Posted in Books Published in 2017

Our Favorite Books Published in 2017

Nominated Titles:

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Click on title to request the book from Wake County Public Libraries!

Nominated Books:

Apartment 1986 by Lisa Papademetriou
The characters and story are very non-cliche, and although the main character isn’t going through discrmination the theme of discrimination is a subtle theme throughout the book.  A very deep book! – Nominated by Shreeya

Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller
A spooky mystery turning into a spellbinding story of relationships. – Nominated by Mana

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
A heartwarming tale about loss and friendship, with an awesome pair that you’ll smile, laugh and cry with. – Nominated by Tanvi, Lily & Josephine

The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner
This is a very realistic story with the perfect balance of emotion–just a great piece of literature. – nominated by Mana

Flying Lessons and Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh
This was possibly the best compilation of short stories I have ever read.  Each of the stories could be the best book I’ve ever read. – Nominated by Rayyan, Hayden, Benjamin, Shreeya

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
A wonderful way to introduce you to a life without arms, and friendship with kids who are convinced they are “freaks.”  – Josephine & Tanvi

Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz
Each of the characters represents a different society in everyday life. The king, queen, and maid represent the ongoing society that will always try to change us. Princess Cora represents any one person. The crocodile shows our emotions, which are good to be taken out, but need to be controlled. – Nominated by Mana

Refugee by Alan Gratz – Nominated by Benjamin

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
It is a wonderful book. The characters were amazing. There were lots of secrets that you discover throughout the book. – Nominated by Ella, Lily, Sarah & Tanvi
This is a truly unique story with an emotional plot anyone can relate to. – Ella

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley
The story kept you wanting to know more as Blue struggles with his curse and family legend, and Tumble fights to be a hero for Tumble’s family and her own.-Josephine
A wonderful book–thrilling to readers of all ages. – Nominated by Hayden

Undefeated:  Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin – Nominated by Benjamin

Walking With Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy
The characters are very diverse and not cliche.  Great lessons are learned and the message is very sweet.  –  Nominated by Shreeya

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Ada, born with a club foot and neglected by her mother, is growing up during WWII.  Ada is sent to the country to avoid the bombs and finds a new life.  Ada struggles with her emotions over her past trauma and the ongoing war. – Nominated by Lily

The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
A wonderful story of the loss of friendship and finding new ones–filled with beautiful poems. – Nominated by Josephine

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate – Nominated by Kaviya

You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis – Nominated by Hailey

Recommended Reads:

Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley
Two sisters set out on a crazy road trip filled with all sorts of hurdles as they take their mother’s ashes to their old home. – Josephine

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk – Recommended by Hailey

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt
An artsy book with an interesting main character learning about her late mother when she moves in with her grandfather at his run-down motel. – Hailey & Josephine

Bone Jack by Sara Crowe
An enchanting and mysterious read that will send chills up your spine. – Caleb

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
Recommended by Benjamin

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
This is a neat book about a person infested by a demon.  A great read with tons of twists and turns. – Philip

Dragon Captives:  The Unwanteds Quests, Book 1
Adventure book with suspense and wonderful storyline. – Gania

The End of the Wild by Karen English
A good read with lots to learn about nature and the tough lives that some kids go through. – Hailey

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamara by Pablo Cartaya – Hailey, Josephine & Mana

The Fearless Travelers’ Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler –
Fantasy lovers who will enjoy this book about a magical book and umbrella. – Philip

Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli
A twisty tale of a mermaid and all of her adventures. – Riley

Forever or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter – Josephine

The Girl With the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano
Emily’s father is spending all of his time in the basement trying to bring back the mother they’re grieving for.  – Josephine

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne Valente
A fun and interesting fantasy read.  I’ve never read anything like it before. – Hailey

The Harlem Charade by Natasha Harpley
A suspenseful book that keeps you guessing until the end.  Truly an amazing piece of literature! – Sam

The House of Months and Years by Emma Trevayne
An enchanting story with great characters and an even better concept. – Caleb

It All Comes Down to This by Karen English -Mana & Tanvi

Joplin, Wishing by Diane Stanley – Riley & Kaviya
Joplin is a determined girl who won’t let the reader put the book down. – Kaviya

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson
This sci-fi book has a scientific plot and characters you want to root for. – Caleb

The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith
An enticing story about a girl using her powers to fight evil and save her city.

One for Sorrow: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
This is a ghost story written in the time period of WW2.  The main character, Annie, just moves to a new school and a girl, Elsie, is fixed on being Annie’s best friend.  No one else likes Elsie and Annie, sick of her too, starts teasing her also.  Elsie dies of the flu and Annie thinks she’s rid of her, but Elsie is going to be harder to get rid of than she thought. – Lily

One Last Word by Nikki Grimes
A great work of poetry. – Vedanga

Pably & Birdy by Alison McGhee
Pablo wants to figure out where he comes from and why he was sent out on a boat with only a parrot. – Lily

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani – Recommended by Tanvi and Shreeya
Patina by Jason Reynolds
This book is fast-paced, thrilling and will keep you on your feet. – Hailey & Riley

Real Friends by Shannon Hale – A heartwarming and relatable tale about friendship and the ups and downs of childhood.  A good read for 4th-7th graders. – Hailey & Tanvi

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This book had great characters and character development, and overall had a great plot.

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
A heart-pounding story that you shouldn’t read at night.  Horror lovers won’t be able to put it down! – Kaviya and Gania

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore – Recommended by Mana and Kaviya

Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
This book was very entertaining. Even though it’s a short read, it’s very fun to see the conflict get resolved. Prepare to be wowed! – Sam
The story about a teen girl trying to gain her independence from her over-protective parents. – Lily

The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston
A wonderful book with a great storyline! I liked the plot and the characters. – Gania
A story about finding your voice and singing out loud to life up the people around you. – Riley & Kaviya
Most kids will easily relate to this story. – Rayyan

Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder – Ella

Train I Ride by Paul Mosier – recommended by Gania

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
A very cute book about five siblings trying to save their home from their grumpy landlord. – Hailey

The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli
The characters are well-described and the plot and story were really good.  – Amulya

The Wizard’s Dog by Eric Kahn Gale
Wonderful book!  A story with fantasy and magic! – Gania
This exciting tale puts a fun spin on the classic tale of Merlin! – Benjamin

Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
A wonderful book about a teenage girl and her friends trying to solve a mystery.

Recommended Reads for Lower Elementary Readers:

Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins – Recommended by Lily

Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray
A cute story that helps you know it’s okay to be yourself. – Sarah

Space Taxi Series by Wendy Mass
A wonderful series for younger elementary readers.  Filled with fantasy! – Gania

What We’re Reading Now:

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiambo

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers

Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine

The Magician and the Spirits by Deborah Noyes

Notations of Cooper Cameron by Jane H. O’Reilly

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargine by Mark Twain Philip Stead

Restart by Gordon Korman

Saving Marty by Paul Griffin

Slider by Pete Hautman

Stealing Our Way Home by Cecilia Galante

Threads of Blue by Suzanne Lafleur

The Wonderling by Mira Bartok


2017 Mock Newbery Awards for books published in 2016

The Wake County Public Libraries Teen Leadership Corps/Reading Corps would like to congratulate the following authors and publishers for providing young readers with distinguished works of literature that have opened our minds and hearts in 2016:


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Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers


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Pax  by Sara Pennypacker, Published by Balzer & Bray/Harper Teen

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin, Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan, Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor, Published by Katherine Tegen Books

     2016 Mock Newbery Contenders:

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Click on title to request the book from Wake County Public Libraries!

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor – nominated by Rayyan, Kaviya, Haley, Riley, Tanvi, Benjamin, Amulya & Ella – This is a great story about a boy who grew up in a minimum security prison trying to help put his life back together after a nosey district attorney rips it apart.- Benjamin; This book follows Perry who lives in jail with his mother.  He has to leave everything he knows behind because the state superintendent believes that living in a jail isn’t a good environment for a child.  This story is truly inspirational and is definitely good enough to be Newbery.

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan – nominated by Eliza, Caleb,  Kaviya, Ella, Haley, Rayyan & Benjamin –  A great book that follows two boys who work without pay on a cacao plantation.  Their world is turned upside-down when a fiery girl arrives. Guaranteed to rip your heart out of your chest! – Benjamin

Booked by Kwame Alexander – nominated by Haley and Benjamin – A fantastic story of a boy trying to survive the year after two major bombshells rip his life apart.

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin – nominated by Tanvi, Amulya, Ayesha, Hannah, Haley, Ella & Quinn – The setting and the characters are described wonderfully and the whole story just seems to make me think about things a way I would have never thought of them before. – Quinn, This book was very inspirational and changed my view on life.  It had very realistic and developed characters, a descriptive setting, and a great plot!  It was a very enjoyable read. –  Amulya

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley – nominated by Haley,  Kaviya,  Kayla, & Riley – An inspiring story about loss.  Written partly in verse, the main character Sasha’s story will shed a new light on life. – Tanvi;  A beautiful story with strong character development and a writing style that carried you through this change of heart. – Kayla

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford

Ghost by Jason Reynolds – nominated by Benjamin

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager – nominated by Caleb, Benjamin, Haley, Amulya, Hannah & Riley – A story about learning to love and growing up, with a great theme of family and a hint of magic. – Hannah; The book definitely keeps you wanting to turn the page to keep reading.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about adventures to new places and adjusting to them.  I loved the plot, characters and the story itself. – Riley

The Inquisitor’s Tale, or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz – A collection of stories about 3 kids and their Holy dog.  This book is and incredible ride full of twists and turns. – nominated by Hayden

Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern – nominated by Ella, Hayden, Kaviya, Riley, Ayesha & Tanvi – This book takes you inside the mind of a fourth-grader.  With a very relatable conflict, this book is a beautiful story about dealing with life’s problems.

Lily and Duncan by Donna Gephart – nominated by Tanvi, Caleb, Ella, Kaviya & Riley – A tale of friendship, courage and believing in yourself when others don’t.  And having faith even if you think if you hold on any longer you may break into a million pieces. – Nikki

The Littlest  Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner – nominated by Tanvi

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Allison McGhee – nominated by Sarah, Caleb,  Kayla, Rayyan & Eliza – A heart-wrenching story that honestly portrays sisterly love. – Eliza

Mayday by Karen Harrington – nominated by Rayyan, Caleb, Benjamin & Ayesha – This story revolves around a selfless boy determined to make the best of the worst situation.  A touching and sweet story that will break and heal your heart over and over again. – Ayesha

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban – nominated by Micah, Tanvi, Rayyan, Haley, Hayden, Ella, Marissa, & Amulya – You really feel like you can connect with the characters, even if they go through way worse than most of us ever have. – Micah; The main character is so deep emotionally and relatable.  The author makes you feel like you are right next to Manami as these events happen.  The settings and characters were all shaped so well. – Marissa

Pax by Sarah Pennypacker – nominated by Caleb, Kaviya, Amulya,    Benjamin, Eliza,  Ella, Hayden, Rayyan,  Nikki, & Riley – A story that goes down a twisty rode, that makes your heart leap with excitement and sadness. – Nikki;  An amazing book with characters that almost seemed to come alive through the pages. – Riley

Soar by Joan Bauer – nominated by Sam, Caleb, Benjamin & Hayden – A great book about a boy leading a shattered town to rebuild around baseball. – Benjamin

Some Writer:  The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet – nominated by Ella, Haley, Hannah, Benjamin & Hayden

Summerlost by Allie Condie – nominated by Rayyan, Tanvi, Sarah, Haley & Hannah – A rich, fulfilling tale of friendship and loss that will shred your heart and stitch it back together again.  I didn’t want to put it down! – Sarah

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin – nominated by Caleb and Hayden – I would read this 11 times! – Hayden

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk – nominated by Quinn,  Caleb, Samantha, & Kayla  -A wonderfully written story about a girl who realizes that adults can’t solve all of her problems when she is the only one who stands up for the innocent.  Amazing! – Caleb

Other favorites:

27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville

Agents of the Glass:  A New Recruit by Michael D. Beil – Very fun read – Caleb

Audacity Jones by Kirby Larson – Kirby Larson weaves an energetic and plot-driven story about a young heroine that will capture your heart immediately. Bringing a much needed heroine in a world of mostly heroes, combined with powerful characters, Audacity Jones is an inspiring story for both boys and girls. – Tanvi

A Bandit’s Tale by Deborah Hopkinson – A beautifully forged story about a young boy’s new life in the American suburbs. Providing a juicy plot to a historically accurate story, this book is a must read for historical fiction lovers. – Tanvi

Brambleheart by Henry Cole

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof (not eligible for Newbery) by Annie Schmidt

The Courage Test by James Preller

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey – An interesting book that give you a whole new perspective on police work! – Rayyan

The Dog, Ray by Linda Coggin (not eligible for Newbery but medal-worthy) -Very touching story with developed characters, good setting and overall a great read!-Amulya

Eleven and Holding by Mary Penney – I liked the author’s writing style and the story has some nice twists at the end, and a very realistic ending.

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Levy

Firefly Code by Megan Blakemore – Technology, utopian community, and friends. A story that tests the ability of people accepting people for who they are, even if who they are is way off from what you imagined. – Nikki

Framed (A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery) by James Ponti

The Gallery by Laura Fitzgerald – The characters were well-developed, and the mystery made it hard to put this book down. – Kaviya

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill – Good and deep story – Caleb

Going Where It’s Dark by Phyllis Naylor – This is a well-written realistic fiction novel about a kid going caving. If you like books that show kids’ struggles and their successes, this is the book for you! – Hayden

I Am Drums by Mike Grosso –

Impyrium by Henry H. Neff

It Ain’t So Awful,  Falafel (not eligible for Newbery) by Firoozeh Dumas

Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff

Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield

Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh – This was an interesting book and I really enjoyed it. The characters were realistic. Three Chinese sisters bond during an extremely competitive summer camp. The story is told through the diary entries of one of the sisters. This is a book for 11 and up. – Hayden

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly

The Lost Compass by Joel Ross – I liked this sequel to Fog Diver  as much as I liked that first book.  The plot was good and made sense.  The characters were still very 3-D and I didn’t want to put the book down.  The plot was also really believable and realistic.  I could imagine everything that was happening.  It’s important to read the first book before this one though. – Sarah

Maxi’s Secrets by Lynn Plourde

The Maypop Kidnapping by Cynthia Surrisi – An entertaining mystery that will keep you hooked until the surprising ending. – Haley; This book shows that even though old friends can’t be replaced, new friends can be made. – Marissa

The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin by Elinor Teele – An amazing story, with amazing characters!  You will be riveted to the very end! – Eliza

Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi

Momotaro:  Zander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway

The Most Important Thing:  Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfathers by Avi

The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby

The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo –  It is very descriptive and has a lot of feeling in it. – Quinn

Samurai Rising:  The Epic Life of Minomoto Yoshitsune  by Pamela Turner

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks

School of the Dead by Avi – A thrilling mystery filled with twists, turns and ghosts!  Gripping! – Caleb

The Scourge by Jennifer Nielsen

The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga

Secrets of Bearhaven by K. E. Rocha

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter – A masterpiece told through writing that always keeps you wondering. – Nikki

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire LeGrande

Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper – Setting is well-described and the story is interesting – Sam

Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac

Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key –  Full of suspense, action, and 3-dimensional characters, the ultimate adventure book. – Ella

Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones

To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson – This book had an amazing plot and was overall a good read.  The characters were very developed and this book definitely deserves to be Newbery. – Amulya, An interesting story that will give you a whole new perspective on spying. – Rayyan

Tru and Nelle by G. Neri

Turn of the Tide by Rosanne Parry

Under Their Skin by Margaret Haddix

Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson – A very well-written story about a boy who knows what it’s like to be left behind.  An inspiring plot that will change how you think of life (and golf).

We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman

A Week Without Tuesdays by Angelica  Banks

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein – A well-developed story that perfectly captures the bond between a small child and many enormous elephants. – Rayyan

Wild Robot by Peter Brown – An inspiring story that proves that robots are more than just machines–they’re wild animals! – Rayyan

Wish by Barbara O’Connor

The World From Up Here by Cecilia Galante

What we’re reading for our next meeting:

We will begin reading 2017 titles in January!!