LET US HELP YOU FIND WHAT TO READ NEXT!
There are numerous resources that the library has to help you find what to read next. Through librarian newsletters and a Book Match system, you can find award-winning young adult books, explore new topics, or find more books on your favorite subjects.
From Dystopian to Romance and Mystery to Historical Fiction, there is a genre (or two) for everyone!
Are you hooked on a genre and want to find your next book? Or, do you want to explore other types of genres? Find your next read by clicking HERE.
You can also subscribe to our NextReads Newsletters to get the latest librarian recommendations for Tweens and Teens HERE.
See the latest outstanding award winners in Young Adult Literature.
Each year the Virginia State Reading Association votes on outstanding books to recommend to readers in the state. Their purpose is to:
- Encourage young readers to become better acquainted with contemporary books with outstanding literary appeal,
- Broaden students’ awareness of literature as a life-long pleasure,
- Encourage reading aloud in classrooms as a means of introducing reading for pleasure, and
- Honor favorite books and their authors.
A winner is announced for each level- Primary, Elementary, Middle School, and High School. The winning book will have gathered the highest number of votes in their category. Check out the current 2020-2021 list for middle and high school readers.
Jefferson Cup Older Readers
Sinking the Sultana
The worst maritime disaster in American history wasn't the Titanic. It was the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River -- and it could have been prevented.
In 1865, the Civil War was winding down and the country was reeling from Lincoln's assassination. Thousands of Union soldiers, released from Confederate prisoner-of-war camps, were to be transported home on the steamboat Sultana. With a profit to be made, the captain rushed repairs to the boat so the soldiers wouldn't find transportation elsewhere. More than 2,000 passengers boarded in Vicksburg, Mississippi . . . on a boat with a capacity of 376. The journey was violently interrupted when the boat's boilers exploded, plunging the Sultana into mayhem; passengers were bombarded with red-hot iron fragments, burned by scalding steam, and flung overboard into the churning Mississippi. Although rescue efforts were launched, the survival rate was dismal -- more than 1,500 lives were lost. In a compelling, exhaustively researched account, renowned author Sally M. Walker joins the ranks of historians who have been asking the same question for 150 years: who (or what) was responsible for the Sultana's disastrous fate?
The Steep and Thorny Way
A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.
1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee's oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father's killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee's father wasn't killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him--who happens to be Hanalee's new stepfather.
The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a "haint" wandering the roads at night.
A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history
A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.
Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.
Praise for AUDACITY:
A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
A Washington Post Best Children's Books for April: Poetry Edition
An ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
A 2016 NCTE Children's Notable Verse Novel
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
An ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
An ALSC Notable Children's Book nominee
A BCCB Blue Ribbon winner
* "Crowder breathes life into a world long past....Compelling, powerful and unforgettable." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "This book stands alone....an impactful addition to any historical fiction collection."--School Library Journal, starred review
* "With a thorough historical note, glossary of terms, and bibliography, this will make an excellent complement to units on women's rights and the labor movement, but it will also satisfy readers in search of a well-told tale of a fierce heroine."--BCCB, starred review
* "This is an excellent title that can open discussions in U.S. history and economics courses about women's rights, labor unions, and the immigrant experience."--School Library Connection, starred review
"Based on the true story of Clara Lemlich, Audacity throbs with the emotions of this exceptional young woman who fought for equal rights and improved labor standards in factories. Melanie Crowder's verses spit out Clara's rage, cradle her longing and soar like the birds that are her constant companions."--Bookpage
"Crowder's (Parched) use of free verse in this fictionalization of Russian-Jewish immigrant Clara Lemlich's life brings a spare poignancy to a familiar history."--Publishers Weekly
"Brilliant, riveting, informative." --Cynthia Levinson, critically acclaimed author of We've Got a Job
"Audacity is an evocative reimagining of a fascinating historical figure who should be remembered for her determination in the face of great odds and powerful opposition--and for her role in changing America. Melanie Crowder's powerful verse reveals a long-past world, but the combination of hope and outrage that Clara Lemlich brought to her struggle should be both recognizable and inspirational to teen readers longing to right the injustices of our day."--Margaret Peterson Haddix, critically acclaimed, bestselling author of Uprising
The year is 1867, the South has been defeated, and the American Civil War is over. But the conflict goes on. Yankees now patrol the streets of Richmond, Virginia, and its citizens, both black and white, are struggling to redefine their roles and relationships. By day, fourteen-year-old Shadrach apprentices with a tailor and sneaks off for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, at her school for African-American children. By night he follows his older brother Jeremiah to the meetings of a group whose stated mission is to protect Confederate widows like their mother. But as the true murderous intentions of the group, now known as the Ku Klux Klan, are revealed, Shad finds himself trapped between old loyalties and what he knows is right.
In this powerful and unflinching story of a family caught in the period of Reconstruction, A.B. Westrick provides a glimpse into the enormous social and political upheaval of the time.
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents.
In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.
“This superb and exciting work of nonfiction would be a fine tonic for any jaded adolescent who thinks history is 'boring.' It's also an excellent primer for adult readers who may have forgotten, or never learned, the remarkable story of how nuclear weaponry was first imagined, invented and deployed—and of how an international arms race began well before there was such a thing as an atomic bomb.” —The Wall Street Journal
“This is edge-of-the seat material that will resonate with YAs who clamor for true spy stories, and it will undoubtedly engross a cross-market audience of adults who dozed through the World War II unit in high school.” —The Bulletin (starred review)
Groundbreaking narrative nonfiction for teens that tells the story of the AIDS crisis in America.
Thirty-five years ago, it was a modern-day, mysterious plague. Its earliest victims were mostly gay men, some of the most marginalized people in the country; at its peak in America, it killed tens of thousands of people. The losses were staggering, the science frightening, and the government's inaction unforgivable. The AIDS Crisis fundamentally changed the fabric of the United States.
Viral presents the history of the AIDS crisis through the lens of the brave victims and activists who demanded action and literally fought for their lives. This compassionate but unflinching text explores everything from the disease's origins and how it spread to the activism it inspired and how the world confronts HIV and AIDS today.
Born to Fly
From New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Award recipient Steve Sheinkin, Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America is the gripping true story of the fearless women pilots who aimed for the skies—and beyond.
Featuring illustrations by Bijou Karman.
Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Air Derby, the first women's air race across the U.S. Follow the incredible lives of legend Amelia Earhart, who has captivated generations; Marvel Crosson, who built a plane before she even learned how to fly; Louise Thaden, who shattered jaw-dropping altitude records; and Elinor Smith, who at age seventeen made headlines when she flew under the Brooklyn Bridge.
These awe-inspiring stories culminate in a suspenseful, nail-biting race across the country that brings to life the glory and grit of the dangerous and thrilling early days of flying. From Steve Sheinkin, the master of nonfiction for young readers who expertly unraveled the infamous story of whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the impeachment of Richard Nixon, comes the untold story of fearless women who dared to fly.
This title has common core connections.
A 2020 ALSC Notable Children's Book
Also by Steve Sheinkin:
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
Which Way to the Wild West?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About Westward Expansion
King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution
Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the Civil War