2016 Nominees: young readers

LITTLE BOT AND SPARROW by Jake Parker
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Dreaming keeps memories alive for a very special robot in this sweet, quiet tale. (Picture book. 4-6)"
A mechanical-avian friendship is an endearing one. Read full book review >
SHY by Deborah Freedman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An exquisite treasure for bashful readers, animal lovers, and anyone who's ever wanted a friend. (Picture book. 3-7, adult)"
Someone extremely shy finds a friend. Read full book review >
FRAZZLED by Booki Vivat
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A hilarious Asian-American heroine guaranteed to provoke laughs—not anxiety. (Fiction. 8-13)"
Abbie Wu, Chinese-American preteen and worrywart, is doomed. Read full book review >
RESCUE SQUAD NO. 9 by Mike Austin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"'Hooray! Hooray!' (Picture book. 2-5)"
Following Fire Engine No. 9 (2015), Austin looks at maritime emergency vehicles. Read full book review >
PENGUIN PROBLEMS by Jory John
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Well-paced, bursting with humor, and charmingly misanthropic. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Being a penguin isn't all it's cracked up to be in John and Smith's debut collaboration. Read full book review >
THE INQUISITOR'S TALE by Adam Gidwitz
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing. (Fantasy. 11 & up)"
Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story set in medieval France. Read full book review >
MONDAY IS WASH DAY by MaryAnn Sundby
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A labor of love itself, this picture book delivers readers to an early time and leaves them feeling as warm and sun-kissed as a sheet fresh off the line. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Two sisters help with the week's laundry in an era when doing the wash required much more than the quick turn of a knob. Read full book review >
FALLING OVER SIDEWAYS by Jordan Sonnenblick
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Authentic, funny, dramatic, fantastic. (Fiction. 10-14)"
When Claire's family is turned upside down, her friends—and enemies—become a surprising source of support. Read full book review >
DIVE! by Deborah Hopkinson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Fascinating World War II history for history buffs and browsers alike. (epilogue, bibliography, source notes) (Nonfiction. 8-14)"
Hopkinson's writing plumbs the depths in relating the undersea exploits of American submariners during World War II. Read full book review >
UNBOUND by Ann E.  Burg
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Beautifully done. (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
The author of Serafina's Promise (2013) returns with another lyrical novel in verse. Read full book review >
THE CHANGER'S KEY by Kent Davis
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Piracy, pyrotechnics, prison—prodigious.(Fantasy. 10-13)"
It's what inside that counts—particularly when it's a ciphered secret hidden in your blood. Read full book review >
DINING WITH DINOSAURS by Hannah Bonner
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Five-star fare for librovores. (index, timelines, glossary) (Informational picture book. 8-12)"
From T. rex and like "mega carnivores" down to bacterial "trashivores," everyone is a guest—and also on the menu—at this paleo-pantry. 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, 2015, and October 31, 2016 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2016 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 3, 2016, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.