It's time to select titles for the 2017 Teen Battle of the Books competition!
Below is an annotated list of the nominees for this summer's battle. Follow the link at the end to vote on your top three picks. You may also select two specific titles on the list and fill in a title of your own choosing by clicking the "other" box. If you want to recommend a title, please suggest a book aimed at grades 7-12 and the first in a series or a stand-alone book. Book suggestions can be fiction, non-fiction, graphic novel or collection of short stories and published within the last five years.
The winners will be announced at the start of the Summer Reading Program in June.
Death plays a big role in the lives of high schoolers Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. He's constantly on the verge of suicide and she's battling grief after her sister's death. The Indiana teens come together to work on a project and soon develop a bond, showing each other what it's like to live.
Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.
Samantha McAllister is one of the "Crazy Eights," a group of popular girls who have been best friends since elementary school. Yet there's one secret Sam can never let them know: Sam suffers from Purely-Obsessional OCD, which consumes her with dark thoughts that are getting stronger and stronger. Will her new friendship with Caroline, a girl who seems to truly understand her, and JA, the cute leader of the underground poetry club help her overcome her obsessions?
The most important things in Lane's life are getting perfect grades and getting into the best college, until he finds out he has an incurable strain of tuberculosis. He's sent to Latham House, a sanatorium for dying teens with bizarre rules and unique characters. It's here that Lane reconnects with Sadie, a girl he was once transfixed with at summer camp years ago. Now Lane and Sadie find themselves falling in love and redefining who they really are during what are probably the last few weeks of their lives.
Convinced he should've died in the accident that killed his parents and sister, 16 year old Drew lives in a hospital, hiding from employees and his past, until Rusty, set on fire for being gay, turns his life around. Includes excerpts from the superhero comic Drew creates.
Aspiring to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school's track team, gifted runner Ghost finds his goal challenged by a tragic past with a violent father.
Four linked stories of discovery and survival begin with a Paleolithic-era girl who makes the first written signs, continue with Anna, who people call a witch, then a mad 20th-century poet who watches the ocean knowing the horrors it hides, and concluding with an astronaut on the first spaceship from Earth sent to colonize another world.
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
In Ontario, Pen is a 16 year old girl who looks like a boy. She's fine with it, but everyone else is uncomfortable - especially her Portugese immigrant parents and her manipulative neighbor who doesn't want her to find a group of real friends.
Years after writing stories about a superheroine character she created with a best friend who died in a tragic car accident, 16 year old May is shocked to see stickers, patches, and graffiti images of the superheroine appearing around Seattle.
The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kay and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship's artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.
A math-whiz from a trailer park discovers she's the only student capable of unravelling complex clues left by a serial killer who's systematically getting rid of her classmates.
Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
Rani Patel, almost 17 and living on remote Moloka'i island, is oppressed by the cultural norms of her Gujarati immigrant parents but when Mark, an older man, draws her into new experiences red flags abound.
In a world divided by blood - those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities - 17 year old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard - a growing Red rebellion - even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.
Bushido, or samurai culture, has been widely explored in film and literature; here, its origins are presented for a teen audience with the tale of the "ultimate samurai," Minamoto Yoshitsune. A fast-paced and unexpectedly funny tale filled with family feuds, bloody battles, and sweeping romance, Samurai Rising combines thorough historical research with contemporary observations to make a compelling chronicle of Yoshitsune's journey from child exile to immortal hero of legend.
Young criminal genius Kaz Brekker is offered the chance to pull off a dangerous theft that can make him rich. He recruits a gang of six dangerous misfits to help him with the heist. The book follows the crew's crazy adventures and features plot twists, betrayals, and schemes aplenty.
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there's something extraordinary in store for both of them.
Marguerite's parents are brilliant physicists who've discovered a way to travel through alternate dimensions. But her life crumbles before her eyes when her father is murdered, and all evidence points to his genius graduate assistant, Paul. Now Paul has jumped into another dimension, and it's up to Marguerite to find him. And kill him.
Mercy seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. There's her grandmother, Evelia, a strict evangelical who has visions of an imminent Rapture and sees herself as the keeper of Mercy's virtue. And then there's Travis, the boy who shakes the foundation of her faith. At the periphery of Mercy's world floats Illa Stark, a lonely wallflower whose days are spent caring for a depressed mother crippled in a refinery accident. When Mercy collapses, Evelia prophesies that she's only the first to fall, and soon, other girls are afflicted by the mysterious condition, sending the town into a tails pin, and bringing Illa and Mercy together in an unexpected way.
The deadline to vote is Tuesday, March 1st!
You can vote electronically, here or you can visit your local library and fill out a paper ballot.