2017 Nominees: young readers

THE LINES WE CROSS by Randa Abdel-Fattah
YOUNG ADULT
Released: May 9, 2017

"A meditation on a timely subject that never forgets to put its characters and their stories first. (Fiction. 12-17)"
An Afghani-Australian teen named Mina earns a scholarship to a prestigious private school and meets Michael, whose family opposes allowing Muslim refugees and immigrants into the country. Read full book review >
MONEY MATH by David A. Adler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"A purse full of entertainment tucked into a merry primer on money math. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Adler and Miller (Let's Estimate, 2017, etc.) team again to poke playfully about in the world of numbers, this time using U.S. currency to add, subtract, determine value, and place decimal points. Read full book review >
LIFE ON MARS by Jon Agee
Kirkus Star
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Bursting with quiet wit and gorgeous Martian vistas. Simply masterful. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Is there life on Mars? Read full book review >
ON A MAGICAL DO-NOTHING DAY by Beatrice Alemagna
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"An effective argument for unplugged exploration, submitted through startlingly beautiful words and pictures. (Picture book. 6-12)"
Depressed by another rainy weekend in the country cabin, a shaggy-haired, bespectacled, white child wallows on the sofa, numbing malaise with a hand-held video game. Read full book review >
OUT OF WONDER by Kwame Alexander
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 14, 2017

"A magnificent exploration of the poetic imagination. (Picture book/poetry. 8-14)"
Powerhouse poet Alexander, along with friends Colderley and Wentworth, offers a culturally rich collection of poetic tributes that extends the legacies of poets from around the globe. Read full book review >
BEAR OF TREES by Ketevan Alexander
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 8, 2017

"A funny, dramatic, and sweet story that ought to become a classic."
In this debut illustrated children's book, a young black bear makes a dangerous journey to help the brown bear that she loves. Read full book review >
A PROPERLY UNHAUNTED PLACE by William Alexander
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"A fun and fast-paced supernatural mystery with secret depths for those who dare explore them. (Paranormal adventure. 8-12)"
In a world where hauntings are endemic, Rosa Díaz finds herself in a town suspiciously devoid of ghostly activity in Alexander's (Nomad, 2016, etc.) latest. Read full book review >
SOLO  by Kwame Alexander
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"A contemporary hero's journey, brilliantly told. (Verse fiction. 14-adult)"
The 17-year-old son of a troubled rock star is determined to find his own way in life and love. Read full book review >
SAINTS AND MISFITS by S.K. Ali
YOUNG ADULT
Released: June 13, 2017

"This quiet read builds to a satisfying conclusion; readers will be glad to make space in their hearts—and bookshelves—for Janna Yusuf. (Fiction. 12-18)"
Janna Yusuf has two major problems: the boy who assaults her at her friend's party is well-respected in the local Muslim community, and now the boy from school she's been crushing on likes her back. Read full book review >
CASTLE IN THE STARS by Alex Alice
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Like the best steampunk, this story is one excellent distraction after another, with enough blueprints to hold people's attention while they're waiting for Book 2. (Graphic steampunk. 10-16)"
Some people will love this fanciful tale of a 19th-century space race so much they never finish it. Read full book review >
HARRY MILLER'S RUN by David Almond
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A rich and resonant short story. (Illustrated fiction. 10 & up)"
Nearing the end of his life, a beloved old runner passes the torch to an eager young one. Read full book review >
NORTH OF HAPPY by Adi Alsaid
YOUNG ADULT
Released: April 25, 2017

"An exceptional tale of grief, ambition, love, and maturity. (Fiction. 12-16)"
A Mexican teen does his best to escape his troubles in the United States. 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.