And The Winner Is…

Meet the winner of the 2014 CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award:

IAmMalala

I Am Malala captured readers’ hearts and minds. Congratulations to the remarkable Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb!

Of 696 votes cast, I Am Malala received 115, earning the top place in the 2014 TRCA. But it was a tight race!

HONOURABLE MENTION GOES TO THESE CLOSE SECOND- AND THIRD-PLACE WINNERS:

 The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey wins second place with 111 votes, and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a close third, with 106 votes.

5thWaveEleanorAndPark

The full list of nominees, ordered by number of votes received, is:

1) I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb (115 votes)
2) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (111 votes)
3) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (106 vote)
4) Every Day by David Levithan (95 votes)
5) The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (85 votes)
6) Far Far Away by Tom McNeal (57 votes)
7) Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Powerful Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (42 votes)
8) Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (35 votes)
9) Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (30 votes)
10) Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks (20 votes)

 Thank you to all who participated in the 2014 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. And thank you to the authors who, through these excellent books, share their creativity, knowledge, and wisdom.

Meet Dr. Malala

Malala Yousafzai, whose book I Am Malala is a contestant in the 2014 TRCA, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax this month. In addition to making Malala an honorary doctor of civil law at the May 15 graduation ceremonies, the university launched the new Malala Yousafzai Canada Scholarships. The scholarships are for young women from developing nations who cannot afford a post-secondary education. The scholarships pay full tuition, travel and residence fees, including books and incidentals, for a four-year undergraduate degree at King’s.

“I was excited when King’s College announced a scholarship for students who are in developing countries,” Malala told the university. “[The] student who dreams for a better future, for a better world, would get the opportunity for a quality education. And that is what totally made me happy.”

 

The votes are in…

Old ballot box, Norway. Source: T. Bjorkan, Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Licence)

Old ballot box, Norway. Source: T. Bjorkan, Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Licence)

Thanks to everyone who cast a vote in the 2014 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. The ballots are in and we’re starting to count! We’ll announce the winner in roughly a week.

Check back between now and Tuesday, May 20 for additional posts about the Top 10 books.

 

Remember to vote!

TRCA-Voting-_POSTER-2014-Yes, time really does fly when you’re reading good books. Tomorrow — Friday, May 9 — is the deadline to vote in the Teen Reader’s Choice Award. Mark your ballots! Have your say!

You have two options for voting:

1) Fill out a paper ballot in your school library

2) Go to the “Vote!” tab at the top of this blog and register your vote online.

Please vote only once. You don’t have to read all 10 books to vote (but, of course, we hope you will read as many as you can).

We’ll announce the winning book on Tuesday, May 20.

Meantime, keep on reading!

Read Alikes: Every Day

It’s hard to compile a list of books that may provide a similar read to David Levithan’s Every Day because Every Day is a remarkably unique book. The premise is fantastic: a genderless being named “A” wakes up every day in a different body and must live that person’s life without interfering. And then one day, A wakes up in a young man’s body and falls in love with his girlfriend.

Fantasy, right?

Well, not exactly. Levithan takes this fantastical premise and somehow makes it entirely believable. The resulting story–at times gritty, romantic, funny and suspenseful–is a genre-jumping wonder that will hold the interest of fantasy and realistic-fiction fans alike. With that in mind, we suggest these diverse books that might appeal to fans of Every Day:

Getting The Girl Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak

“Cameron Wolfe is the quiet one in his family, not a soccer star like his brother Steve or a charming fighter with a new girl every week like his brother Rube. Cam would give anything to be near one of those girls, to love her and treat her right. He especially likes Rube’s latest, Octavia, with her brilliant ideas and bright green eyes. But what woman like that would want a loser like him? Maybe Octavia would, Cam discovers. Maybe he’d even have something to say. And those maybes change everything: winning, loving, losing, the Wolfe brothers, and Cameron himself.” (Source: Amazon.ca)

Life After LifeLife After Life by Kate Atkinson

“What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

“During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

“During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

“What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?  Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again.” (Source: http://www.kateatkinson.co.uk)

boy meets boyBoy Meets Boy by David Levithan

If you liked Levithan’s Every Day, chances are you’ll like his other books. Boy Meets Boy is another love story steeped in realism, humour, and high-school life — with a twist.

Here is the book’s description, from Amazon.ca:

“This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

“When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.” (Source: Amazon.ca)

Malala: Bring Back Kidnapped Nigerian Students

Malala Yousafzai #BringBackOurGirlsMalala Yousafzai has called on the Nigerian government to take decisive action to find and rescue more than 200 female students who were kidnapped in Nigeria on April 15. Media reports say the teenage girls, students at a boarding school, were kidnapped by a militant group that opposes girls’ education.

“These abducted schoolgirls are my sisters, and I call on the international community and the government of Nigeria to take action and save my sisters, ” she told Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. “It should be our duty to speak up for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are in a very difficult situation.”

Image Source: The Malala Fund

Malala, an education advocate who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in 2012, is the author of I Am Malala, one of the finalists in this year’s CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award.

 

Message from Prudence Shen, author of Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

NothingCanPossiblyGoWrongWe wrote Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong author Prudence Shen to let her know the novel she wrote with Faith Erin Hicks is a hit with students participating in the third annual CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Book Award.

Here is her encouraging and humorous response:

“I’m so thrilled Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is on the shortlist for the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board Teen Reader’s Choice Award! Very little warms the cockles of my shriveled writer’s heart like knowing kids who are already too smart for their own good are gobbling up media that depicts deadly robot creation and (sort of) grand theft auto! If you decide to combine these skills sets, please direct your monster robot away from New York City – at least until I move away from here.

“More seriously, like many of you future novelists and storytellers of all types and kinds know, nothing is as wonderful as spinning a yarn and having it connect. Telling a story about someone else or something else is oftentimes the best way to tell your story, the true one that you’re hiding in between the lines of dialogue, high fantasy and shenanigans. It’s a way to kindly, without overstepping, reach out and say, ‘I know exactly how you feel.’ To those of you who love robots, who feel a little trapped, who worry about being a bad friend or doing the right thing? Charlie and Nate and Joanna know exactly how you feel, and so do I.

“Thanks for being good library patrons, and for having the flawless good taste to read this graphic novel that Faith Erin Hicks and I made. I’m so glad you had time to hear my story, and I can’t wait to hear yours one day.”

–Prudence Shen, author of Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Read Alikes — Seraphina

Seraphina dazzles with its engrossing and imaginative story and musical writing. If you liked Seraphina, you might also like these books:

DaughterofSmokeandBoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

“In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth has grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal other-wordly war.

“Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.”  (Sources: amazon.ca and daughterofsmokeandbone.com)

eragonEragon by Christopher Paolini

“Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy — until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed.

“Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save — or destroy — the Empire.”  (Source: www. alagaesia.com)

 

 

 

GracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. (Source: Harcourt Books)

 

 

Read Alikes — Far Far Away

We loved the fairy-tale feel and the quirky, clever characters in Tom McNeal’s Far Far Away. Check out these read-alikes for other sure-to-please novels:

1) Anything by Neil Gaiman. Some of our favourite picks are Coraline, Anansi Boys, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Coraline by Neil GaimanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil GaimanAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The Washington Post described Coraline (2002) as “inventive, scary, thrilling, and finally affirmative.” If you’ve seen the movie but have never read the book, give it a try. Nothing beats Gaiman’s clear writing and creepily creative plot-line. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013) has similar creep-factor, in a fairy tale that will resonate with adults and teens alike. It’s the story of a middle-aged man who returns to his childhood home and falls into a flood of remembrance about the strange, magical, and deeply scary things that happened to him as a child. Our third Gaiman pick, Anansi Boys, brings a modern riff to the old African myth about trickster-god Anansi. Gaiman introduces readers to Fat Charlie Nancy, whose dull life ends once he realizes his dad was a god, and to Charlie’s long-lost and dangerous brother, Spider.

Other read-alikes for Far Far Away:

Doll Bones by Holly BlackDoll Bones by Holly Black (2013)

“Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

“But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

“Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?” (Source: blackholly.com)

 

The Prince of the Mist by Carlos Ruiz ZafonThe Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1993, Spanish; English edition 2010)

Readers describe this book as a cross between Neil Gaiman and Stephen King: part suspense-horror-mystery, fairy tale, fantasy and ghost story.

“Nothing is more powerful than a promise,” says the book’s trailer. The Prince of Mist is the story of Max, whose father moves the family to an abandoned house on the remote seaside. The house features an overgrown garden, strange statuary, and a whispering wardrobe. A lonely lighthouse surveys the site of a shipwreck that years ago killed all aboard but one. And so Max begins to unravel the story of the legendary Prince of Mist.

 

NearWitchThe Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (2011)

“The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for compan
y.  There are no strangers in the town of Near.

“These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

“The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.  As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know- about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. ” (Source: victoriaschwab.com)

Message from Bomb author Steve Sheinkin

BombWe e-mailed Bomb author Steve Sheinkin to let him know his book is among the Top 10 in this year’s CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award. We were thrilled to receive his speedy and gracious response:

 

“[W]ell, you might think I’m saying this just to be nice, but Nova Scotia is absolutely one of my favorite places in the world. When I was 13, I went on a month long bike trip with a bunch of other kids in Nova Scotia, and I’ve been back a couple of times since. I have young kids now, 4 and 7, and I can’t wait to bring them. So for me it’s extra cool that students there are reading Bomb, and, hopefully, enjoying it. Thanks!!”

–Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb

Thank YOU, Steve, for such a remarkable and riveting book!

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