The South Carolina Young Adult Book Award nominees are appropriate for 9-12 grade levels. Visit SCASL's SC Young Adult Book Award page to learn more about past nominees and other materials.
A young woman’s return to her monied boarding school is haunted by the trauma of her girlfriend’s recent death and the school’s rumored history involving witchcraft in this contemporary thriller.
Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.
The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.
Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world—one thought long depleted.
There's no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who holds a power within her that could only be described as magic—a power that if discovered could cost her life. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, Koffi knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her family's debts to secure their eventual freedom can be her only focus. But the night those she loves are gravely threatened by the Zoo's cruel master, Koffi finally unleashes the power she doesn't fully understand, upending her life completely.
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for the streets of New York City, stepping from the fiery aftermath of one war into another, far colder one, where power is more important than principles, and lies are more plentiful than the truth. Eva holds the key to a deadly secret: Project Bluebird -- a horrific experiment of the concentration camps, capable of tipping the balance of world power. Both the Americans and the Soviets want Bluebird, and it is something that neither should ever be allowed to possess.
But Eva hasn't come to America for secrets or power. She hasn't even come for a new life. She has come to America for one thing: justice. And the Nazi that has escaped its net.
September 11, 2001
Two young men on opposite sides of the world
One war that will change their lives forever
Baheer, a studious Afghan teen, sees his family’s life turned upside down when they lose their livelihood as war rocks the country.
A world away, Joe, a young American army private, has to put aside his dreams of becoming a journalist when he’s shipped out to Afghanistan.
When Joe’s unit arrives in Baheer’s town, Baheer is wary of the Americans, but sees an opportunity: Not only can he practice his English with the soldiers, his family can make money delivering their supplies. At first, Joe doesn’t trust Baheer, or any of the locals, but Baheer keeps showing up. As Joe and Baheer get to know each other, to see each other as individuals, they realize they have a lot more in common than they ever could have realized. But can they get past the deep differences in their lives and beliefs to become true friends and allies?
Nobody in sixteen-year-old Beckett's life seems to be telling the whole story. Her boyfriend Jake keeps hiding texts, which could mean he's cheating on her. Her father lied about losing his job and so much more before his shocking death. And everyone in school seems to be whispering about her and her family behind her back.
But none of that compares to the day Beckett finds the body of a newborn baby in a gym bag-Jake's gym bag-on the floor of her high school locker room. As word leaks out, rumors that Beckett's the mother take off like wildfire in a town all too ready to believe the worst of her.
Beckett soon finds herself facing increasingly dangerous threats and accusations. Nobody believes her side of the story, and as the police investigation unfolds, she discovers that everyone has a secret to hide and the truth could alter everything she thought she knew.
Huda and her family just moved to Dearborn, Michigan, a small town with a big Muslim population. But Huda doesn't fit in--when everyone is Muslim, there's no Muslim clique like there was in her last town, and Huda's not a sporty hijabi or a fashionista hijabi or a gamer hijabi. She's just Huda, and she's not sure what that means. She tries on all kinds of identities and friends, but nothing fits quite right. Until she realizes she can get back to the basics.
Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He's been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen. But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he has to leave behind.
In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff's daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.
But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah's friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.
Valora Luck has two things: a ticket for the biggest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life for herself as a circus performer in New York. Much to her surprise though, she's turned away at the gangway; apparently, Chinese aren't allowed into America.
But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother Jamie, who has spent two long years at sea, is there, as is an influential circus owner, whom Val hopes to audition for. Thankfully, there's not much a trained acrobat like Val can't overcome when she puts her mind to it.
As a stowaway, Val should keep her head down and stay out of sight. But the clock is ticking and she has just seven days as the ship makes its way across the Atlantic to find Jamie, perform for the circus owner, and convince him to help get them both into America.
Then one night the unthinkable happens, and suddenly Val's dreams of a new life are crushed under the weight of the only thing that matters: survival.
Ryland Grace wakes up on a spaceship with no memory, where he soon learns that he is the sole survivor on a desperate mission to save the earth.
With only the two dead bodies of his crewmates as company and his memories slowly retuning, he must piece together what has happened and complete his interstellar mission to save humanity.
After an embarrassing loss to her ex-girlfriend in their first basketball game of the season, seventeen-year-old Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, Irene Abraham, head cheerleader for the Fighting Reindeer.
Irene is as mean as she is beautiful, so Scottie makes a point to keep her distance. When the accident sends Irene’s car to the shop for weeks’ worth of repairs and the girls are forced to carpool, their rocky start only gets bumpier.
But when an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex—and climb her school’s social ladder—she bribes Irene into an elaborate fake-dating scheme that threatens to reveal some very real feelings.
Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he'll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
But when Alter's best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World's Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov's dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.
Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter's body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer--before the killer claims them next.
Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.
It's hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.
And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother's imminent death, everything changes.
With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.
Seventeen-year-old Evie Beckham has never been interested in dating. She’s fully occupied by her love of math and her frequent battles with anxiety. Besides, she’s always found the idea of kissing to be kind of weird and pretty unsanitary, when you think about it. But with the help of her therapist and her support system, she’s feeling braver. Maybe even brave enough to enter a prestigious physics competition or to say yes to the new boy who’s been flirting with her. Evie’s best friend, Caleb, has always been a little in love with Evie, and though he knows she isn’t ready for romance, he hopes that when she is, she’ll choose him. So Caleb is horrified when he is forced to witness Evie’s meet-cute with a floppy-haired, mathematically gifted transfer student. In desperation, Caleb decides to use an online forum to capture Evie’s interest. When it goes better than he could’ve wished for, he wonders if it’s possible to be jealous of himself. And Evie wonders how she went from eschewing romance to having to choose between two—or is it three?—boys.
Briseis has a gift: with a single touch she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms.
When Briseis's aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents hope that surrounded by plants and flowers, she will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they never expected-it comes with a mysterious set of instructions, a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world, and generations of secrets. There is more to Bri's sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it.
When Black high school student Angel moves to Brooklyn to live with her uncle, she discovers a love for books, poetry, and music as she works to understand and heal from the scars of her own past.
For all of Emory's life she's been told who she is. In town she's the rich one--the great-great-granddaughter of the mill's founder. At school she's hot Maddie Ward's younger sister. And at home, she's the good one, her stoner older brother Joey's babysitter. Everything was turned on its head, though, when she and Joey were in the car accident that killed Candy MontClaire. The car accident that revealed just how bad Joey's drug habit was.
Four months later, Emmy's junior year is starting, Joey is home from rehab, and the entire town of Mill Haven is still reeling from the accident. Everyone's telling Emmy who she is, but so much has changed, how can she be the same person? Or was she ever that person at all?
Mill Haven wants everyone to live one story, but Emmy's beginning to see that people are more than they appear. Her brother, who might not be "cured," the popular guy who lives next door, and most of all, many "ghostie" addicts who haunt the edges of the town. People spend so much time telling her who she is--it might be time to decide for herself.