2017 Nominees: young readers

DISAPPEARED by Francisco X. Stork
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A tense thriller elevated by Stork's nuanced writing and empathy for every character, including the villains—superb. (Thriller. 12-adult)"
Sara Zapata and her brother, Emiliano, do their best to survive with their integrity intact while their beloved Juárez is overrun and endangered by a web of criminals that even involve the police and local government officials. Read full book review >
THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE by Mark Twain
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A pensive and whimsical work that Twain would applaud. (Picture book. 8-adult)"
This recently discovered Twain fairy tale finds life as a picture book. Read full book review >
ROBINSON by Peter Sís
Kirkus Star
by Peter Sís, illustrated by Peter Sís
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"An enchanting love letter to the magic of childhood and the fertile relationship between good literature and young readers' imaginations. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Sís takes readers on a journey to a Slumberland-esque island that reinforces the joys of storytelling and would make Winsor McCay's Little Nemo proud. Read full book review >
I'M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING by Chris Harris
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"The inspired and inspiring sense of play knows no bounds. (Poetry. 5-12)"
A frolicking romp through the zany world of nonsense verse. Read full book review >
CURSE OF THE HARVESTER  by Greg Grunberg
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Book 1 showed promise, and Book 2 fulfills it, elevating tropes to archetypes, with exciting pacing that would make the pages turn faster but for the arresting, immersive artwork on every page. (Graphic adventure. 8-12)"
When readers last saw Ben (Nightmare Escape, 2016), he'd just learned about his power to jump into and affect the dreams of others; in this sequel, his skill is growing, and his best friend, Jake, acts as his business partner, operating from the waking world while Ben rescues dreamers from their nightmares. Read full book review >
THE DAM KEEPER by Robert  Kondo
Kirkus Star
written and illustrated by Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Kondo and Tsutsumi have created what feels like an instant classic, perilous and terrifying but full of heart, with immersive artwork and a rewarding story. Unmissable. (Graphic fantasy. 7-11)"
A deadly fog has rolled in and killed everything in its path, but Sunrise Valley is protected by an expertly crafted mechanical contrivance called the Dam in this graphic-novel series opener based on the 2015 Oscar-nominated short subject of the same name. Read full book review >
I HAVE A BALLOON by Ariel Bernstein
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"With an open-ended, wordless conclusion inviting predictions and possibilities, this tightly paced narrative soars above its message-driven counterparts. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Bernstein's debut featuring an owl holding a balloon begins with a spoiler alert on the jacket flap: "This is NOT a book about sharing." Read full book review >
THE WONDERLING by Mira Bartók
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Captivating and with great potential as a read-aloud. (Fiction. 9-13)"
A young groundling, or animal hybrid, escapes a horrible orphanage to discover his past. Read full book review >
WISHTREE by Katherine Applegate
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Generations of human and animal families grow and change, seen from the point of view of the red oak Wishing Tree that shelters them all. Read full book review >
HER RIGHT FOOT by Dave Eggers
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Occasionally mannered but heartfelt throughout and indisputably timely. (bibliography, source list) (Picture book. 9-13, adult)"
Everyone knows what the Statue of Liberty stands for—but, as Eggers notes, she's not actually "standing" at all. Read full book review >
RELEASE by Patrick Ness
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Literary, illuminating, and stunningly told. (Fiction. 14-18)"
An extraordinary, ordinary day in the life of Adam Thorn. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH AND ZENOBIA by Jessica  Miller
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Eerie and dazzling—a perfect book for a dark and stormy afternoon or a favorite graveyard reading spot. (Horror. 9-13)"
Debut novelist Miller concocts a blend of Gothic horror and spine-tingling mystery. 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 Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 2, 2017, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.