Annal: 2008 Young Reader’s Choice Award Senior Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2008.

Book:Peaches

Peaches

Jodi Lynn Anderson

Three Georgia peaches are in for one juicy summer…

…but Birdie would rather eat Thin Mints and sulk in the A/C.

Leeda would prefer to sneak off with her boyfriend, Rex.

And Murphy would much rather cause a little mischief.

Together these three very different girls will discover the secret to finding the right boy, making the truest of friends, and picking the perfect Georgia peach.

Book:Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys: A Novel

Neil Gaiman

God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie’s dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie “Fat Charlie.” Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can’t shake that name, one of the many embarrassing “gifts” his father bestowed—before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie’s life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie’s doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who’s going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun…just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie. …[more]

Book:Dark Sons

Dark Sons

Nikki Grimes

Sam can’t believe it when his father leaves the family to marry another woman—and a white woman, at that. The betrayal cuts deep—Sam had been so close to his dad. Now who can he turn to, who can he trust? Even God seems to have ditched him.

Ishmael is his father’s first son and heir, even if his mother is a servant. But then his father is visited by mysterious strangers who claim that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, will finally give birth to a son. Ishmael is worried. And when baby Isaac arrives, Ishmael becomes more isolated from Abraham. Would his father ever betray Ishmael in favor of this new son?

But even as these boys struggle with their own fathers, it is their Father in heaven—and small everyday miracles—who sees them through.

Alternating between biblical times and contemporary Brooklyn, New York, Nikki Grimes masterfully tells the stories of two boys separated by time, geography, and culture who struggle with their fractured families. Dark Sons is a story of love and forgiveness, and the comfort brought by faith in difficult times.

Book:Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

John Green

Miles “Pudge” Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.”

Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.

Book:Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe

Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe

James M. Ward

Halcyon Blithe, being a young man of good breeding and lineage as well as endowed with those qualities and abilities of a sorcerous nature and wishing to fulfill his full potential, is ready to assume his proper place in the world. He aims to seek his fortune among those who tend and sail the awesome nautical juggernauts-the dragonships. With this in mind, Blithe gladly accepts his rank as Midshipwizard and becomes a member of the crew who man the dragonships-vessels which harness the bodies and strength of living dragons with seafaring technology.

Combining elements of Hornblower with Harry Potter, and Robert Louis Stevenson with Robin Hobb, Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe is a nautical tale rich in magic and intrigue. A tale set against a panorama of fantastic naval battle as we follow the career of a young midshipwizard as he moves up through the ranks of His Majesty’s Navy.

Book:Shackleton's Stowaway

Shackleton's Stowaway

Victoria McKernan

On October 26, 1914, Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance set sail from Buenos Aires in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in exploration: the crossing of the Antarctic continent. The crew stood on deck to watch the city fade away. All but one.

Eighteen-year-old Perce Blackborow hid below in a locker. But the thrill of stowing away with the legendary explorer would soon turn to fear. Within months, the Endurance, trapped and crushed by ice, sank. And even Perce, the youngest member of the stranded crew, knew there was no hope of rescue. If the men were to survive in the most hostile place on earth, they would have to do it on their own.

Victoria McKernan deftly weaves the hard-to-fathom facts of this famous voyage into an epic, edge-of-your-seat survival novel.

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