2019-2020 SC Junior Book Award Nominees

All’s Faire in Middle School

Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.

Beyond the Bright Sea

Set adrift on the ocean in a small skiff as a newborn, twelve-year-old Crow embarks on a quest to find the missing pieces of her history.

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up

Highlights the life and accomplishments of the man who challenged the legality of imprisoning Japanese Americans during World War II, describing the prejudice he and other Japanese Americans experienced and his long struggle for justice.

Genevieve’s War

"In August 1939 Genevieve makes an impulsive decision not to get on train to take her to boat back New York and must spend the duration of World War II with her grandmother in a small village in Alsace, France, where she becomes involved with the French resistance"--.

Greetings from Witness Protection!

Thirteen-year-old Nikki Demere is an orphan and a kleptomaniac, making her the perfect girl to portray the Trevors' daughter in witness protection, but she soon learns that the biggest threat to her new family's security comes from her own past.

 

Halfway Normal

Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. The hospital social worker warns her the transition back may be tricky, but Norah isn’t worried. Compared with battling cancer, how tricky can seventh grade be?

Hear the Wolves

Sloan Riley is a skilled hunter, but since her mother left, and she lost hearing in one ear, she has clung to her father and older sister, so waking up and discovering they have left her for a few days terrifies her--but when an autumn blizzard threatens to bury her small Alaskan town, and the wolves begin to hunt, she must find her courage if she is to get herself and the few remaining citizens to safety beyond the forest.

In Some Other Life

Kennedy chose to pursue the boy of her dreams rather than attend an elite private school, but as their romance ends she gets a glimpse of the not-so-perfect life she might have had.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Aven Green was born without arms—so when her dad takes a job running a dying western theme park in Arizona, she knows she’ll become the center of unwanted attention at her new school. But she bonds with Connor, a classmate with his own disability to conquer. Then they discover a room at the park that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. Can Aven face her fears, solve a mystery, and help her friend, too?

 

Last Day on Mars

While waiting to leave Mars before it burns up just like the Earth before it, Liam and his friend Phoebe discover some facts about time and space and realize that the human race is just one of the races trying to survive in space.

Miles Morales: Spider Man

After a misunderstanding leads him to be suspended from school, Miles Morales feels conflicted about his identity as the new Spider-Man, but when his scholarship is threatened, he uncovers a plot that puts his friends and neighborhood at risk.

Nemesis

As the Anvil, an enormous asteroid, threatens to end all life on Earth, sixteen-year-old Min begins to uncover a lifetime of lies, a sinister conspiracy involving all students in her sophomore class in Fire Lake, Idaho.

Restart

When Chase returns to middle school after falling off the roof and losing his memory, he learns that the person he was before the amnesia is not someone he likes.

Saving Marty

When Lorenzo adopts Marty, a runt piglet, nothing prepares him for the life-changing bond they form or for the chaos a full grown pig can create.

Sidetracked

"Seventh-grader Joseph Friedman is friendless and puny, with ADD to boot. He spends most of his time avoiding the class bully and hiding out in the Resource Room. But the Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school cross country team, and he meets Heather, a new student who's tough and athletic and refuses to be pushed around by anybody"--.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Miami summer is marked by the arrival of poetry enthusiast Carmen, who helps him use the power of protest to fight the plans of a land developer who wants to demolish his Abuela's restaurant.

The First Rule of Punk

Twelve-year-old Maraia Luisa O'Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malâu) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade

Maverick Falconer wishes that he could deal with school bullies and his mother's drinking problem and abusive boyfriends, but he starts to realize that others kids in his class have problems too and things might get better if they just survive sixth grade.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Wild Bird

In her most incisive and insightful book yet, Wendelin Van Draanen, award-winning author of The Running Dream and Flipped, offers a remarkable portrait of a girl who has hit rock bottom, but begins a climb back to herself at a wilderness survival camp in the desert.