Honor roll: Agatha Award for Best Children’s/Young Adult

Each of these books has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/Young Adult. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity

Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the…[more]

Book:Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett, Brett Helquist

When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks their company, and an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one—neighbors, parents, teachers—is spared from suspicion.

As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem-solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has left even the FBI baffled? Blue Balliett’s bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art.

Book:Room One: A Mystery or Two

Room One: A Mystery or Two

Andrew Clements

Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he’s working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town.

But the mystery that has Ted’s full attention at the moment is about that face, the face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons’ house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least it’s supposed to be.

A shrinking school in a dying town. A face in the window of an empty house. At first these facts don’t seem to be related. But Ted Hammond learns that in a very small town, there’s no such thing as an isolated event. And the solution of one mystery is often the beginning of another.

Book:Flush

Flush

Carl Hiaasen

You know it’s going to be a rough summer when you spend Father’s Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.

Noah’s dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can’t prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah’s dad is stuck in the clink.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally…somehow. His allies may not add up to much–his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate–but Noah’s got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.

Book:The Crossroads

The Crossroads

Chris Grabenstein

Zack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over…and Zack is directly in his sights.

Award-winning thriller author Chris Grabenstein fills his first book for younger readers with the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made him a fast favorite with adults.

Book:Mystery of the Haunted Cave

Mystery of the Haunted Cave

Penny Warner

Thirteen-year-old Becca and her friends Sierra, CJ, and Jonnie are determined to win the gold medal for Troop 13 at the Gold Rush Jamboee. But they face stiff competition from the other troops—especially Troop 7, whose members love to pull pranks on them. When a mysterious clue hints at treasure buried in Camp Miwok’s Haunted Caves, Becca and her friends are determined to get their hands on that, too—even if it means sneaking from camp, hanging out with bats, and being threatened by robbers…

Book:Hoot (Carl Hiaasen)

Hoot

Carl Hiaasen

Unfortunately, Roy’s first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn’t been sinking his thumbs into Roy’s temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and-here’s the odd part-wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy’s trail. The chase introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.

Roy has most definitely arrived in Carl Hiaasen’s Florida.

Book:Death on Sacred Ground

Death on Sacred Ground

Harriet K. Feder

In the deep woods of Pikes Landing, New York, on a Seneca reservation, a girl is found murdered with an arrow through her heart. When Vivi and her father, Rabbi Hartman, hear about the shocking death, they travel to Pikes Landing where he has been called to perform the funeral of the girl. Once there, they find themselves in the middle of a mystery and a violent standoff between the local townsfolk and the Seneca. Unsure of who to trust, and accompanied by a hostile girl who has something to hide, Vivi searches for the solution to the disturbing death, but finds danger instead!

Book:Liar & Spy (Rebecca Stead)

Liar & Spy

Rebecca Stead

Georges (the s is silent) has a lot going on. He’s having trouble with some boys at school, his dad lost his job and so his mum has started working all the time—and they had to sell their house and moveinto an apartment.But moving into the apartment block does bring one good thing—Safer, an unusual boy who lives on the top floor. He runs a spy club, and is determined to teach Georges everything he knows. Their current case is to spy on the mysterious Mr X in the apartment above Georges.But as Georges and Safer go deeper into their Mr X plan, the line between games, lies, and reality begin to blur.

Book:Icefall (Matthew J. Kirby)

Icefall

Matthew J. Kirby

Matthew J. Kirby, author of The Clockwork Three, deftly weaves a brand-new tale with chilling cleverness and subtle suspense that will leave readers racing breathlessly to the end.

Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. A malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, and a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.

Those charged with protecting the king’s children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father’s watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?

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