What’s cool about the California Young Reader Medal is that the books are selected by young readers. So, teens select the winner of the young adult category. In order to vote, you have to read all three of the nominated books, of course. Sometimes adults worry that teens won’t select books that are well written. But the truth is that some of my favorite YA books have been Californian Young Reader Medal winners. In fact, one of my absolute, all-time favorite YA books–Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes was a winner years ago. So, we shouldn’t worry. Teens make great choices in books!
Of the three nominees for 2014, I’ve read (and reviewed) Divergent. I do love both Jennifer Donnelly, the author of Revolution, and Wendelin Van Draanen, the author of The Running Dream, so this year’s award will make for some great reading.
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.