Nominations for the December 20 Capitol Choices agenda will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 12. Nominations for the 2014 List will still be accepted for the January 17 meeting as long as the books were published in 2013. The last date for any nominations of 2013 books will be on January 9, 2014.
This view shows all of the books in this age group that have been selected in years past and nominated for the current year (but not yet selected). The nominations are marked by a "Nomination(not yet selected):" label.
Judith was kidnapped from her small town at the age of 14 at the same time another girl was murdered. She wandered back at 16 with half of her tongue cut out. Now at 18 she has been mute for two years and is pretty much ignored by all the townspeople, including her mother. They think she is cursed. When another group of colonists attacks her town Judith must decide whether to use her knowledge of a past event to help them. She could save the town, but she will have to sacrifice her quiet life to do so. The narration in this book is from Judith’s point of view and it reads like an internal monologue, including slips into second person as she addresses Lucas, the boy she loves. It takes a while to get used to but is worth it to become invested in the life of this wonderful character. Fourteen and up. Michelle Miller
Seth drowns in the Pacific Ocean, but then he mysteriously wakes up in front of his childhood home in England covered in bandages. The world seems deserted and he struggles to figure out what is going on. Perhaps he is in hell? This book is a more than a suspenseful thriller—it raises interesting questions about death and the processing of psychological traumas. Fourteen and up. Michelle Miller
Yoko is undoubtedly one of the most misunderstood folks in rock history, and this biography attempts to set the record straight. Yoko had lived a very full life before meeting John Lennon, doing art on her own, marrying twice and having a daughter. Her life doesn't change when she meets John as much as it evolves. Her vision of art and creativity offers a lot of discussion points, as does the topic of "what do artists owe their fans?" Fourteen and Up. Jamie Watson
Zoe is not really Zoe. She has adopted a pseudonym for the letters she is writing to a death row inmate in Texas that she has found on the internet. Coping with the guilt of the part she played in a friend's (or boyfriend's?) death, she decides to tell her story anonymously to Stuart Harris who is awaiting execution for the killing of his wife. Zoe has captured the interest of the school heartthrob, Max, and is interested because he's the school heartthrob. At a party at his house she encounters a really different and interesting guy whom she later finds out is Max's brother. It's Aaron she loves and Max who she is dating. As she is navigating this very uneven terrain something awful happens and Zoe feels she is to blame. But who is it that dies? Pitcher manages to keep this epistolary novel completely suspenseful to the end. This will engage readers with it's unusual theme, format, and it's maddening uncertainty until the end. Fourteen and Up. Joan Kindig (This title will appear on the November agenda.)
Leonard Peacock is a smart but disenfranchised high school student whose home life is even worse than his school life. His one-hit-wonder rock and roll father has left the family and mom has virtually done the same thing. She has left Leonard in their big house with a credit card at his disposal while she chases her own dreams in the big city. Leonard's only tether to this world is his teacher whose class on the Holocaust challenges his students to think deeply about right and wrong. Leonard has been bullied by his childhood friend, Asher, ever since a pivotal experience turns Asher inside out. Leonard has now decided to end his own life after he gives the bully his due. The story rings true and the inner thoughts of Leonard as he approaches his own personal D-Day, although muddled, are completely believable. Fourteen and Up. Joan Kindig
Danielle's summer job is babysitting 5 year old Humphrey. Humphrey runs into traffic in pursuit of a football and is struck by a car and dies. Danielle is quietly dealing with her guilt and sadness, while the community becomes preoccupied with the possibility that the driver of the car may be an illegal immigrant. Fourteen and Up. Kathi Weinberg
In the depth of the Great Depression, a fifteen-year-old girl is sent away to boarding school/horseback riding camp by her wealthy parents after a scandal involving her boy cousin. Exiled from her family, the sheltered teen learns to relate to girls of her own age for the first time, and asks herself what kind of person she really is. The reader sees the present and past, toggling back and forth, through the eyes of the main character, as she allows herself to remember more of the background that led up to the family tragedy. An absorbing adult book with a teen protagonist and first-person narration. Fourteen and Up. Valerie Diamond
Ben is now fighting in Afghanistan, and he is obviously damaged by something that happened to him when still in a Wisconsin high school. Told in a journal or essay style, the story unfolds after a high school student is killed in a car crash and Ben and his father go to the student's home to help the family with their farm chores. Ben is soon drawn into something he never expected. Ben is a maddening narrator, making wrong choices, but allowing you to see these choices. Is he completely reliable? The suspense as Ben wrestles with what to do next is constantly palpable. The ending may leave some unsatisfied, but it actually ends the story we are told. Fourteen and Up. Jamie Watson
After Becky’s mother dies she is whisked out of her trailer park by fashion designer and icon Tom Kelly. Kelly promises her that he will design three dresses for her and make her the most beautiful woman in the world, but there is a catch—she has one year to fall in love and get married. This story is a twisted and hilarious fairy tale; readers will root for Becky to figure herself out in the midst of her messy new life. Fourteen and up. Michelle Miller
Tana wakes up after a party surrounded by corpses. She is among three of the only survivors of the massacre that took place the night before at the party. Her ex is infected and their only option to save him (or save herself from him) is to get him to a Coldtown. This place is a walled city where the infected are quarantined-- not that anyone can leave-- and monsters and humans live amongst one another, often with deadly consequences. Fourteen and up. Ashley Jones. (This title will appear on the September agenda.)