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Soaring Eagle Nominees 2015-2016, part one

soaringeagleDid you know that Wyoming has a book award just for teens? Each year a list consisting of 13-15 books is created from the numerous titles read and nominated by teens (7th-12 graders) in our great state. We keep multiple copies of each of the books nominated for the Soaring Eagle Award on display in the Teen Zone, which are available for easy browsing and checkout.

I enjoy the award for several reasons. It gives merit to what Wyoming teens read and value to their opinions on what they consider the best books of the last five years. It also expands my reading avenues and is a great spot to start when someone (teen or adult) comes in asking what teens are reading and liking. Our middle school and high school book clubs often choose their monthly reading selection from the list. We also vote and nominate books for the following year.

I have worked at NCPL for almost a decade and while it is always my goal to read every book on the each year’s list, I have never had a year where I’ve read more than four or five of the nominated books.  This year, I’ve already read eight (!) so I’m halfway to the finish line right from the start.

Keep reading for more about four of the nominated titles.

Soaring Eagle Nominees display


Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)

Nailer is a ship breaker. He lives in the region of the US, formerly the Gulf Coast, and spends his days climbing through the duct work of old ships, scavenging for copper wire and any other scrap that could be sold, and dreaming of one day owning and sailing clipper ships. When a horrible hurricane devastates the beach where Nailer lives, he and friend Pima discover a wrecked clipper ship. This could be the opportunity they have been waiting for. They could make a fortune off of the wreckage. But the discovery of a beautiful, rich, and undead girl leaves Nailer in a bind. Should he attempt to save her, and risk losing the wealth to be made from the materials in the wreckage?

Why I picked up the book: It won the Printz Award in 2011 so it had been on my to-read-someday list. Both our Never Too Old and Teen book clubs have discussed it.

Why I finished it: This isn’t my typical reading choice but I was hooked. I wanted to know how, or if, they would survive the horrible weather. I was hoping for answers as to what happened to our world for it to end up this way.

I’d give it to: fans of science-fiction, possibly readers who enjoyed Dashner’s The Maze Runner series due to the unique language in that world. Fans of dystopian, where characters are struggling to survive and technology is non-existent.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Why I picked up the book: Love the premise of a Cinderella cyborg. Our book club at Roosevelt High School has been trying out different genres/book types and this seemed like a change.

Why I finished it: It hooked me right away. I enjoy looking for the “Easter eggs”, the bits and pieces of the original Cinderella tale, the changes, and the foreshadowing. Even though I figured out the “secret” fairly early on, I was still engrossed in the story and excited to see how the author would reveal it.

I’d give it to: fans of dystopian, romance, and fairy-tale retellings. Even though it is futuristic, I saw a lot of parallels to some of the steampunk novels I’ve read (ex. The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent).
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)

How many of you have ever thought about or even considered the fact that we live close to one of the largest active super volcanoes in the world, right there in Yellowstone National Park? Does it concern you or do you think that 640,000 years is a long time ago and if it blew again, we’d be decimated in an instant so no need to panic? But if history shows us anything, it is that Yellowstone will erupt again and life as we know it will never be the same.

Alex is a typical fifteen year old boy, tired of being harped on by his family and just wanting to be left alone for a while. After winning an argument with his mom, Alex gets to stay home in Cedar Falls, IA while his parents and sister travel to his uncle’s farm in Warren, IL about 140 miles east. The last thing Alex said to his mom was probably something smart and horrible and now all he wishes he could do is take it back and give her a hug. Alex would do anything to see his family again, including risk his life to trek through the ashfall and devastated world left in the aftermath of the eruption of Yellowstone, over 900 miles away. Will he be able to survive? Would you?

Why I picked up the book: Our book club at Roosevelt High School chose it for our book discussion.

Why I finished it: The action begins right in Chapter 1 and leaves you breathless, wanting to know more, and wondering if you’d have even survived that much.

I’d give it to: fans of dystopian & apocalyptic novels. If you liked Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It, you’ll probably love this. It is more dark and raw. Because of the violent acts, I’d probably say high school and up.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Drama by Raina Telgemeier

I’ve already reviewed this book on our blog. You can find out more about the book by clicking here.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


If you are interesting in reading any of these books, click on the link in book title and place a copy on reserve. You can also stop in and check out our display to see what is currently available. You will find the entire 2015-2016 nominee list here. There is also a list of past winners and nominees, maintained by Campbell County Public Library.

The Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award is nominated AND voted on by teens each spring.

Reviews by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my Goodreads reviews)

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