It’s time again for the biennial New Hampshire Literary Awards! Because the awards are every two years, books eligible for this cycle were published between June 1, 2013 and March 31, 2016. To qualify, books had to be written by New Hampshire natives and/or residents or have New Hampshire featured in their content.
There are two aspects of the New Hampshire Literary Awards. A panel of judges read and name the winner in each category. The other facet of the competition lets readers and fans have a say with the Readers’ Choice Awards. You can vote for one of the following books in the Young Adult category–and in the other categories as well (Children’s Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction.) You don’t have to be a NH resident to vote. Disclaimer: My adult mystery/thriller, Dangerous Denial, is a nominee for Outstanding Work of Fiction.
The Readers’ Choice Awards will be announced at the New Hampshire Literary Awards ceremony on November 3rd.
AND NOW…the nominees for Outstanding Young Adult Book (fiction or non-fiction) are:
Bullied into Silence by Julie A. Dickson
They couldn’t hurt Aaron anymore, but he couldn’t move on. He lingered, watching over the weak, visiting his mourning family. There would always be victims; Aaron knew this. As long as the gym teachers and cafeteria monitors conveniently turned their backs on what they were well aware of was happening; the abuse of the vulnerable would never end.
Chelsea Creek to Bunker Hill: Spring 1775 by Terri A. DeMitchell
The spring of 1775 was a confusing time, especially for fourteen-year-old Andrew Beckett. His plan to attend Harvard College to prepare to study medicine with his mentor, Dr. Ammi Cutter, has been shattered by the troop build up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And, life in his hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is becoming more dangerous by the day. Colonel John Stark, in charge of the troops from New Hampshire, requests medical supplies from Dr. Cutter. The doctor sends Andrew to deliver them, embroiling him in the battles of Chelsea Creek and Bunker Hill.
Past Lives by Shana Chartier
J has been cursed for all eternity. In her very first life on Earth, she made the mistake of falling in love with her sister’s betrothed…and it was all downhill from there. In revolutionary France, J and the other members of Marie Antoinette’s court are forced into hiding, desperate to escape a wild uprising out for their blood. From there, she is reincarnated in America in the late 1800s, where she disguises herself as a man in the Confederate army and is surrounded by carnage and blood. In Austria in the 1930s, she became the only hope for her Jewish friends’ survival against the Nazi storm. Now, as a 21st century teenager, she faces mountains of extracurricular volunteer work and a ruthless bully all on her quest to get into a competitive college. Talk about a bummer. Beside her in each life, Sebastian finds himself on the wrong side of every battle. Always a soldier, he makes it his mission time and time again to rescue J with the hope that maybe someday they’ll get the chance to be together, if only that were possible. They say that everything happens for a reason, but can J and Sebastian find a way to break their curse and finally make a life together?
The Runaway’s Gold by Emilie Christine Burack
In 1842, Christopher Robertson’s family lives a difficult life as “crofters,” farmers and fishermen so in debt to the landowner that they have no hope of ever breaking free. To make matters worse, Christopher also lives under the thumb of his morally questionable father and devious brother. When his brother frames him for the theft of their father’s secret bag of coins, Christopher must leave his home and embark on a journey across the island to return the coins and clear his name. It’s a journey that takes twists and turns, including stops in prison, on a smuggler’s ship, and at the house of a beautiful girl—and it ends with him escaping to a new life in America, which has dangers of its own.
Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule
Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth―not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians―but as an artist and leading lady in her own right. Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school’s production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary? Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.
Already have a favorite? Vote now! Or pick up a copy of each and enjoy reading some quality New Hampshire young adult literature. Voting doesn’t end until midnight on September 30th.