Annal: 2006 Young Reader’s Choice Award Senior Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2006.

Book:Fat Kid Rules the World

Fat Kid Rules the World

K.L. Going

Troy Billings at 6'1", 296 pounds, is standing at the edge of a subway platform seriously contemplating suicide when he meets Curt MacCrae -a sage-like, semi-homeless punk guitar genius who also happens to be a drop-out legend at Troy’s school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

“I saved your life. You owe me lunch,” Curt tells Troy, and Troy can’t imagine refusing; after all, think of the headline: FAT KID ARGUES WITH PIECE OF TWINE.

But with Curt, Troy gets more than he bargained for and soon finds himself recruited as Curt’s drummer. “We’ll be called Rage/Tectonic. Sort of a punk rock, Clash sort of thing,” Curt informs him.

There’s only one problem. Troy can’t play the drums. Oh yes, and his father thinks Curt’s a drug addict. And his brother thinks Troy’s a loser. But with Curt, anything is possible. “You’ll see,” says Curt. “We’re going to be HUGE.”

In an outstanding, funny, edgy debut, K. L. Going presents two unlikely friends who ultimately save each other.

Book:Acceleration

Acceleration

Graham McNamee

It’s a hot, hot summer, and in the depths of the Toronto Transit Authority’s Lost and Found, 17-year-old Duncan is cataloging lost things and sifting through accumulated junk. And between Jacob, the cranky old man who runs the place, and the endless dusty boxes overflowing with stuff no one will ever claim, Duncan’s just about had enough. Then he finds a little leather book. It’s a diary filled with the dark and dirty secrets of a twisted mind, a serial killer stalking his prey in the subway. And Duncan can’t make himself stop reading.

What would you do with a book like that? How far would you go to catch a madman?

And what if time was running out…

Book:Breakout

Breakout

Paul Fleischman

Del has spent 17 years bouncing among foster homes. Smart, sharp-tongued, a master mimic, she’s fed up with her world and with being Del. Faking her own death, she leaves both herself and L.A. behind — until her escape lands her in an all-day traffic jam. Fast-forward eight years. It’s opening night for the one-woman play she’s written and is starring in — a show called Breakout, about a Los Angeles traffic jam. Wildly funny, she skewers workaholics, road ragers, pickup artists, and car culture in general. Readers will see what her audience can’t — that the show is a portrait of herself, of her hunger for her mother and her terror of rejection, her free-floating identity and yearning for connection. Flashing between Del’s present and future, Breakout gives us a backstage pass into a young playwright’s psyche, letting us watch her life being transformed into an art, heartache into comedy, solitude into community, and anger gradually giving way to acceptance.

Book:A Northern Light

A Northern Light

Jennifer Donnelly

Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can’t write down in stories.

The fresh pain of her mother’s death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going—visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer.

Yet when the drowned body of a young woman turns up at the hotel where Mattie works, all her words are useless. But in the dead woman’s letters, Mattie again finds her voice, and a determination to live her own life.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, this coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

Book:The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

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