Kentucky Bluegrass Awards

2018 KBA Winner: The Sun is also a star by Nicola yoon

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The following is a list of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award nominees for 2018-19.  Students may read and vote on their favorite.  Kentucky Association for School Librarians (KASL) Committee chooses 10 outstanding young adult books each year for students in the state of Kentucky to vote a winner.  Votes are due by April 1, 2019 to Mrs. Sparrow.  When you vote, you will be entered into a contest in the library media center as well.  Below some of the titles is a YouTube video (some are better quality than others) about the books.  Click here for more information about KBA. 

2018-19 Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominees:

Allegedly by Tiffany d. Jackson 

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.  Allegedly.  She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter.  The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official.  But did she do it?

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Chasing king’s killer: the hunt for martin luther king, jr.’s assassin by james l. swanson 

In his meteoric, thirteen-year rise to fame, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a mass movement for Civil Rights — with his relentless peaceful, non-violent protests, public demonstrations, and eloquent speeches. But as violent threats cast a dark shadow over Dr. King’s life, the author hones in on James Earl Ray, a bizarre, racist, prison escapee who tragically ends King’s life.

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far from the tree by Robin benway

Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

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the free by lauren mclaughlin

In the beginning, Isaac West stole to give his younger sister, Janelle, little things. But when his biggest job to date, a car theft, goes wrong, Isaac chooses to take the full rap himself, and he’s cut off from helping Janelle. Isaac’s sentence includes group therapy, where he and fellow inmates reenact their crimes, attempting to understand what happened from the perspective of their victims. The sessions are intense. And as Isaac pieces together the truth about the circumstances that shaped his life—the circumstances that landed him in juvie in the first place—he must face who he was, who he is . . . and who he wants to be.

 

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 The hate u give by angie thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

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Long way down by jason reynolds

Fifteen-year-old Will, immobilized with grief when his older brother Shawn is shot and killed, slowly comes to mull The Rules in his head. There are three: don’t cry, don’t snitch, and “if someone you love / gets killed, / find the person / who killed / them and / kill them.” So Will locates Shawn’s gun, leaves his family’s eighth-floor apartment, and— here is where this intense verse novel becomes

a gripping drama, as on each floor of the descending elevator Will is joined by yet another victim or perpetrator in the chain of violence that took his brother’s life.

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Night witches: a novel of world war two by kathryn lasky 

16-year-old Valya knows what it feels like to fly. She’s a pilot who’s always felt more at home soaring through the sky than down on earth. But since the Germans surrounded Stalingrad, Valya’s been forced to stay on the ground and watch her city crumble. When her mother is killed during the siege, Valya is left with one burning desire: to join up with her older sister, a member of the famous and feared Night Witches—a brigade of young female pilots. Using all her wits, Valya manages to get past the German blockade and find the Night Witches’ base . . . and that’s when the REAL danger starts. The women have been assigned a critical mission: if they succeed, they’ll inflict serious damage on the Nazis, if they fail, they’ll face death . . . or even worse horrors.

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a short story of the girl next door by jared reck

Seriously, how can you see a person nearly every day of your life and never think a thing of it, then all of a sudden, one day, it’s different? You see that goofy grin a thousand times and just laugh. But goofy grin #1,001 nearly stops your heart? Right. That sounds like a bad movie already. Matt Wainwright can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her, he implodes on the JV basketball team, and the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis’s English class. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse.

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Traitor’s kiss by erin beaty 

An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war. With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a proper lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for a suitable marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them. As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

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warcross by marie lu

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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