2015 Nominations

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Aust, Patricia HShelter. Luminis. May 2014. 200p. HC $19.95. ISBN 9781935462996. PB $11.95. ISBN 9781935462002. Miguel and his family escape his abusive father to live in a battered women’s shelter. When his father promises to change his ways, Miguel finds that it isn’t so simple to cut family ties.

Beaty, Daniel. Knock, Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me. Little, Brown. December 2013. 40p. HC $18.00. ISBN 9780316209175. Why isn’t his dad around to play Knock, Knock jokes anymore?


Booth, Coe. Kinda Like Brothers. Scholastic. August 2014. 256p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780545224963. Jarrett is kinda mad he has to share a room with Kevon, a foster kid. They aren’t friends, they aren’t brothers, and they aren’t exactly enemies. But sometimes it sure feels like it.  


Burgess, Melvin. The Hit. Chicken House. February 2014. 304p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780545556996. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. Is life during these hard times so bad that this sounds like a great idea?


Chappell, Crissa-Jean. More Than Good Enough. Flux. January 2014. 216p. PB $8.99. ISBN 9780738736440. Trent doesn’t fit in on the Rez with his dad, who just got out of jail, or with his mom, who dumped him, but he does fit with Pippa. Will her acceptance be enough to help him realize that it’s enough to just be himself?


De Vries, Maggie. Rabbit Ears. HarperTrophy Canada. September 2014. 288p. PB $8.99. ISBN 9780062332905. Will Kaya escape her demons on the drug-infested streets?


Dragon, Laura Roach. Hurricane Boy. Pelican. March 2014. 160p. PB $8.95. ISBN 9781455619160.When their broken family is left homeless and separated from their sick grandmother, siblings must struggle to stay together after Hurricane Katrina.


Ewing, Lynne. The Lure. Balzer + Bray. February 2014. 288p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780062206886. Gangs, girls, and guns: a deadly combination.


Flores-Scott, Patrick.Jumped In. Henry Holt. August 2013. 304p. HC $16.99. ISBN 9780805095142. PB $9.99. ISBN 9781250053985. What happens when the toughest gang member makes you his partner to write poetry in English class?


Giles, Gail. Girls Like Us. Candlewick. May 2014. 224p. HC $16.99. ISBN 9780763662677. Quincy and Biddy rely on their natural sense of survival to make it in the real world after a lifetime of abuse and abandonment.


Hillman, Bill. The Old Neighborhood. Curbside Splendor. April 2014. 500p. PB $15.95. 9781940430003. Joe can’t seem to escape his destiny as a Chicago gang member, even as drug addiction and violence threaten to destroy his family and friends.


Jacobs, EvanSelf Destructed. Saddleback. May 2014. 254p. HC $20.80. ISBN 9780606361521. PB $9.95. ISBN 9781622507221. Michael’s crush on Ashley leads him to bring a gun to school, which lands him in jail, where he focuses on what he needs to do to gain control over his emotions.


Jones, Patrick. Bridge. Darby Creek. August 2014. 96p. HC $27.99. ISBN 9781467739030. PB $7.95. ISBN9781467744829. José’s life just got harder when his dad has a medical emergency and lands in jail.


Jones, Patrick. Controlled. Darby Creek. August 2014. 112p. HC $27.99. ISBN 9781467739023. PB $7.95. ISBN9781467744836. Misty is out of control, especially since her mother just died. But it’s nothing new – except to Rachel, her cousin. Because now Misty is moving in with Rachel and taking over. Drama, trouble and just possibly, good girl Rachel going bad.  


Jones, Patrick. Outburst. Darby Creek. August 2014. 104p. HC $27.93. ISBN 9781467739016 PB$7.95. ISBN 9781467744843. Jada is in trouble yet again for her inability to control her anger, but this time she puts her mother in the hospital by punching her in the face and breaking her jaw. 


Jones, Patrick. Target. Darby Creek. August 2014. 128p. HC $27.99. ISBN 9781467739009. PB $7.95. ISBN9781467744850. Native American Frankie’s trying to leave the gang and start new at Rondo High. His mom moved so that he would get away from the negative influences he had before. His dad’s in prison and is egging him on to take revenge, and his cousins are in his new neighborhood doing the same. What will Frankie do? 


Kuehn, Stephanie. Complicit. St. Martin’s Griffin. June 2014. 256p. HC $19.95. ISBN 9781250044594. Jamie has tried hard to fit in with his adoptive parents, but his sister hasn’t done anything but get into trouble, finally landing in jail for attempted murder. Now she’s out, and Jamie is sure she’s coming for him.  


Kowalski, William. The Innocence Device. Raven. September 2014. 128p. PB$9.95. ISBN 9781459807488. In a world made up of only prisoners and guards, Chago and his fellow prisoners are faced with the Innocence Device – a machine that decides immediate death or freedom. Does the device really work?


K’Wan. Black Lotus. Akashic. May 2014. 128p. HC $19.95. ISBN 9781617752650. PB $11.95. ISBN 9781617752667. Murder! Mystery! Intrigue! Can you figure out the assassin’s game?


Lippert-Martin, Kristen. Tabula Rasa. Egmont. September 2014. 352p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781606845189. After a disaster at the medical facility where she lives, Sarah must run and fight for her life, and as her memories return, she realizes that she has been the victim of medical experimentation and has a past as a teen vigilante hero.


Little, Ashley. Anatomy of a Girl Gang. Arsenal Pulp. May 2014. 254p. PB $16.95. ISBN 9781551525297. Fierce and raw, five girls join together to form the Black Roses gang. These ‘forgotten’ girls terrorize the streets of Vancouver.


Mac, Carrie. The Way Back. Orca Soundings. September 2014. 168p. PB $9.95. ISBN 9781459807150. Colby is homeless, pregnant, and addicted to meth. What she wants most is to get her and her best friend’s lives straightened out, but no matter how much you wish for something, sometimes it doesn’t work out.


Magoon, Kekla. How It Went Down. Henry Holt. October 2014. 336 p. HC $17.99. ISBN  9780805098693. Tariq Johnson, 16, is dead. Two gunshot wounds from a gun shot by a white man, Jack Franklin. What really went down? Everyone has something to say about it.


Morgan, Kass. The 100. September 2013. Little, Brown. 336p. HC $18.00. ISBN 9780316234474. PB $10.00. ISBN 9780316234498. One hundred teens, chosen to return to Earth after nuclear war has exiled humanity to life on spaceships, have one thing in common: criminal pasts. Given no choice, they face a dangerous world and a more dangerous enemy – each other.


Nelson, Blake. The Prince of Venice Beach. Little, Brown. June 2014. 240p. HC $18.00. ISBN 9780316230483. Cali uses his street smarts to work undercover and help other runaways in Venice Beach.  


Neri, GKnockout Games. Carolrhoda. August 2014. 304p. HC $17.95. ISBN 9781467732697. New girl Erica not only finds herself part of a knockout games gang, but becomes romantically involved with the Knockout King, Kalvin, who manipulates her for his own purposes.  


Reynolds, Jason. When I Was the Greatest. Atheneum. January 2014. 240p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781442459472. Friends + bad choices = deadly circumstances.


Robert, Na’ima B. Black Sheep. Frances Lincoln. March 2014. 272p. PB$8.99. ISBN 9781847802354. Dwayne walks the line between gang life and his relationship with Misha, whose mother disapproves of him. One night decides both of their futures, and not for the better.  


Samms, OliviaSnitch. Skyscape. April 2014. 256p. PB $9.99. ISBN 9781477847237. Bea is haunted by the bad choices she has made in the past, as well as by her ‘gift,’ to look into a person’s eyes and see if they are telling the truth. Will she use her ‘gift’ to help the police solve a murder?


Scarrow, KristineThrowaway Girl. November 2014. 184p. PB $12.99. ISBN 9781459714076. When Bernice is taken into foster care after her drug addicted mother beats her, her life becomes a roller coaster ride of abuse and tragedy as she strives to meet her goal of independence.


Shiraz, Yasmin. Accused. Still Eye Rise. May 2014. 274p. PB $11.95. ISBN 9780971817487. Date rapist on campus. Can Tashera stop him? Can Ahmed prove it’s not him?


Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. Caged Warrior. Disney Hyperion. May 2014. 224p. HC $15.99. ISBN 9781423171249. Will M.D.’s killer instincts in MMA lead him to a better life?


Thomas, Lex.The Saints: Quarantine #2. Egmont. July 2013. 400p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781606843369. PB $9.99. ISBN 9781606845400. How deadly can high school be? When the doors are locked due to a virus outbreak things are bleak. Eighteen months later when the doors open, it only gets worse.


Van Diepen, Allison. On the Edge. HarperTeen. November 2014. 304p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780062303448. The only witness to a homicide, Maddie is protected by Lobos, the sexy leader of the Destino gang.


Workman, P.D. Ruby: Between the Cracks. PD Workman. February 2014. 486p. PB $16.90. ISBN9780992153953. Ruby’s life is filled with gangs, drugs, foster families, and pregnancies but she is tough and wants to run her life on her terms.  Can she ever find happiness?


Non- Fiction


Bernstein, Nell. Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison. The New Press. June 2013. 384p. HC $26.95. ISBN 978-1595589569. What is the purpose and reality of incarcerating children throughout the history of US? What works and what doesn’t, and how have reforms impacted the system? Told through the voices and stories of the youth as well as impeccable research, Bernstein’s conclusion is unexpected yet convincing.


Butler, Pacc. From God’s Monster to the Devil’s Angel. CreateSpace. January 2014. 170p. PB $14.95. ISBN9781494771669. After a childhood full of abuse, is a life of crime on the streets with gangs his only option?  


Canion, Ebony. Left for Dead. Life Changing Books. February 2014. 228p. PB $15.99. ISBN9781934230596.Ebony’s tragedy-filled life takes a deadly turn when a woman with a grudge deliberately drives over her and drags her body through the street under her car. 


Goffman, AliceOn the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. University of Chicago Press. May 2014. 288p. HB $25.00. ISBN 9780226136714. PB $16.00. ISBN 9781250065667. Everyday life is a struggle for families and friends in the ghetto where dealing and addiction seem like the best way to cope when there is no escape.


Hall, Shyima. Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave. Simon & Schuster. January 2014. 240p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781442481688. Sold into servitude by her Egyptian parents, Shyima sees no hope of escape when her captors bring her to the United States.


Hart, Carl. High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society. Harper. June 2013. 352p. HC $26.99. ISBN 978-0062015884. PB $15.99. ISBN 978-0062015891. Research-based discussion of drug use, addiction, and policy failure, as well as thought provoking suggestions for change.


Hobbs, Jeff. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. Scribner. September 2014. 416p. HC $27.00. ISBN 9781476731902. Jeff Hobbs and Robert Peace were roommates at Yale. When Robert is murdered, Jeff is compelled to understand more deeply the facts of Robert’s life and the full scope of the circumstances that lead to his death.


Jiang-Stein, Deborah. Prison Baby. Beacon. March 2014. 176p. PB $14.00. ISBN 9780807098103. Born in a prison to an addicted mother, can Deborah ever fit in?


Knight, Michelle. Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed. Weinstein. May 2014. 280p. HC $14.98. ISBN 9781602862562. Kidnapped and tortured for 11 years, Michelle survives the horrors of captivity under the control of psychopath Ariel Castro.


Martinez, DavidHustle. Sarabande. May 2014. 84p. PB $14.95. ISBN  9781936747771. A violent and disturbing childhood in San Diego comes to life through stunning poetry. 


Miles, Michelle. The High Price I Had to Pay 2: Sentenced to 30 Years as a Nonviolent, First Time Offender.Voices International. November 2013. 66p. PB $7.99.  ISBN 9780991104109.She had it all and didn’t think twice until she got arrested by the Feds.  


Moore, Allison. Shards: A Young Vice Cop Investigates Her Darkest Case of Meth Addiction – Her Own.Touchstone. April 2014. 288p. HC$24.99. ISBN 9781451696356. PB$15.00. ISBN 978-1451696363. A vice cop fearlessly and graphically looks back at her descent into addiction.


Ross, Anthony. Homeless at 13 to a College Graduate: An Autobiography. Step One. April 2014. 96p. PB$9.99. ISBN 9780991322435. Anthony finds his way to college through great adversity. 


Save the Children. Let Me Live: Voices of Youth Incarcerated. Arissa Media Group. December 2013. 138p. PB $12.00. ISBN 9781936900220. Poems and drawings by incarcerated youth illustrate their struggles to be heard and respected as individuals with feelings, hopes, and dreams as well as potential for positive futures.


Stevenson, BryanJust Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Spiegel & Grau. October 2014. 352p. HC $28.00. ISBN 9780812994520. Devastating stories of children and adults wrongfully convicted and inadequately represented and the fight for hope.


Swan, BillReal Justice: Jailed for Life for Being Black. Lorimer. October 2014. 144p. PB $12.95. ISBN 978-1459406650. Angry and violent, legendary boxer Hurricane Carter finds himself wrongly accused and convicted of murder. How does this true story play out?


Wilson, Rayshawn. Lionheart: Coming from Where I’m From. Legendary Publishing. August 2014. 196p. PB$15.00. ISBN 9780982786321. Son of a crack addict mother, Rayshawn goes to prison for a felony he did not commit, struggles with finding employment, and triumphs in most unexpected ways.


Yamini, Omar. What’s Wrong With You! Smashwords. January 2014. PB $19.95. ISBN 9780991574605. Imprisoned for 15 years for a non-violent offense Yamini provides a gritty eyewitness account of life behind bars that tears to shreds its hip-hop illusion of urban coolness.


Zeman, MarybethTales of a Jailhouse Librarian. Vinegar Hill Press. February 2014. PB $15.99. ISBN 9780615953878. The lives of kids seen through the eyes of a woman who begins library services in a New York detention center.


Zusman, Angela & Zzhou, Mi. The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project. Story for All. October 2013. 206p. HC $59.99. ISBN 9780988763111. PB $14.99. ISBN 978-0988763104.100 African-American young men from Oakland, California tell it like it is.


2015 committee:

Chair: Amy Cheney, Librarian, Juvenile Justice Center, Alameda County, CA

Administrative Assistant: Dr. Kerry Sutherland, Youth Services Librarian, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH

Assistance: Mackenzie Magee, English teacher, Passages Academy, NY

Sabrina Carnesi, Librarian, Crittenden Middle School, VA

Dale Clark, Teacher-Librarian, Fraser Park Secondary, Burnaby Youth Custody Services, Burnaby, BC Canada

Joe Coyle, Project Coordinator, Mix IT Up!, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

Marvin DeBose Sr., Library Supervisor, Free Library of Philadelphia, PA

Maggie Novario, Teen Librarian, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, WA

Amy Wander, Youth Services Manager, Lafayette Public Library, LA