2015 Nominees: young readers

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 >
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 SIGN OF THE CAT by Lynne Jonell
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 16, 2015

"Intriguing, well-drawn characters, evocatively described settings, plenty of action, and touches of humor combine to create an utterly satisfying adventure. (Fantasy. 9-13)"
The ability to communicate with cats allows young Duncan McKay to survive an abduction, rescue a lost princess, and triumph over a wily enemy. Read full book review >
LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED by Emily Adrian
Released: June 2, 2015

"Original and intriguing; a powerful debut. (Fiction. 14-18)"
Budding actor Rebecca Rivers knows who she is and where she's going; she's also shadowed by an old, unearned middle school reputation that refuses to die. Read full book review >
CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 2, 2015

"A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care. (Fiction. 9-12)"
One strange afternoon, 10-year-old Micah Tuttle finds out that magic is real. Read full book review >
ONE FAMILY by George Shannon
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 26, 2015

"A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity. Read full book review >
KISSING IN AMERICA by Margo Rabb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 26, 2015

"Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Best friends leave New York City for the first time and take a transformative road trip to Los Angeles. Read full book review >
THE FOG DIVER by Joel Ross
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 26, 2015

"It's a fresh approach, convincingly delivered, with overtones reminiscent of Dickens…the only thing missing is a sequel, which readers will hope won't be far behind. (Science fiction. 8-12)"
Adult novelist Ross (White Flag Down, 2007, etc.) makes his middle-grade debut with a boy's desperate search to save himself and his crew from a horrible fate in a post-apocalyptic future.Read full book review >
ICE CREAM SUMMER by Peter Sís
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 26, 2015

"Oh, yum. (author's note, further reading) (Picture book. 4-10)"
In ice cream colors, Sís delivers an encomium to summer, to the power of learning, and to that beloved, creamy-cold treat. Read full book review >
LOST IN THE SUN by Lisa Graff
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 26, 2015

"Graff consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation, and here she offers a story that can survive for many school years to come. (Fiction. 9-12)"
When internal anger turns into outward rage, one middle school misfit must find a solution or risk ruining everything that matters. Read full book review >
THE AWESOME by Eva Darrows
Released: May 21, 2015

"Maggie's adventurous baptism-by-undead provides enough complications to set up a sequel—readers will not want to wait long for it. (Fantasy. 14-18)"
An apprentice monster hunter will never be promoted if she doesn't get her freak on. 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.