Heartland Award

2010 Winner – Hunger Games

Help determine the 2011 Heartland Award winner – Read 3 of the following books to be eligible to vote.

2011 Finalists

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother’s erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York

The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt

Amos Kincaid is the son of a dowser – a person gifted in knowing
how to “find” water deep in the ground. As a young person, Amos
doesn’t reveal his gift to others; he’s not sure he wants the
burden. But through his experiences growing up and crossing the
Oregon Trail, Amos learns about life’s harsh realities, especially
the pain in losing loved ones. As he cares for those around him,
Amos comes to accept his dowsing fate. This epic novel is a
fascinating period piece about the westward expansion and one
man’s destiny as he searches for love and family

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

Pop by Gordon Korman

When Marcus moves to a new town, he doesn’t have any friends. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with former NFL star Charlie Popovich, nicknamed “The King of Pop”. Charlie is a charismatic prankster, and the best football player Marcus has ever seen. But when his behavior starts getting more and more erratic, Marcus learns the secret that Charlie’s family is desperate to hide: Charlie is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s from the concussions he sustained while playing professional football.

As Marcus starts at his new school, he meets the starting quarterback: Troy Popovich. Right from the beginning, Marcus and Troy disagree — about football, about Troy’s ex-girlfriend Alyssa, but most of all, about what’s good for Charlie’s future. Marcus is betting that he knows what’s best for The King of Pop. And he will risk everything to help his friend

Out of the Blue by S. L Rottman

 Stu and his mom are heading to Minot, North Dakota, where she will assume command of the Air Force base. But this time it will be just the two of them. His brother is away at college, and their father has abruptly decided to move to Nevada.

With his family scattered and his mother preoccupied with military duties, Stu finds himself on his own and adrift in this new environment, caught between a respect for the regimented life of the military and an aching desire for independence and freedom. As he struggles to find his way, he is pulled into his neighbors_ dysfunctional family drama and becomes an unwitting participant. When tragedy finally strikes, Stu must come to terms with his own culpability.

Once again, award-winning author S. L. Rottman has crafted an absorbing young adult novel that powerfully depicts the emotional turbulence of teenage life and the difficulty of negotiating complex human relationships

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

 When Alton’s ageing, blind uncle asks him to attend bridge games with him, he agrees. After all, it’s better than a crappy summer job in the local shopping mall, and Alton’s mother thinks it might secure their way to a good inheritance sometime in the future. But, like all apparently casual choices in any of Louis Sachar’s wonderful books, this choice soon turns out to be a lot more complex than Alton could ever have imagined. As his relationship with his uncle develops, and he meets the very attractive Toni, deeply buried secrets are uncovered and a romance that spans decades is finally brought to a conclusion. Alton’s mother is in for a surprise!uis Sachar Classroom Cast –

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.

When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

Jeffrey isn’t a little boy with cancer anymore. He’s a teen who’s in remission, but life still feels fragile. The after-effects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping.
His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and “find himself.” Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he’s cute.

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

As a pastor’s kid, it’s hard not to buy into the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI, and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town goes missing, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam’s personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.
           
In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed—about God, your family, and yourself—is transformed

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