Award/Honor Books, Romance, YA Fiction

When We Collided by Emery Lord

Grades 9-12


Vivi has just arrived in Verona Cove for the summer, and she has already fallen in love with it. She is working at the local crafting store when Jonah and his little sister Leah come to paint. Jonah is only sixteen but has taken on the role of main caregiver for his siblings after his mother has fallen ill. Neither Vivi nor Jonah expected to become as close as they did so quickly, but meeting each other that summer changes their lives forever.

Award/Honor Books, YA Fiction

Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

Grades 9-12

tell-meThe Babcock sisters have a close relationship with each other even though all three of them are vastly different. Their family is shaken when they learn the news that their mother has cancer. The girls spend time with her at a Mexican clinic where she is receiving an alternative treatment. While the girls try to balance their lives at school with their mother’s imminent death, they are blindsided with a truth about their mother that they never could have imagined.


Award/Honor Books, Nonfiction

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant

Grades 1-4


An accident caused Louis Braille to lose his sight at five years old. Braille was desperate to live like everyone else, and most of all, missed the ability to read books. When he discovered that even the school for the blind in Paris didn’t have books for him to read, he created his own system using only 6 dots so that he was able to feel the words with his fingers and was finally able to read. The story is written in first person, as if Braille is actually narrating his own biography, and it is simple enough for children to read on their own.

Award/Honor Books, Picture Books

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

Grades K-2

A grandmother who lives with her very big family yearns to be left alone to finish her knitting. She is determined to find a quiet space all to herself so she can get her work done. Unbeknownst to her family, she slips out one day and begins her quest to find a quiet place. Along the way, she meets bears, goats and even aliens, but nothing will stop her from her ultimate goal: knitting warm sweaters for her grandkids.

Award/Honor Books, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Grades 3-6


Annabelle’s life in a quiet Pennsylvania town has been affected by two world wars, but her life really changes when she meets her new classmate Betty Glengarry. Betty is a typical bully and makes it known. She specifically attacks Toby a veteran of World War I. Will Annabelle, who knows what a kind soul Toby is, be able to stand up for him or will she choke and be a bystander?

This is a 2017 Newbery Honor book.

Animals, Award/Honor Books, Picture Books

They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Ages 3-6


This book highlights observation and imagination as a cat walks through its world and is seen by various animals in different ways. They see the cat in different colors and forms. Some see a black and white cat, some see a rainbow-colored cat. Some see him clearly and some see him fuzzily. How will you see the cat?

This is a 2017 Caldecott Honor book.

Award/Honor Books, Nonfiction

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford

Grades 1-3


This nonfiction book tells the hopeful story of how hard-working slaves got through their week by looking forward to Sunday, when they could relax and have fun in 19th century Louisiana’s Congo Square. The book narrates what they had to do each day of the week in a poetic manner.

This is a 2017 Caldecott Honor book.

This is a 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book.

Award/Honor Books, Romance, YA Fiction

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Grades 9-12
sun star.jpg
Natasha is a girl who doesn’t believe in fate, only facts. She’s not the type of girl who pictured herself meeting a boy in New York City and falling in love with him. A boy, whose family is about to be deported to Jamaica, no less.

Daniel is a boy whose always been a good student and lived up to his parents’ high expectations and  is on the straight and narrow.

When Natasha and Daniel cross paths, however, everything stops them in their tracks and the only thing they see is each other. The two of them wonder what is to become of them and if the universe will allow their lives to intertwine.

The Sun Is Also A Star is a 2017 Prinz Honor book.

Nicola Yoon won the 2017 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award.


Award/Honor Books, Memoirs

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guererro

Ages 18+
From Diane Guererro comes a memoir everyone should read. In it, she discusses her melancholy adolescence when her loving parents and brother were taken away from her by immigration while she was at school one day. It also speaks to the strong woman she became because of it. Best known for her role as Maritza Ramos in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, Guererro shines in this debut memoir. Latinos and non-Latinos alike will appreciate the honesty and poignancy that this book brings, especially shedding light on the system that fails immigrants and their children on a daily basis.

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided is a 2017 Alex Award winner.


Award/Honor Books, LGBTQ+, Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Grades 9-12david

Chances are, if you were born in 1994 or later, you remember the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I know I do. I was 12 years old and in 7th grade- ugh, middle school. Possibly the worst time in my life. I mean, how many people have fond memories of middle school? Even so, I won’t ever forget that day. There was a message on the loudspeaker for teachers to check their emails. Then the entire 7th grade was ushered into the cafeteria and they explained to us what had happened. It was a blur after that. No one I knew worked in the city, but my classmates had parents and relatives that worked there.

David Levithan’s book, which was published in 2009, follows three teens, Claire, Jasper and Peter, as they experience the same thing I did back in 2001 on the nation’s second day of infamy. Claire and Peter are classmates; both high school juniors. Jasper is a college sophomore. Yet each teen is drawn to the other as a result of the catastrophic event. They become good friends as they lean on each other and try to wrap their heads around what happened on that fateful day.