2011 Teen Buckeye Book Award nominees announced

The Buckeye Children’s Book Award Council announces the nominees for the 2011 Teen Buckeye Book Award.  The following titles were chosen in an online nomination process by young readers all across the state of Ohio.

Ohio’s reader’s choice book award is unique among other state book award programs in that the nominated and winning titles are entirely selected by children.  Teachers and librarians who encourage their students to participate in the Buckeye Children’s Book Award reading/nominating/reading/voting process report an enthusiastic response.

Have your child, students or young library patrons participate and vote for their favorite on the TBBA website: www.bcbookaward.info/teens.

The Teen Buckeye Book Award nominees (for grades 9-12):

  • The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, book 2) by Cinda Williams Chima (Hyperion, 2010)
  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John (Dial, 2010)
  • Hunger: a Gone novel by Michael Grant (Katherine Tegen Books, 2009)
  • Things A Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt (Wendy Lamb Books, 2010)
  • Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6) by Richelle Mead (Razorbill, 2010)

To be eligible for nomination, a book must have been written by an American author and published in either 2009 or 2010.  Voting is open to any student in Ohio, and will begin on September 1, 2011 on the TBBA website: www.bcbookaward.info/teens .  Voting ends on November 10, 2011, and the winners will be announced on December 1, 2011.

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And the winner is…Teen Buckeye Book Award winner announced

Congratulations to Jaime Adoff!  His book, The Death of Jayson Porter (Hyperion/Jump At The Sun, 2008) was selected by Ohio students in grades 9-12 as the winner for 2010.

For more information on the Teen Buckeye Book Award:

2010 Buckeye Book Award nominees announced

I just received a press release:

The Buckeye Children’s Book Award Council announces the nominees for the 2010 Buckeye Children’s Book Award and the 2010 Teen Buckeye Book Award.  The following titles were chosen in an online nomination process by young readers all across the state of Ohio.

For Grades 6-8

  • Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2009)
  • Ghost of Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen (Harper Collins, 2008)
  • The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5) by Rick Riordan (Disney Hyperion Books for Children, 2009)
  • A Templar’s Apprentice (The Book of Tormad) by Kat Black (Scholastic Press, 2009)
  • The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, ill. by David Small (Antheneum, 2008)

The Teen Buckeye Book Award nominees (for grades 9-12):

  • Death of Jayson Porter by Jaime Adoff (Hyperion/Jump At The Sun, 2008)
  • Just Another Hero by Sharon Draper (Antheneum, 2009)
  • Hunted: Whiteout by Walter Sorrells (Dutton Juvenile, 2009)
  • Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely) by Melissa Marr (Harper Collins, 2008)
  • Tempted (House of Night Novels) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009)

To be eligible for nomination, a book must have been written by an American author and published in either 2008 or 2009.  Voting is open to any student in Ohio, and will begin on September 1, 2010 on the BCBA website:  www.bcbookaward.info and the TBBA website: www.bcbookaward.info/teen.  Voting ends on November 10, 2010, and the winners will be announced on December 1, 2010.   More information is available on our website  www.bcbookaward.info.

For a list of nominees for grades K-2 and 3-5, please visit my children’s book blog here.

The Hunger Games left me famished…wanting more!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; published by Scholastic Inc., New York, 2008; 374 pages.

Katniss Everdeen has stepped into her father’s role as provider and protector of her mother and sister, Prim.  His death in the coal mines of District 12 (formerly Appalachia) left them without any means of support.  To supplant the food she forges for and hunts in the woods outside the fence, the Everdeens trade tokens for provisions.  The tokens bear Katniss’ name in the annual drawing of representatives from the 12 districts that used to comprise the United States.  After a bloody uprising, the rich and powerful of the Capitol hold Hunger Games every year, in which a boy and girl are selected as tributes from each district to battle to the death.  The victor has his or her needs provided for by the government for life, while the victor then trains the subsequent contestants.  In an unlucky twist of fate, Katniss’ beloved sister is chosen.  Katniss volunteers to replace her in the games and her hunting partner, and potential love interest, Gale, vows to make sure Prim and their mother are cared for in her absence.  Peeta, the baker’s son, is the male tribute from her district; they train together and their coaches contrive a romance as their strategy to win.  As the games are televised, Katniss finds it relatively easy to play to the cameras and earn sponsors to help her.  She doesn’t find it easy to sort through her feelings for Peeta or to determine his motivations.  An unforeseen twist at the end of the games leaves a cliffhangers for readers who will be anxious to jump into the second book Catching Fire.

I could not put down this thriller.  What a great female protagonist!  Although I was horrified by the concept of teens fighting to the death, the battles and death scenes were handled with finesse and taste by Collins.  Undoubtedly, teens will relate to the subthemes of unchallenged authority, a disparate class system, and brains over brawn.

Collins has said that her inspiration, in part, came from the surreal blurring of the lines between reality TV and war coverage as she channel-surfed.  That would make a terrific theme for a booktalk or book club discussion starring this book.  Hopefully, with Collins writing the screenplay, the movie will inspire reluctant readers to pick up the book to learn more about these fascinating characters and their future world.

I was not surprised to learn that the book made YALSA’s “Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers” and the “Best Books for Young Adults” lists in 2009.  I imagine we’ll see it on their “Popular Paperbacks” list as well.

5P     5Q     Grade Level: 7-12+

Cover Art: Silver on black is certainly an attractive choice to lure teens to the book.  Adding the image of the mockingjay pin that the Mayor’s daughter, Madge, gave Katniss before the games, should pique curiosity; I know I had an “aha” moment in the book.  The cover seems to appeal to boys more than girls as it has a rather militaristic design; however, reading the back cover should lure girls to read since the protagonist is a strong female.

From Reading List: Best Books for Young Adults (YALSA) 2009

Eclipsed by its predecessor…and Shiver

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer; published by Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2007; 629 pages.

Bella and Edward are back together.  This installment of the Twilight franchise finds Bella fixated on graduating (high school and humanity).  She spends much of her time trying to reconcile with her friend, Jacob Black.  She also is coping with the fear of predators closing in on her from two fronts.  Former mate of the vampire James, killed by Edward at the close of book two, Victoria is stalking Bella to exact revenge on Edward (by killing his love as he killed hers).  Not to be eclipsed, the Volturi, or ruling vampires, are also after Bella after she foiled their attempt to recruit Edward into their coven.  But the worst fear Bella faces is the ultimatum from Edward; she will not become a vampire at his hands until she marries him.  She does have her concerns about the process of losing her humanity as well–but only as it will affect Edward’s attraction to her.  At the end of this installment, only one of Bella’s fears is vanquished–Victoria is destroyed.

I have no expectations of great literature when I read Meyer’s saga.  She weaves a fairly good tale, when she’s on her game, as in the first novel of the series.  I was a bit disappointed in the second book (see my review) but not as disappointed as I was in this book.  Meyer relied far too heavily on back stories.  An awkward, forced and boring tale of the werewolf legend was the first and most yawn-inspiring.  It probably should have been told in New Moon, but I believe the dreadfully long legend was intended to set up a moment during the duels between Seth-Riley and Edward-Victoria.  In addition, Jasper’s and Rosalie’s back stories were too verbose, relying on telling what happened rather than making the reader feel what happened.  I found myself thinking, that’s terrible, rather than feeling revulsion at the horrors inflicted by humans.  Again, this is not great literature, but I do expect to be entertained, and to be entertained, I need to feel the story not just be told what to feel.

In fact, much of this book felt forced.  Charlie’s sudden parental instincts, Edward’s awkwardly self-described chastity, and the frequent references to Bella’s unhealthy catatonia/self-destructive behavior after Edward’s disappearance all seemed contrived to placate the dissenting public.  Shakespeare’s famous “methinks thou dost protest too much” comes to mind.  All of the focus on these issues made the characters flat and uninteresting.  Even the mesmerizing chemistry between Bella and Edward was gone.  The gist of the story could have been told in half the volume had the author ignored these distractions.

Will I read Breaking Dawn?  Uh, yeah.  I have to see how it ends, not unlike watching a car wreck then checking the news sources to find out about casualties.  I’m hoping the story telling that kept me turning the pages of Twilight will return in the “Swan song.”  After all, not all novels are literature, nor do they have to be.  They do, however, have to entertain; this one fell far short of that order.

Will teen girls love it?  Probably.  Will the boys?  Doubtful.  I encourage them all to read Shiver (by Maggie Stiefvater, read my review here) to see how a fantasy-romance should be written.

5P     1Q     Grade Level: 8-12

eclipseCover Art: The franchise identity was continued in this cover.  For that reason alone, it will appeal to teen girls in particular.  The book is so thick, the entire image from the cover virtually fits on the spine without much reduction.  It will be found on the shelves if only by color combination and the imprinting of “THE TWILIGHT SAGA” on the spine.

From Reading List: The Way It Could Be (Science Fiction or Fantasy)

RSS Braingle’s Teasers

  • Today's Daily Brain Teaser (Oct 19, 2017)
    What Am I? You have no control over me, I am not real, though sometimes you believe me, I come back every night, but am often forgotten, Though left alone, I will never become rotten, Sometimes I remind you of things yet to come, Sometimes, watching me, you do things you've never done, I rarely ever turn out to be true, Now I am done with this riddle fo […]