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Teen Book Spotlight--2024-25 VRC High School Titles

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Our teen book spotlight this week is all about books that have been nominated for the Virginia Reader’s Choice (VRC) High School award for the 2024-2025 school year!!  The VRC award was started back in the 1980s with the goal being that students across the state choosing what they thought the best book of the year is instead of adults.  Every year, there are 10 YA books nominated for the award by a committee; readers then have a few months to read as many of the 10 as they can and then they will cast their vote for which one they think is the best.  The book with the most votes wins the award!!  Every teen, as long as you live in Virginia, qualifies to participate in this amazing experience and you can vote right here at your local Handley Regional Library System library (if you are interested just stop by and see someone in Youth Services!).  These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #vrchigh2024 as well as on Libby and Hoopla.  Check back next week for a new teen book spotlight and if you have any book suggestions, please let us know!!

Killer of the Flower Moon: Adapted for Young Readers by David Grann--In 1920s Oklahoma, sixty murders of Osage Native Americans occurred over a period spanning thirteen years. It is believed that most of the murders occurred as the result of trying to secure the oil rights on land owned by Osage members. This nonfiction, young adult account chronicles why it took so long for officials to take notice and respond, how the Bureau of Investigation got involved, and the tangled web of greed and corruption that marred the case from the beginning. Though some individuals were prosecuted, it's believed that many more were involved and were never brought to justice.

Bluebird by Sharon Cameron--In 1946, Eva Gerst and her sister Brigit arrive in New York City as German refugees with one mission: find their father and turn him over to the United States government. Eva and Brigit's father was the head of a cruel Nazi program that carried out medical experiments on Sachsenhausen concentration camp prisoners. Though Eva has intimate details of the program, she isn't interested in sharing them with anyone. Her personal mission, unbeknownst to government authorities, is to kill her father in an act of revenge on behalf of his victims.

The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart--High school teenager Lily has been trying to hold things together since she found her sister Alice on the bathroom floor--bleeding from cutting herself--and her family sent Alice to a treatment center. Lily's unprocessed feelings about what happened come to a head when she finds out Alice is coming home. At school she meets new kid Micah who knows Alice because he was in treatment with her. He tries to get Lily to process her feelings about what happened through an art project they're paired together on that uses poetry to express their truths.

Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier--Making his way home after surviving a three-year imprisonment during a war and a pestilence ravaging the land, Lord Cassia learns he has a newfound ability to see ghosts. When he arrives at his family's enclave, he discovers that the new royal family--composed of the Oliveran King and the enemy Brisan Queen--is living there to escape the pestilence, and that their union ended the war. When Lord Cassian discovers someone is targeting the queen and her companions, he sets out to find the killer, enlisting the help of the king's sister, a historian-in-training named Lena. Together, the pair look into the queen's past and discover a secret that threatens their hard-fought peace.

The Getaway by Lamar Giles--Jay discovers that the mountain resort where he lives and works with his friends and family is also a doomsday oasis for the rich and powerful who expect top-notch customer service even as the world outside the resort's walls disintegrates.

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride--Two years after the death of her family in a car accident, sole survivor Moth still feels adrift and lost, even though she's mostly comfortably cared for by her aunt. When she meets junior classmate Sani, whose ancestors are Navajo, she finds a kindred spirit who understands what it feels like to be disconnected from family. Abused by his stepfather, Sani decides to leave home and search for his biological father on the Navajo Nation in the western United States. Moth tags along, also hoping to find freedom from her negative thoughts and unhappy life. As the pair visit landmarks and national parks, they find love and a trustworthy companion with which to share their pain and joy.