Annal: 2003 Young Reader’s Choice Award Senior Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2003.

Book:Hope Was Here

Hope Was Here

Joan Bauer

When 16-year-old Hope, waitress extraordinaire, moves cross-country to Wisconsin with her aunt Addie to run the Welcome Stairways Diner, Hope isn’t sure she’ll fit in. But she quickly finds herself involved in the small town’s mayoral race, as G. T., owner of the diner, surprises everyone with his entry into the race. After all, G. T. has leukemia. And his opponent is the previously undefeated longtime mayor. Some think G. T. is crazy, but Hope sees the goodness and power in him. Will everyone else see it too? Joan Bauer, known for creating strong, unique, feminine characters, finds in Hope a sharp heroine who won’t soon be forgotten.

Book:Battle Dress

Battle Dress

Amy Efaw

Andi Davis is looking for an escape from her disorganized, dysfunctional home life, and West Point seems the only logical way out. Andi figures that given everything she has had to put up with at home, West Point will be a breeze. But nothing could have prepared her for the first six weeks of cadet training, better known as Beast.

Andi is screamed at, belittled, and worn down during the long, grueling training that is designed to break cadets and then rebuild them into soldiers. The upper class cadets bark orders so fast that her head spins, and the fact that she is one of only two girls in her platoon makes things even more difficult. But Andi decides that anything is better than going home, anything.

This first novel by Amy Efaw, a West Point Class of 1989 graduate, is a powerful and gripping look at an intensely private community with its own rules and regulations. It shows us the terrors and triumphs of those who want to belong to a team.

Book:Dreamland: A Novel

Dreamland: A Novel

Sarah Dessen

What they don’t understand is that Caitlin can’t afford to leave this dreamland, this half-sleeping state where everything and everyone can be kept at arm’s length. Because then she’d have to face the ugly truth about her relationship with Rogerson: magnetic, fascinating—and very dangerous—Rogerson. What is it about Rogerson Biscoe…and why can’t she leave him?

In her most challenging novel yet, acclaimed author Sarah Dessen guides readers through the harrowing netherworld of a young woman’s shattered dreams to her profound awakening.

Book:Men of Stone

Men of Stone

Gayle Friesen

Fifteen-year-old Ben can’t make sense of his life. He lives in ahouse full of women, yet he can’t talk to girls. He tries to be a jock, but can’t even make the co-ed volleyball team. And ridicule from the guys has driven Ben to give up the one thing at which he truly excels—dance. Now, he’s being bullied by a thug named Claude who’s found out about Ben’s ballet classes. Ben feels his anger and frustration grow with each passing day. Then Great-Aunt Frieda comes to visit and Ben learns about the old woman’s life in Russia. He’s surprised at how Frieda dealt with the Men of Stone—Stalin’s agents who terrorized her community and family. As Frieda tells her powerful story, Ben begins to understand who he is and what kind of person he wants to be. But first he must get past the rage that has taken control of his life.

Book:The Sterkarm Handshake

The Sterkarm Handshake

Susan Price

The Sterkarms have plundered the border between Scotland and England for generations. Suddenly intruders, calling themselves Elves, want the Sterkarms to stop their violent ways.

The Elves, time travelers from the 21st century, have found a way back to the 16th century and plan to do their own plundering of the land’s rich natural resources. Their only mistake is foolishly underestimating the Sterkarms themselves.

For Andrea Mitchell, an anthropologist working among the Sterkarms, none of this matters. In love with Per—a young Sterkarm warrior—and feted as a beautiful Elf-May, she’s never known such happiness in her own time.

But when Per receives a deadly injury, Andrea’s decision to take him into the 21st century to save him has explosive results. Per, seeing how powerful and destructive the Elves truly are, swears to keep them from his land forever. And in the bloody…[more]

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