. And one thing she's learned as editor of her school newspaper is that a journalist's job is to find the facts and not let personal biases affect the story. But all that changes the day she finds the body of a murdered boy.
Jawad Ali was fourteen years old when he built a cosplay jetpack that a teacher mistook for a bomb. A jetpack that got him arrested, labeled a terrorist--and eventually killed. But he's more than a dead body, and more than "Bomb Boy." He was a person with a life worth remembering.
Driven by Jawad's haunting voice guiding her throughout her investigation, Safiya seeks to tell the whole truth about the murdered boy and those who killed him because of their hate-based beliefs.
Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline's radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who'd grown tragically distant. With his grief still fresh, he insists on attending the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy in her place. Mars seeks out his sister's old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys. They are beautiful and terrifying--and Mars is certain they're connected to Caroline's death. And something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can't find it soon, it will eat him alive
How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love With the Universe
When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister's camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the "merch girl" on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. Could this summer change Moon's life as she knows it?
I Must Betray You
Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren't free to dream; they are bound by rules and force. Blackmailed by secret police, he's left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves--or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe. But what is the cost of freedom? (Suitable for all teens)
Prince Jones, a self-professed teen love doctor known for his radio segment on the local hip-hop station, believes he can get the bookish, anti-romance Dani Ford to fall in love with him in three dates.
Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American
After spending her early years in Wuhan, China, riding water buffalos and devouring stinky tofu, Laura immigrates to Texas, where her hometown is as foreign as Marsat least until 2020, when COVID-19 makes Wuhan a household name. In Messy Roots, Laura illustrates her coming-of-age as the girl who simply wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why girls make her heart flutter.
Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime
How did two teenagers brutally murder an innocent child...and why? And how did their brilliant lawyer save them from the death penalty in 1920s Chicago? Follow every twist and turn of this harrowing case--how two wealthy, brilliant young men planned and committed what became known as the crime of the century, how they were caught, why they confessed, and how the renowned criminal defense attorney Clarence Darrow enabled them to avoid the death penalty.
My Mechanical Romance
Alexene Farol Follmuth
Bel would rather die than think about the future. College apps? You're funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she's basically forced into joining the robotics club. Even worse? All the boys ignore Bel--and Neelam, the only other girl on the team, doesn't seem to like her either. Enter Mateo Luna, captain of the club, who recognizes Bel as a potential asset--until they start butting heads. Bel doesn't care about Nationals, while Teo cares too much. As the nights of after-school work grow longer and longer, Bel and Teo realize they've made more than just a combat-ready robot for the championship: they've made each other and the team better. Because girls do belong in STEM . (Suitable for all teens)
The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne
Scarlett McCain is a shoot-first ask-questions-later kind of outlaw. She scrapes by on bank heists, her wits--and never looking back.
She's on the run from her latest crime when she comes across Albert Browne. He is the sole survivor of a horrific accident, and against her better judgement, Scarlett agrees to guide him to safety.
As they flee together across the wilds, fighting off monstrous beasts, and dodging their pursuers, Scarlett comes to realize that Albert Browne is hiding a terrible secret. And that he may be the most dangerous threat of all. (Suitable for all teens)
Queen of the Tiles
Fifteen-year-old Najwa Bakri is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend and Scrabble Queen, Trina, a year after the fact when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages. (Suitable for all teens)
Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix
Three teens chase their own versions of the American Dream during the Roaring 20s in this YA reimagining of The Great Gatsby.
The Silence That Binds Us
In the year following their son's death, May Chen's parents face racist accusations of putting too much pressure on their son and causing his death by suicide, and May attempts to challenge the racism and ugly stereotypes through her writing, only to realize that she still has a lot to learn and that her actions have consequences for her family as well as herself.
The Summer of Bitter and Sweet
Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She'll be working in her family's ice-cream shack with her newly ex-boyfriend--whose kisses never made her feel desire, only discomfort--and her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago without a word.
But when she gets a letter from her biological father--a man she hoped would stay behind bars for the rest of his life--Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him, no matter how much he insists.
The Sunbearer Trials
As each new decade begins, the Sun's power must be replenished so that Sol can keep traveling along the sky and keep the chaotic Obsidian gods at bay. Sol selects ten of the most worthy semidioses to compete in the Sunbearer Trials. The winner carries light and life to all the temples of Reino del Sol, but the loser has the greatest honor of all--they will be sacrificed to Sol, their body melted down to refuel the Sun Stones, protecting the world for another ten years. (Suitable for all teens)
The Weight of Blood
When Springville residents--at least the ones still alive--are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation ... Maddy did it. Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she's dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High's racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school's first integrated prom as a show of unity. But some of her classmates aren't done with her just yet. And what they don't know is that Maddy still has another secret ... one that will cost them all their lives.