Help us find the next MA Teen Choice Book Award Winner!

Francesca here – There’s an exciting new display in the Teen Area at Greenfield Public Library. (In case you didn’t know, the teen area is in the back stacks all the way to the left. It’s just beyond biographies and graphic novels.)

The display features 21 young adult books nominated for the first-ever MA Teen Choice Book Award. Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to read as many of the books as they can between now and September and then vote for their favorite titles between September 1st and 23rd. The finalists will be announced by the nominating committee in October.

I love the variety of books included in the first-ever round of the Mass Teen Choice Book Awards. Just about every genre is covered, ranging from fiction to nonfiction to graphic novels. There really is something for every type of reader and hopefully, if a teen decides to read through the list, they will find a genre they haven’t tried before and really enjoy it. I plan to add these titles to our summer reading challenge.

Of course, these books aren’t limited just to teens. Anyone is welcome to check them out and we hope you do.

Some of the titles that I’ve read and enjoyed include:

The Firekeeper’s Daughter: Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions―and deaths―keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.”

The Girls I’ve Been: “Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when her mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:

#3: Right after they enter the bank, two guys start robbing it.

The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage . . .”

The Inheritance Games:Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into a sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch — and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.”

Heartstopper: Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.”

The list of nominees has been curated by a committee of public librarians, school library media specialists and educators. The books on the list had to fall within the following criteria:

1. The book must be of interest to teens in grades 7 through12.

2. The book must be published within two years of the creation of the nominated book list. For illustration purposes, nominated books for the 2022 award will be selected by the Committee by March of 2022. For inclusion on the 2022 nominated book list, books had to have been first published in the United States in 2021 or 2020.

3. The primary consideration of book selection should be quality, but the level of young adult interest should also be considered. Only titles published with young adults being the primary audience shall be considered.

4. There are no restrictions based on the home state or country of the author or whether the author is still living.

5. Sequels are ineligible for nomination. 

And here’s the list:

  • *Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon
  • *Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown by Steve Sheinkin
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
  • Flamer by Mike Curato
  • The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
  • Heartstopper (Vol. 1) by Alice Oseman
  • In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner
  • *The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • *The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
  • Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth
  • Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles
  • *Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
  • *Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds  & Ibram X. Kendi
  • This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
  • *We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
  • *You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

*Indicates suitable for middle grade readers

The Massachusetts Teen Choice Book Award is a cooperative project between the Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) and the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) with support from Salem State University.   For more information on the award process, the selected titles and how to participate and vote, please visit www.mateenchoicebook.org


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