Annal: 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Young Adult

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2008.

Book:Rat Life

Rat Life: A Mystery

Tedd Arnold

The dead body found in the Chemanga River has nothing to do with Todd. He’s been busy making beds at the family motel and writing alien stories to entertain his friends. Sure, a murder is big news, but what would really interest him? A paying job and a story line free of UFOs and poop jokes. And then he meets Rat.

Just a little older than Todd, Rat’s already been to Vietnam and back. He’s got a tattoo and a messed-up family life. And when he offers Todd a gig at the drive-in theater, Todd takes it. After all, it pays actual money. But hanging out with Rat leads to a host of strange experiences and perplexing questions. More and more, that corpse from the river is on Todd’s mind, and no matter how he shifts the pieces around, Rat is always part of the puzzle.

Book:Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers

S.A. Harazin

Without his job at the hospital, Clay would be lost. The hard work, the struggles of the patients, the drama in the ER—it makes his days worth something, and gives focus to his dream of someday becoming a doctor. Clay can’t afford to go away to college like the rest of his graduating senior class, but what other 17-year-old has delivered a baby or helped save a life?

Still, Clay wishes his life could be more like his best friend Joey’s. Joey has it all—a great family, a good college waiting for him at the end of the summer, money, a car. Clay has to bike everywhere, and the miles are starting to wear him down.

But Joey’s golden future shatters one day when he overdoses at a party. Now he’s clinging to life at the hospital where Clay works, and Clay may even be implicated in Joey’s injuries. Tension and emotion rise as those who love Joey gather and wait. Clay will do whatever he can to find out what happened at the party, and to help Joey recover. But to survive this ordeal Clay must draw on a strength he never knew he had.

Book:Diamonds in the Shadow

Diamonds in the Shadow

Caroline B. Cooney

The Finch family did not know that five refugees landed from Africa on the day they went to the airport to welcome the family sponsored by their church. The Finch family only knew about the four refugees they were meeting—Andre, Celestine, Mattu, and Alake—mother, father, teenage son and daughter.

Soon Jared realizes that the good guys are not always innocent, and he must make a decision that could change the fate of both families. This story presents many points of view and a fresh perspective on doing the right thing.

Book:Fragments

Fragments

Jeffry W. Johnston

Ever since the accident, Chase feels shattered. He can’t remember that night, and everyone’s treating him like a broken freak. He just wants things to go back to normal. So when he starts getting flashes of memory, he’s relieved. He’s sure once he remembers everything, he can put the crash behind him and start over.

But when the flashes reveal another memory, Chase starts to panic. He’s desperate to leave his ugly past behind. But if he wants to put the pieces together once and for all, he must face the truth about who he is…and what he has done.

Book:Touching Snow

Touching Snow

M. Sindy Felin

“The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone.”

Karina has plenty to worry about on the last day of seventh grade: finding three Ds and a C on her report card again, getting laughed at by everyone again, being sent to the principal—again. She’d like this to change, but with her and her sisters dodging their stepfather’s fists every day after school, she doesn’t have time to do much self-reflecting. Finally her stepfather is taken away on child abuse charges, and Karina thinks things might turn into something resembling normal. The problem is, he’s not gone for good. And as Karina becomes closer with a girl at the community center where her stepfather is not showing up for his parenting classes, she starts to realize a couple things. First, for all the problems her family had tried to escape by immigrating from Haiti, they brought most of them along to upstate New York. And second, if anything is going to change for this family,…[more]

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