2020 Illinois Teen Choice Award
These 20 books are nominated for a statewide readers' choice award. High school students across Illinois will read the books, then vote for their favorites in February.
The LMC has 5 print copies of each title, plus ebook and audiobook copies available on Overdrive.
Color brochure available in the LMC.
The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
Leigh Chen Sanders believes when her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. When she travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time, Leigh is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, Justyce McAllister can't escape the preconceptions of race. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce gets on the wrong side of a white off-duty cop. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and a friend are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.
Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
To his great surprise, uncool eleventh-grader Max Cobb is invited to join the Chaos Club, an exclusive group of students responsible for some of the biggest pranks at his high school.
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn't feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence
Hooper by Geoff Herbach
For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam's basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he's tapped to play on a select team, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life. But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens everything, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and his favorite sport.
How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
Sandra Uwiringiyimana was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. The rebels had come at night -- wielding weapons, torches, machetes. She watched as her mother and six-year-old sister were gunned down in a refugee camp, far from their home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "Goodbye, life," she said to the man ready to shoot her. Remarkably, the rebel didn't pull the trigger, and Sandra escaped into the night.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable--more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn't turn up for the first day of school, Claudia's worried. When she doesn't show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Now Claudia needs her best--and only--friend more than ever. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she's gone?
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
What would you be willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune? Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. He is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. Will he win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human.
Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first-grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach's mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter's parents, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. Spoken word poetry and rap is the way she figures out how she feels.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray--a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America--overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there is something extraordinary in store for both of them. Set during one amazing day in New York City, when both of them have a lot at stake.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure -- to live a lifetime in a single day.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
t all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family's bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. Now Rachel has returned to the city -- and to the bookshop -- to work alongside the boy she'd rather not see. As Henry and Rachel work side by side -- surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages -- they find hope in each other.