Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School
Book Award
2004 - 2005 School Year

 

Winner

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, SEB
When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. 

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing set.) 

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief--her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor--and begin the difficult process of healing. 

In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

Nominees

Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen & Bruce Coville, YA YOL
Fourteen-year-old Marina and sixteen-year-old Jed accompany their parents' religious cult, the Believers, to await the end of the world atop a remote mountain, where they try to decide what they themselves believe.

Breathing Under Water by Alex Flinns, YA FLI
Sent to counseling for hitting his girlfriend, Caitlin, and ordered to keep a journal, sixteen-year-old Nick recounts his relationship with Caitlin, examines his controlling behavior and anger, and describes living with his abusive father.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser, 394.1 SCH
Schlosser's book covers much of fast food culture. Among other things, he discusses: how and why it developed, current labour practices in fast food establishments, how the taste of food can now be manipulated, contemporary agribusiness, federal regulations (and lack thereof), television advertising, health issues, and the spread of fast food abroad. A lot of material. 

Finding Fish: A Memoir by Antwone Quenton Fisher, 921 FIS
Baby Boy Fisher was raised in institutions from the moment of his birth in prison to a single mother. He ultimately came to live with a foster family, where he endured near-constant verbal and physical abuse. In his mid-teens he escaped and enlisted in the navy, where he became a man of the world, raised by the family he created for himself.

Flying Colors: The Story of a Remarkable Group of Artists and the Transcendent Power of Art by Tim Leffens  371.9 LEF
Tim Lefens captures the amazing spirit of a group of youth the world thought could not succeed, illuminating, as well, the power art still has in a world where healing is all too often impersonal and reductive.

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel, 921 KIM
When Haven Kimmel was born in 1965, Mooreland, Indiana, was a sleepy little hamlet of three hundred people. Nicknamed "Zippy" for the way she would bolt around the house, this small girl was possessed of big eyes and even bigger ears. In this witty and lovingly told memoir, Kimmel takes readers back to a time when small-town America was caught in the amber of the innocent postwar period — people helped their neighbors, went to church on Sunday, and kept barnyard animals in their backyards. Laced with fine storytelling, sharp wit, dead-on observations, and moments of sheer joy, Haven Kimmel's straight-shooting portrait of her childhood gives us a heroine who is wonderfully sweet and sly as she navigates the quirky adult world that surrounds Zippy.

Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard, YA BEC
When his girlfriend decides to give their baby away, seventeen-year-old Sam is determined to keep him and raise him alone.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, SHA
This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. There are also plenty of maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3, 1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages.

My Losing Season by Pat Conroy, 921 CON
In My Losing Season Pat Conroy has written an American classic about young men and the bonds they form, about losing and the lessons it imparts, about finding one’s voice and one’s self in the midst of defeat. And in his trademark language, we see the young Conroy walk from his life as an athlete to the writer the world knows him to be.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult,  PIC
A shocking murder shatters the picturesque calm of Pennsylvania's Amish country -- and tests the heart and soul of the lawyer who steps in to defend the young woman at the center of the storm....

Please Stop Laughing at Me: One Woman’s Inspirational Story by Jodee Blanco, 373.158 BLA
While other kids were daydreaming about dances, first kisses, and college, Jodee Blanco was just trying to figure out how to get from homeroom to study hall without being taunted or spit upon as she walked through the halls. 

Razzle by Ellen Wittlinger, YA WIT
When his retired parents buy a group of tourist cabins on Cape Cod, fifteen-year-old Kenyon Baker's days are filled with repair work until he becomes friends with an eccentric girl and makes her the subject of a series of photographs.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, DIA
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood—the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers—Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah—the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. 

Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, 910 PHI
Recounts the 1820 sinking of the whaleship "Essex" by an enraged sperm whale and how the crew of young men survived against impossible odds. Based on the author's adult book "In the Heart of the Sea."

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares, YA BRA
With a bit of last summer’s sand in the pockets, the Traveling Pants and the Sisterhood that wears them embark on their 16th summer.
Bridget: Impulsively sets off for Alabama, wanting to both confront her demons about her family and avoid them all at once.
Lena: Spends a blissful week with Kostos, making the unexplainable silence that follows his visit even more painful. 
Carmen: Is concerned that her mother is making a fool of herself over a man. When she discovers that her mother borrowed the Pants to wear on a date, she’s certain of it.
Tibby: Not about to spend another summer working at Wallman’s, she takes a film course only to find it’s what happens off-camera that teaches her the most. 


The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, KID
Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. 

Seek by Paul Fleischman, YA FLE
Rob becomes obsessed with searching the airwaves for his long-gone father, a radio announcer.

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman, YA KOR
Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent.

Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price, YA Sci-Fi PRI
Having traveled to a sixteenth century border clan in England through a tunnel created by a twenty-first century company, Andrea must decide in which era she will live.

The Wind Singer by William Nicholson, YA NIC
After Kestrel Hath rebels against the stifling rules of Amaranth society and is forced to flee, she, along with her twin brother and a tagalong classmate, follow an ancient map in quest of the legendary silver voice of the wind singer, in an attempt to heal Amaranth and its people.