Thanks to all the suggestions and reminders of various lists and awards the feature young adult books!
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., have announced the 2012 Nebula Award Nominees, including the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Twelve titles were nominated; the winner will be announced in May. This list is from that announcement. I’ve included links to the ones I’ve read.
Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz). From my review: “Cassel Sharpe, 17, couldn’t stay out of trouble if he wanted to. (Now that’s a question; given his talents, his family, and his background, does he want to?) The Feds are forgiving his past crimes if he works for them, using his unique talent as a transformation worker, someone who can transform whatever he touches. His mother is in big trouble with the local crime boss, and all will be forgiven if Cassel does him one little favor. Cassel knows there is no such thing as one favor. It’s complicated by the fact that neither the mob nor the feds can now he’s working for the other. Oh, and another thing — the crime boss just happens to be the father of the girl Cassel loves. Just to make things all that more simple — not — Cassel has to worry about his senior year in high school. Classes, avoiding demerits, friends, and a possible blackmail scheme. It’s all in a day’s work for someone with a black heart like Cassel.”
Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom). From my review: “The Diviners is a supernatural story set in the Roaring Twenties. Evie is the main character, yes; but she’s only one of the main characters. Once in New York, she meets her uncle’s assistant, Jericho, reunites with best friend, Mabel, becomes friends with Theta, a Ziefgeld Girl, and Theta’s roommate Henry; and crosses paths with a pickpocket, Sam. At the same time, we learn about Memphis, a numbers runner in Harlem. In a way, Bray is establishing a Team; but (since it’s Bray) it’s not as simple as bringing a Team together. Bray doesn’t do anything as expected as having these teenagers (and all of them are about seventeen years old) meeting and sharing their secrets with each other by page 110. Heck, it’s not even as simple as Evie and the others meeting each other; there are crossed paths and missed meetings. In other words, it’s a cast of characters who are unexpected and fresh and delicious, both in who they are but also in how they related to each other, even when they don’t know it.”
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House Children’s Books; Doubleday UK). From my review: “Seraphina’s world: What is her world, exactly? The book begins just a few weeks after she joins the royal household, but soon it’s learned that this is Seraphina’s first steps outside her family. Seraphina has tried to keep herself away, hidden, at arm’s length from others to protect her secret. She doesn’t always know how to interact with others. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered, while reading, if some of Seraphina’s brusqueness was part of her dragon heritage or the result of a deep seated sense of isolation: “I did not understand that I carried loneliness before me on a plate, and that music would be the light illuminating me from behind.” Whatever the reason, she is also a keen observer of people: “He noticed my eyes upon him and ran a hand through his wheaten hair as if to underscore how handsome he was.”
Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day, David Levithan (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)