William Allen White 2022 Winner

  • Coyote Sunrise

    by Dan Gemeinhart Year Published: 2019 Fiction

    2022 William Allen White Winner

    Five years.

    That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.

    It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

    Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it.

    Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys...

    Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

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2023 William Allen White Nominees

  • The Blackbird Girls

    by Anne Blankman Year Published: 2020 Historical Fiction

    On a spring morning in 1986, neighbors Valentina
    Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry
    red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where
    their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before
    they know it, the two girls, who've always been
    enemies, find themselves on a train bound for
    Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged
    grandmother, Rita Grigorievna.

    In 1941 Rifka must flee Kiev before the Germans
    arrive. Her journey is harrowing and fraught with
    danger because Germans and Russians alike will
    revile her for her Jewish blood.

    In both time periods, the girls must learn who to trust
    and how to have hope in the midst of horrible events.

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  • Fighting Words

    by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Year Published: 2020 Young Adult/Sensitive Topics/Parental Consent Form Required

    Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom's boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della's own wolf -- her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della's world turns so far upside down, it feels like it's shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she's been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it's time to be loud. In this powerful novel that explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse and leavens an intense tale with compassion and humor, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a story about two sisters, linked by love and trauma, who must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.

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  • Efrén Divided

    by Ernesto Cisneros Year Published: 2020 Multicultural Fiction

    Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman—or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved.

    But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

    Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

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  • Brother's Keeper

    by Julie Lee Year Published: 2020 Historical Fiction

    North Korea. December, 1950.

    Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules: No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don't trust your neighbors. Don't speak your mind. You are being watched.

    But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos--and war is the perfect time to escape. The plan is simple: Sora and her family will walk hundreds of miles to the South Korean city of Busan from their tiny mountain village. They just need to avoid napalm, frostbite, border guards, and enemy soldiers.

    But they can't. And when an incendiary bombing changes everything, Sora and her little brother Young will have to get to Busan on their own. Can a twelve-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother survive three hundred miles of warzone in winter?

    Haunting, timely, and beautiful, this harrowing novel from a searing new talent offers readers a glimpse into a vanished time and a closed nation.

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  • All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team

    by Christina Soontornvat Year Published: 2020 Nonfiction

    A unique account of the amazing Thai cave rescue told in a heart-racing, you-are-there style that blends suspense, science, and cultural insight.

    On June 23, 2018, twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach enter a cave in northern Thailand seeking an afternoon’s adventure. But when they turn to leave, rising floodwaters block their path out. The boys are trapped! Before long, news of the missing team spreads, launching a seventeen-day rescue operation involving thousands of rescuers from around the globe. As the world sits vigil, people begin to wonder: how long can a group of ordinary kids survive in complete darkness, with no food or clean water? Luckily, the Wild Boars are a very extraordinary "ordinary" group. Combining firsthand interviews of rescue workers with in-depth science and details of the region's culture and religion, author Christina Soontornvat—who was visiting family in Northern Thailand when the Wild Boars went missing—masterfully shows how both the complex engineering operation above ground and the mental struggles of the thirteen young people below proved critical in the life-or-death mission. Meticulously researched, this page-turner includes an author’s note describing her experience meeting the team, detailed source notes, and a bibliography to fully immerse readers in the most ambitious cave rescue in history.

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  • 96 Miles

    by J.L.Esplin Year Published: 2020 Survival Fiction

    21 days without power. 2 brothers on a desperate trek. 72 hours before time runs out...

    The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore believer in self-reliance, has stockpiled enough food and water at their isolated Nevada home to last for months. But when they are robbed of all their supplies during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help. Along the way, they’re forced to question their dad’s insistence on self-reliance and ask just what it is that we owe to our neighbors, to our kin, and to ourselves.

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  • Show Me a Sign

    by Ann Clare LeZotte Year Published: 2020 Realistic Fiction

    Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. Now, over a hundred years later, many people there -- including Mary -- are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language. Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage.

    But recent events have delivered winds of change. Mary's brother died, leaving her family shattered. Tensions over land disputes are mounting between English settlers and the Wampanoag people. And a cunning young scientist has arrived, hoping to discover the origin of the island's prevalent deafness. His maniacal drive to find answers soon renders Mary a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment. Her struggle to save herself is at the core of this penetrating and poignant novel that probes our perceptions of ability and disability.

     

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  • Tune it Out

    by Jamie Sumner Year Published: 2020 Realistic Fiction

    Lou Montgomery has the voice of an angel, or so her mother tells her and anyone else who will listen. But Lou can only hear the fear in her own voice. She's never liked crowds or loud noises or even high fives; in fact, she's terrified of them, which makes her pretty sure there's something wrong with her.

    When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate the mother-daughter duo. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she's ever known. With help from an outgoing new friend, her aunt and uncle, and the school counselor, she begins to see things differently. A sensory processing disorder isn't something to be ashamed of, and music might just be the thing that saves Lou - and maybe her mom, too.

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  • Echo Mountain

    by Lauren Wolk Year Published: 2020 HIstorical Fiction

    After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.

    Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
     
    Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor– and Scott O'Dell Award–winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea, weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families.

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  • Turtle Boy

    by M. Evan Wolkenstein Year Published: 2020 Realistic Fiction

    Seventh grade is not going well for Will Levine. Kids at school bully him because of his funny-looking chin. And for his bar mitzvah community service project, he's forced to go to the hospital to visit RJ, an older boy struggling with an incurable disease.

    At first, the boys don't get along, but then RJ shares his bucket list with Will. Among the things he wants to do: ride a roller coaster, go to a school dance, swim in the ocean. To Will, happiness is hanging out in his room, alone, preferably with the turtles he collects. But as RJ's disease worsens, Will realizes he needs to tackle the bucket list on his new friend's behalf before it's too late. It seems like an impossible mission, way outside Will's comfort zone. But as he completes each task with RJ's guidance, Will learns that life is too short to live in a shell.

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