2016 Nominees: young readers

THE SNURTCH by Sean Ferrell
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"Original in its visual and linguistic presentation of behavioral problems, this important call for understanding should sit on library, classroom, and bedrooms shelves—the high ones, just above a Snurtch's reach. (Picture book. 2-8)"
The Snurtch sits in Ruthie's seat at school, all furry, spiky, goofy, and googly-eyed, waiting—just as she expected. Read full book review >
THE PROS & CONS OF BEING A FROG by Sue deGennaro
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"This celebration of differences displays great respect for readers' intelligence and yields more with each reading. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The amphibian in this Australian import is actually a child who likes to dress as something else because it "makes me feel brave." Read full book review >
FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"An original new Alice confronts her own wonderland in this smashing fantasy. (Fantasy. 9-12)"
A 12-year-old girl who doesn't fit into her own world embarks on a harrowing quest with a boy she doesn't trust to find her missing father. Read full book review >
ALL WE HAVE LEFT by Wendy Mills
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Both a poignant contemplation on 9/11 and a necessary intervention in this current political climate. (timeline, author's note) (Fiction. 13-18)"
This election cycle, with its exacerbated Islamophobia, makes author Mills' (Positively Beautiful, 2015) fictive meditation on 9/11 and the 15 years after especially timely. Read full book review >
APPLESAUCE WEATHER by Helen Frost
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Light yet poignant, this multigenerational family tale shows age proves no barrier when it comes to offering solace. (Verse/fiction. 8-12)"
Young and old bridge the generational gap to find comfort amid loss. Read full book review >
A MOST MAGICAL GIRL by Karen Foxlee
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Deliciously complex and convincingly detailed. (Historical fantasy. 9-13)"
A young Victorian girl is called to duty in a battle between witchy good and evil. Read full book review >
THE IMAGINATION BOX by Martyn Ford
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A splendid adventure, hilarious and harrowing in turn and so strongly cast that even the precocious pocket primate doesn't steal the show. (Science fantasy. 11-13)"
Two young sleuths—three if you count the talking marmoset—narrowly avert worldwide disaster after a truly dangerous device and its inventor vanish suddenly. Read full book review >
THE SOUND OF SILENCE by Katrina Goldsaito
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"An inviting tale that will stretch inquisitive and observant young minds—and may even lead children to a greater appreciation of that golden commodity, silence. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Like a Zen koan, this story draws readers' attention to silence, that vanishingly rare attribute of modern family life. Read full book review >
RETURN by Aaron Becker
Kirkus Star
by Aaron Becker, illustrated by Aaron Becker
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A fantastic final leg to a reading journey that altered, expanded, and enriched the landscape of children's literature—and surely many young people's lives. (Picture book. 3-8)"
This breathless finale to Becker's Journey trilogy (Journey, 2013; Quest, 2014) takes readers back to the intricate interior of an alternate world where crayons wield power. Read full book review >
3 OF A KIND by Rohan Gavin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A totally satisfying third round of bonding à la Knightley (you know, with kidnapping, sleuthing, disguises, and murder). (Mystery. 10-14)"
Sunblock protects Anglo pallor from the unrelenting Western sun, but it doesn't do much for fending off the Combination's villainy. Read full book review >
LUCY by Randy Cecil
Kirkus Star
by Randy Cecil, illustrated by Randy Cecil
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 1, 2016

"A brief denouement in the final act reveals that each main character has given the others just what they needed; a clever structure and a satisfying story. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Defying simple categorization, Cecil's 144-page illustrated narrative presents a street dog that dreams of home, a light-skinned girl who longs for companionship, and her father, a juggler who panics in front of an audience. Read full book review >
LITTLE RED AND THE VERY HUNGRY LION by Alex T. Smith
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: July 26, 2016

"Great storytelling braided with lively color and a culturally affirming accent makes this book a real standout. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this modern reweaving of "Little Red Riding Hood" set on a modern, fanciful African savanna, readers meet a young, black Little Red who gracefully outwits the more-hungry-than-horrifying Lion. 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.