Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award

I wanted to tell you about a reading program that is near and dear to my heart. I know that many states have children's choice book awards, and Illinois has four of them. The one for high school students is called The Abraham Lincoln High School Book Award. This award is run by our Illinois school librarian association, and in past years, I have been on the committee to select the nominated titles. We select 22 titles every year, and there are always actual teens on the committee who get to give input and actually are allowed to chose four of the titles on their own. One of the requirements for nominees is that the book is available in paperback, so you will see there are some older books on the list, but they always come up with a great list.

The list for next year (2011-2012) has just been chosen, and here it is:
After  --  Amy Efaw   Speak     2010
Beastly --  Alex Flinn  HarperTeen     2008
Before I Die  --  Jenny Downham  *  David Fickling       2009
Carter Finally Gets It  --  Brent Crawford  Hyperion       2010
Columbine --  Dave Cullen    Twelve      2010
The Compound  --  S.A. Bodeen    Square Fish      2009
Flash Burnout  --  L.K. Madigan    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt     2010
Ghosts of War  --  Ryan Smithson      Harpercollins         2010
Going Bovine  --  Libba Bray  *     Random House      2010
How to Build a House  --  Dana Reinhardt    Wendy Lamb       2009
If I Stay  --  Gayle Forman      Speak         2010
The Looking Glass Wars  --  Frank Beddor  *     Speak        2007
Love is the Higher Law  --  David Levithan  *       Knopf          2010
The Maze Runner  --  James Dashner        Delacorte        2010
Mexican White Boy  --  Matt de la Pena        Delacorte       2010
Reality Check  --  Peter Abrahams      HarperTeen        2010
Shiver  --  Maggie Stiefvater     Scholastic        2010
Story of a Girl  --  Sara Zarr       Little, Brown      2008
Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines  --  Nic Sheff          Atheneum       2008
Why I Fight  --  J. Adams Oaks        Atheneum         2010
Wish You Were Dead  --  Todd Strasser         EgmontUSA          2010
World War Z  --  Max Brooks          Three Rivers          2007
(Starred titles chosen by Student Readers)
Students vote each year in February, so we have just revealed this year's winner. Past winners are:
  • 2011 Suzanne Collins -- Hunger Games
  • 2010  Cassandra Clare --  City of Bones
  • 2009 Ellen Hopkins -- Crank
  • 2008 Stephenie Meyer -- Twilight
  • 2007 Scott Westerfeld -- Uglies
  • 2006 Jodi Picoult -- My Sister’s Keeper
  • 2005 Dave Pelzer -- A Child Called “It”
So I'm anxious to read the nominated titles that I haven't read yet. I will purchase all the titles (if I don't already have them) for my library. Do you know what your state does for student choice awards? Feel free to share your lists -- sometimes the titles are very comparable, and sometimes they are very different, so I'd be interested to see them!

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  1. I just bought my yearly extra copies for this award much for money left in my budget! LOL j/k I recently moved from Missouri and was really pleased with their Truman (6-8) and Gateway (9-12) book award lists. What's even more satisfying is how these books fly off the shelves (and that's coming from a public librarian)! (Well worth the investment.)

  2. I see my sons' book, Ghosts of War by: Ryan Smithson is on your list. If you have read it, I hope you enjoyed it. If not, may I recommend you listen to it. HarperCollins had Ryan read the audio version and you can really hear his emotions in the stories he tells. As an educator, thank you for all that you do.

    Jeffrey Smithson

  3. Wow, great list! I love Going Bovine in particular-- Libba Bray is amazing.

    In North Carolina, we have the Battle of the Books competitions in elementary and middle schools. It's like quiz bowl where all the questions are based on books. But most of the books on the reading lists are the same year after year! I used to tell my old BOB coach that teens should get a say in what books make the list, so it's cool that teens and librarians like you get to help choose. :)

  4. Thank you for this list. I am copying it right now and will amke sure that I have all these titles in my library or I will look into getting them. Washington State has a similar list, called the Evergreen Book Award. All the titles are YA and must be out in paperback. They are voted on by teens. This year's winner, hunger Games, just like yours.

  5. great list. A also have a blog about talking about books. If you interest please visit here. Thanks for the article :)


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