Amazing Award Project!
Annotation:Red Cedar fiction nominee. Julia May is a lovely, thoughtful narrator, and her voice really comes through. This is a complex portrait of the times and includes politics and racism in a believable way for young readers.
Annotation:Young Readers' Choice Award, grades 10-12. Well, I'm not in grades 10-12 anymore, and maybe if I were, I would like this book more. I just couldn't get into it - all action, not much character development, and honestly I'm just not in the mood for a totalitarian regime.
Annotation:Red Cedar Nominee, gr.4-7. Predictable Korman, working his magic: a team of kids with different strengths and plenty of quirks team up to rescue animals from a floating zoo, staffed by Bad Guys. I planned to put it down, but never got around to it, and finished the book two hours later. Strong "adults have all the power so kids rebel" theme.
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr 10-12. I tried, I tried: it seems like it's popular and includes werewolves and a Bella-Twilight-like protagonist... but I just couldn't get into it. The point of view didn't work for me, but maybe it will for you?
Annotation:Red Cedar Nominee, gr4-7. I didn't expect to like this one (sounded too much like other poor-girl-struggles-in-dangerous-Afghanistan books), but I couldn't put it down. Each chapter is beautifully written, and hope is woven with despair. The end is satisfying!
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr4-6. Brilliant adventure/identity story. I'm still thinking about this one, days after I finished it! Happenstance's memory's been wiped, and he's making his way through an unknown world with brand-new companions and an evil creature hunting him.
Annotation:Stellar nominee. Way better than I expected from the pastel cover! After a basic intro to the characters, Louise's brother catches their father in flagrante delicto with Louise's BFF's *mom*. Family chaos and monster-size school embarrassment ensues. This is not a book that pulls punches: it features sex, drinking, drugs, swearing, dating older men, and boys coming out of the closet. Louise is really funny, honest and sincere, and does her best to navigate confusing, complicated situations.
Annotation:Nominated for YRCA gr7-9. I didn't like the first scene, in which Dr. Hyde is trying his potions on live dogs. I thought if I stuck with the book, I might like it - especially because it's been nominated for SO many awards! - but I didn't. I didn't even finish it.
Annotation:Nominated for YRCA gr7-9. This group of Australian vampires is the opposite of the Twilight heros - they're sickly (because they choose to drink guinea pigs' blood instead of humans') and a sorry bunch of bickerers. Nina's determined to have a more fulfilling life, and the entire group ends up in a murder-mystery adventure - with fangs.
Annotation:Nominated for YRCA gr4-6. Well-written but slow, a wholesome family historical novel set in the USA. Calpurnia would rather study science with her grandfather than learn to act like a lady. Reads like a junior "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" but without the murder mystery.
Annotation:Nominated for YRCA gr4-6. I was completely unable to get into it. Flipped through, hoping to catch a spark, but it seemed completely meh. Leo and Amanda celebrate the same birthday over and over, and there's some sort of witchy granny lady.
Annotation:Nominated for the Stellar Award. I read this on the solstice, on a southbound train at the break of dawn and it was *perfect!* Okay, it was also melodramatic and the lovey-dovey part was overblown, but I enjoyed this way more than I anticipated. Fairies mixed with folklore, teens who aren't what they seem, theatre in New York, and Shakespeare all rolled together.
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr4-6. Even though I got the gist of this early, I kept reading (and with a list as long as I've got, that means something.) The best part was the interview with Greg's daughter Amira at the end, but it wouldn't have made sense if I hadn't read the rest of the book first.
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr 4-6. Michiko, age 9, is used to her life in Vancouver. Everything changes after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and older readers will understand better than Michiko what is happening around her: her father is sent to work on the railroad... her mother had to sell their belongings... the government sold their house... Elegantly told and believable, this story is an important addition to stories of the Japanese internment in Canada.
Annotation:Red Cedar nominee. A swashbuckling girl pirate captains the Ship of Lost Souls, a floating home for children in an alternate Bahamas-type location. Loyalty reigns supreme in many forms: between friends, between captain and crew, and ultimately loyalty to one's own self. Cute, and an easy read, but didn't keep me interested in the middle bits. Written by a local!
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr7-9. I loved its beginning and couldn't put it down until I forgot it in my locker over the weekend. It's the story of Eff, the twin of a seventh son of a seventh son, in an alternative history set in the US. She's a thirteenth child and thus supposedly unlucky. I rooted for her the whole time, but felt the end of the novel dragged, then fizzled.
Annotation:Stellar nominee. I found the story so believable & easy to relate to that I didn't realize it was dystopian until several chapters in. Carrie Mac's a local, and Vancouver and West Van make veiled appearances, IMHO. Great argument scenes, ranging from romantic entanglements to family secrets to God vs. Science. What if corporations decided if we lived or died?? What if lives were handed out based on "societal worth?" A page-turner.
Annotation:Red Cedar nominee. Blech. I didn't like this one. It felt like it was trying to be clever, and Timothy was unlikeable. "Whatever," he says, over and over... I skipped to the end, hoping for more, but it seemed like it was packed with cliches: pirates, helicopters, bad guys. It reminded me of James Bond movies, all plot and dashing out of the way.
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr4-6. Easy to read, lovely colour pictures, this is a feel-good adventure spun from folklore and really great storytelling. I wish all parents were like Minli's (at the end!) A charming tale wrapped around the power of dreams.
Annotation:Stellar nominee, gr9+. I was seriously prepared to detest this book, what with the penis jokes and the boys' goal of seeing a girl naked - but there's something tender about the scrawny hero, Matt (and I used to swim the 100 fly in competition). His totally goofball friends are annoying but ultimately loyal in a weirdo way.
Annotation:YRCA nominee, gr7-9. In a blaze of brilliance, I thought I'd listen to this on CD, but got impatient with it. Older sister dressing like a hippie, bucking the super-rich, chi-chi fashion trend? Been there, done that... I skipped through and read the end. Touches on classism, racism and homophobia, but ultimately explores the status quo. A perfect frosting ending on a cupcake of a book.
Annotation:YRCA nominee gr7-9. I didn't like the beginning, and worried I was about to re-read a dystopian Lord of the Flies "boys gone wild"... Even when I was caught up in the action, I thought it was melodramatic - but I wanted to see how it ended...
Annotation:YRCA nominee gr7-9. Actually, full disclosure, I read this whole series and *loved* it! It's a steampunk trilogy, pitting Darwinists and Clankers at the brink of an alternate World War I, and stars a cross-dressing teen who pulls off amazing physical and political stunts - and falls in love with a barking prince. No clart.
A Shared List by ariel_jay
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I, Ariel Caldwell, Children's & Teen Librarian at Kerrisdale, do solemnly swear to do my very best to read all 61 nominated titles in 3 months or less. Red Cedar, Stellar, and Young Readers' Choice Award Society - look out, here I come! http://tinyurl.com/cn58fju