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 >
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 >
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 >
THE BEST MAN by Richard Peck
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A nostalgic slice of Rockwell Americana with a contemporary filling. Delicious—take a bite. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Male role models aren't a scarce commodity for Archer Magill, but when two of them fall in love, what does that mean for his comprehension of the weird world of adults? Then there's all that impending puberty stuff. Read full book review >
THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions. (Thriller. 15-18)"
Three teens in small-town Ohio struggle with sexual violence, together and individually, in a tragic thriller. Read full book review >
VASSA IN THE NIGHT by Sarah Porter
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An enthralling, magic-tinged read about home, family, love, and belonging. (Urban fantasy. 14 & up)"
Brooklyn is an enchanted kingdom where most aspire to arrive—most of it, that is, the exception being Vassa's working-class neighborhood, where the white teen lives with her stepmother and stepsisters, struggling with the feeling that she does not belong. Read full book review >
OWL SEES OWL by Laura Godwin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A perfectly paced, holistically rendered home-away-home story. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Leaving the tree trunk where family slumbers, a fledgling owl explores the night world. Read full book review >
YOU ARE TWO by Sara O'Leary
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 15, 2016

"Pick up a copy or two for the toddlers and toddler-fans in your life. (Picture book. 2)"
A celebration of what it is to be 2! 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.