2015 Nominees: young readers

8 by Elisha Cooper
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 28, 2015

"Don't get behind the eight ball: order now; it's great fun. (Picture book. 4-10)"
A distinctive animal alphabet presents a counting game. Read full book review >
OUT OF THE WOODS by Rebecca Bond
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 21, 2015

"Awe-inspiring, exquisitely rendered, indeed 'unforgettable.' (author's note) (Picture book. 4-9)"
In 1914, a 4-year-old boy living in Gowganda, Ontario, witnesses a forest fire that forces people and animals into a nearby lake to survive. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS by Jane Kelley
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 14, 2015

"Readers with patience and the willingness to work with the story will find its rewards ample and lasting. (Magical realism. 9-13)"
With the help of Tasman, a singular boy with a troubled history, Val, a good-hearted, well-grounded sixth-grader, tries to harness ancient forces in order to help her best friend, Lanora, whose attempt to "begin again" has gone seriously awry. Read full book review >
I'M TRYING TO LOVE SPIDERS by Bethany Barton
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 7, 2015

"Both arachnophobes and arachnophiles will find useful debate fodder squashed within these pages. (Picture book. 3-12)"
What if "trying" not to hate spiders doesn't quite cut it? Read full book review >
MAD SCIENTIST ACADEMY by Matthew McElligott
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 7, 2015

"Mad fun. (Graphic science fantasy. 7-9)"
An informative but hair-raising tour of a rather-too-realistic dinosaur exhibit gives six new students a memorable first day at Mad Scientist Academy. Read full book review >
SHADOWSHAPER by Daniel José Older
Released: June 30, 2015

"Warm, strong, vernacular, dynamic—a must. (Urban fantasy. 14-18)"
When walking corpses—and worse—show up in the city, a teen discovers family secrets and ancestral powers. Read full book review >
THE PRINCESS AND THE PONY by Kate Beaton
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 30, 2015

"Instead of breaking bones, this warrior princess breaks the mold—and Beaton is in a class of her own. (Picture book. 3-8)"
A half-pint warrior princess wants a battle-ready horse for her birthday but instead receives a little farting pony—who brilliantly defies all expectation. Read full book review >
BOOM SNOT TWITTY THIS WAY THAT WAY by Doreen Cronin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 30, 2015

"Quietly alluring and visually peaceful. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A bear, a bird, and a snail differ on plans for an outing. Read full book review >
ONE WORD FROM SOPHIA by Jim Averbeck
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 16, 2015

"A must-read—for pet lovers and even for those not yet convinced. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Tutu-wearing Sophia packs determination, whimsy, and a plethora of strategies to handle a passel of impressive words. Read full book review >
SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY by Ben Clanton
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 16, 2015

"The slowly dawning message will elicit excitement about spring, wishing, and the ability to decode a narrative. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Bored with the familiar, this young daydreamer imagines how life could be different. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT WORLD by Mordicai Gerstein
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 16, 2015

"A beautifully realized and delightful celebration of night and sunrise. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A young narrator says goodnight to his cat, Sylvie, who later wakes him to beckon him to an adventure in the early hours. Read full book review >
MOTHMAN'S CURSE by Christine Hayes
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 16, 2015

"An ectoplasmic extravaganza…tailor-made for reading beneath the bedcovers. (Suspense. 10-12)"
Ghostly portents and horrifying visions drive two children to desperate efforts to avert an impending catastrophe in this debut chiller. Read full book review >

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ABOUT THE KIRKUS PRIZE

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 23, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.