2021 Nominees


As Many Nows As I Can Get

by Shana Youngsahl
One impulsive moment during the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into an irresistible swirl of romance, partical physics, and  questionable decisions.                  

Aurora Rising  (2021 honor book)

by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions.  They're not the heroes we deserve.  They're just the heroes we could find.  No one panic. 



by Meredith Russo 
Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time.  We meet them once a year on their shared birthday.                                          


The Cheerleaders  (2021 Winner)

by Kara Thomas 
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.  There was a car accident, murders, and a suicide - no one wants to be reminded of the girls they lost.  But Monica is starting to unravel with her need to know more.


Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite 
A school presentation goes very wrong.  Alaine finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti, and writing the report of a lifetime.

Frankly In Love 

by David Yoon 
Frank Li is in limbo between the traditional expectations of his Korean parents and his Southern California upbringing.                           



by Samira Ahmed 
Set in a horrorifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. 


I Wish You All the Best 

by Mason Deaver
When Ben comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister and her husband they've never met.  


Kiss Number 8

by Colleen Venable 
Amanda can't figure out what's so exciting about kissing.  All of her seven kisses have been horrible in different ways, but nothing compared to the awfulness that followed Kiss Number Eight.                                                                             


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me 

by Mariko Tameki 
Laura Dean is Frederica's dream girl.  Only problem is that Laura Dean may not be the greatest girlfriend.      


Let Me Hear a Rhyme

by Tiffany D. Jackson
Three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.


Like a Love Story

by Abdi Nazemian 
It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.  Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS.


Love From A to Z

by S.K. Ali
Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, confronts a racist teacher and is suspended.  She takes off for an early spring break in Qatar where she meets up with Adam who has recently been diagnosed with MS.                             


Ordinary Hazards

by Nikki Grimes
In her own voice, author and poet Nikki Grimes explores her harrowing childhood in a memoir in verse.  Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, she found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. 

Patron Saints of Nothing 

by Randy Ribay
A coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks Jay, a Filopino-American teenager, takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.



by Akwaeke Emezi
There are no more monsters, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught.  Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood.  She must reconsider what she's been told.  Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in her best friend's house.


Serpent & Dove  

by Shelby Mahurin 
Lou is a witch.  Witches like her are hunted and burned.  Reid is a Chasseur, a witch hunter.  A wicked stunt finds them married to each other and falling in love.  Love makes a fool of us all.


The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig

by Don Zolidis
The worst thing that's ever happened to Craig is also the best: Amy.  Amy and Craig never should've gotten together.  Yet somehow they did.  Until Amy dumped him.  Then got back together again.  Over and over and over again.


They Called Us Enemy  (2021 honor book)

by George Takei
A graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist Geogre Takei's childhood imprisioned within American concentration camps during World War II. 


Three Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

by Laura Ruby
The unforgettable story of two young women--one living, one dead--dealing with loss, desire and the fragility of the American dream during WWII.


We Are here To Stay

by Susan Kuklin
Meet nine courageous young adults who have lived in the United States with a secret for much of their livesL they are not U.S. citizens.  They come from Columbia, Mexico, Ghana, Independent Samoa, and Korea. 



by Scott Brown 
Will Daughtry is a late-bloomer--at least, that's what everyone tells him.  On his sixteenth birthday, Will is just shy of five feet, and he is bitterly resigned to being tiny forever.  Then he starts to grow...fast.