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South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2011-2012

"The purposes of the South Carolina book awards are to encourage our students to read good quality contemporary literature and to honor the authors of the books annually chosen the favorites by student vote. The book award medals will be awarded to the winning authors the following year at the South Carolina Association of School Librarians annual conference." - South Carolina Association of School Librarians


Angry Management by Chris Crutcher
Amazon Says: Every kid in this group wants to fly. Every kid in this group has too much ballast. Mr. Nak's Angry Management group is a place for misfits. A place for stories. And, man, doe more...
Amazon Says: Every kid in this group wants to fly. Every kid in this group has too much ballast. Mr. Nak's Angry Management group is a place for misfits. A place for stories. And, man, does this crew have stories. There's Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes, who can hide from everyone but each other. Together, they will embark on a road trip full of haunting endings and glimmering beginnings. And Montana West, who doesn't step down from a challenge. Not even when the challenge comes from her adoptive dad, who's leading the school board to censor the article she wrote for the school paper. And straightlaced Matt Miller, who had never been friends with outspoken genius Marcus James. Until one tragic week—a week they'd do anything to change—brings them closer than Matt could have ever imagined. Chris Crutcher fills these three stories with raw emotion. They are about insecurity, anger, and prejudice. But they are also about love, freedom, and power. About surviving. And hope. less...
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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Amazon Says: With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Re more...
Amazon Says: With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures. Supports the Common Core State Standards. less...
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Brutal by Michael Harmon
Amazon Says: With her martyr-doctor mother gone to save lives in some South American country, Poe Holly suddenly finds herself on the suburban doorstep of the father she never knew, who al more...
Amazon Says: With her martyr-doctor mother gone to save lives in some South American country, Poe Holly suddenly finds herself on the suburban doorstep of the father she never knew, who also happens to be a counselor at her new high school. She misses Los Angeles. She misses the guys in her punk band. Weirdly, she even misses the shouting matches she used to have with her mom. But Poe manages to find a few friends: Theo, the cute guy in the anarchy Tshirt, and Velveeta, her oddly likeable neighbor—and a born victim who’s the butt of every prank at Benders High. But when the pranks turn deadly at the hands of invincible football star Colby Morris, Poe knows she’s got to fix the system and take down the hero. With insightfulness, spot-on dialogue, and a swiftly paced plot, Michael Harmon tells the story of a displaced girl grappling with a truly dangerous bully. less...
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The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Amazon Says: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two mor more...
Amazon Says: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever. less...
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Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Amazon Says: One day, something’s going to snap. . . . Ernie doesn't have a lot of friends at school. Just Will. They have stuff in common—like fishing. But more important, they have more...
Amazon Says: One day, something’s going to snap. . . . Ernie doesn't have a lot of friends at school. Just Will. They have stuff in common—like fishing. But more important, they have common enemies: the school jocks, who seem to find bullying just another sport. For the most part, Ernie and Will take life at high school in stride. Until Will has one very bad day. Now nothing is remotely funny. Ernie finds himself a witness—to loss, to humiliation, and to Will’s anger—an anger that’s building each and every moment. Ernie doesn’t want to believe his best friend is changing, but he can’t deny the truth. Soon he has a choice: join or die. Or can he find another way? Praise for The Day I Killed James: “Teens who have experienced crushing rejection or who have laughed at the ardent feelings of a classmate will devour this original, gripping story.”—Kirkus Reviews less...
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Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu
Amazon Says: Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives more...
Amazon Says: Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked. less...
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Amazon Says: Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers more...
Amazon Says: Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers march along one GI's tour of duty. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American. less...
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Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Amazon Says: It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arenaLyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a more...
Amazon Says: It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arenaLyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family.  Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator.  Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine. less...
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Gray Baby by Scott Loring Sanders
Amazon Says: At six, Clifton watched as two white police officers beat his black father to death. The official report called it an accident. But Clifton and his mother, who was also there, more...
Amazon Says: At six, Clifton watched as two white police officers beat his black father to death. The official report called it an accident. But Clifton and his mother, who was also there, know the truth. Ten years later Clifton's life has been shaped by that horrible event. He's a social outcast, his mother has sunk deep into alcoholism, and the only connection has with a living thing is with the dog next door whose life is as bad as Clifton's. But then Clifton's principal comes up with the idea to have all the students release balloons with notes attached. It's meant to build school spirit, but it also gives Clifton an idea. What if, somehow, he was able to reach someone somewhere far away, and actually make a connection? Maybe even have a friend. So instead of balloons he uses bottles, and sets them afloat with notes inside down the New River. Amazingly, Clifton actually does here from someone. His name is Swamper, he's got to be at least 70, and he lives in a shack on the river, meaking out a living selling fish. Swamper and Clifton strike up a friendship and it looks like Clifton may be okay after all. But then the kidnapping of a young girl that Clifton witnesses brings back all of his old demons. How can he go to the police after what they did to his father? And his mother, she's useless. So he turns to Swamper, and in the end, discovers truths about his family, his life, and himself, that he never would have imagined. less...
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Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Amazon Says: Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but w more...
Amazon Says: Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets. Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life. less...
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Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Amazon Says: In the wake of her best friend Ingrid's suicide, Caitlin is left alone, struggling to find hope and answers. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind for her, she begin more...
Amazon Says: In the wake of her best friend Ingrid's suicide, Caitlin is left alone, struggling to find hope and answers. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind for her, she begins a journey of understanding and broadening her horizons that leads her to new friendships and first love. Nina LaCour brings the changing seasons of Caitlin's first year without Ingrid to life with emotion, honesty, and captivating writing.   less...
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Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
Amazon Says: It’s Jessie’s sophomore year of high school. A self-professed “mathelete,” she isn’t sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into pu more...
Amazon Says: It’s Jessie’s sophomore year of high school. A self-professed “mathelete,” she isn’t sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved his mohawk and started dating . . . the prom princess!) . . .Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high-school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way—the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes?       If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back? less...
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King of the Screwups by K. L. Going
Amazon Says: Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But more...
Amazon Says: Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But he's got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most. When Liam finally kicked out of the house, his father's brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magnet possibly have in common with his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle who lives in a trailer in upstate New York? A lot more than you'd think. And when Liam attempts to make himself over as a nerd in a desperate attempt to impress his father, it's his "aunt" Pete and the guys in his band who convince Liam there's much more to him than his father will ever see. less...
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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Amazon Says: It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns an more...
Amazon Says: It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever. less...
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Muchacho: A Novel by Louanne Johnson
Amazon Says: An inspiring YA debut from the author of Dangerous Minds. Eddie Corazon is angry. He’s also very smart. But he’s working pretty hard at being a juvenile delinquent. He bl more...
Amazon Says: An inspiring YA debut from the author of Dangerous Minds. Eddie Corazon is angry. He’s also very smart. But he’s working pretty hard at being a juvenile delinquent. He blows off school, even though he’s a secret reader. He hangs with his cousins, who will always back him up—when they aren’t in jail. Then along comes Lupe, who makes his blood race. She sees something in Eddie he doesn’t even see in himself. A heart, and a mind, and something more: a poet. But in Eddie’s world, it’s a thin line between tragedy and glory. And what goes down is entirely in Eddie’s hands. Gripping, thought-provoking, and hopeful, Muchacho is a rare and inspiring story about one teen’s determination to fight his circumstances and shape his own destiny. From the Hardcover edition. less...
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Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Amazon Says: Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin atte more...
Amazon Says: Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant. less...
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Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
Amazon Says: When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a more...
Amazon Says: When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together. Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace. less...
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Rock 'n' Roll Soldier: A Memoir by Dean Ellis Kohler
Amazon Says: Dean Kohler is about to make it big--he's finally scored a national record deal! But his dreams are abruptly put on hold by the arrival of his draft notice. Now he's in Qui Nh more...
Amazon Says: Dean Kohler is about to make it big--he's finally scored a national record deal! But his dreams are abruptly put on hold by the arrival of his draft notice. Now he's in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, serving as a military policeman. He keeps telling himself he's a musician, not a killer, and that he's lucky he's not fighting on the front lines. When Captain orders him to form a rock band, it's up to Dean to find instruments and players, pronto. Ingenuity and perseverance pay off and soon the band is traveling through treacherous jungle terrain to perform for troops in desperate need of an escape--even if it's only for three sets. And for Dean--who lives with death, violence, and the fear that anyone could be a potential enemy (even his Vietnamese girlfriend)--the band becomes the one thing that gets him through the day. During one of the most controversial wars in recent American history, this incredible true story is about music and camaraderie in the midst of chaos. (edited by author) less...
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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Amazon Says: From a dazzlingly talented young writer, a haunting and original supernatural romance in the vein of TWILIGHT. For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her more...
Amazon Says: From a dazzlingly talented young writer, a haunting and original supernatural romance in the vein of TWILIGHT. For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever. less...
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Unsigned Hype: A Novel by Booker T. Mattison
Amazon Says: Tory Tyson may only be in high school, but he knows what he wants out of lifea successful music career. And he's not going to learn about all that at school. So when school le more...
Amazon Says: Tory Tyson may only be in high school, but he knows what he wants out of lifea successful music career. And he's not going to learn about all that at school. So when school lets out next month he's not going back. He's finally ready to stop spinning old records at parties and start laying down his own beatsand the Unsigned Hype music contest is the perfect place to launch his career. But will he be able to handle the fame and fortune he seeks? Grounded in the world of today's urban youth, Unsigned Hype will draw readers in with its fresh voice and truetolife rendering of the hiphop world. Booker T. Mattison delivers a story with attitude in the vernacular of the urban teen. less...
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