Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School
Book Award

1997-1998 School Year

 

Winner

It Happened to Nancy, Anonymous (Beatrice Sparks, Editor) YA AWARD 362.1 IT
Diary entries of an anonymous 14-year-old girl who was date raped, became infected with the HIV virus and subsequently died. Includes a question and answer section about rape and AIDS. Young Adult

Nominees

Acceptable Risk by Robin Cook COO  (2) + LP
As the bestselling master of medical suspense, Robin Cook has always always been on the cutting edge of the latest medical controversies. In Acceptable Risks, he confronts one of the most provocative isssues of our time--personality-altering drugs and the complex moral questions they raise. "Takes on the ethics involved in such personality-altering drugs as Prozac". Adult

Athletic Shorts... by Chris Crutcher YA Crutcher, C.
These six powerful short stories chronicle bits of the lives of characters, major and minor, who have walked the rugged terrain of Chris Crutcher's earlier works. They also introduce some new and unforgettable personalities who may well be heard from again in future books. As with all Crutcher's work, these are stories about athletes, and yet they are not sport stories. They are tales of love and death, bigotry and heroism, of real people doing their best even when that best isn't very good. Crutcher's straightforward style and total honesty have earned him an admiring audience and made readers of many nonreaders. Young Adult

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver KIN
Feisty Marietta Greer changes her name to ``Taylor'' when her car runs out of gas in Taylorville, Ill. By the time she reaches Oklahoma, this strong-willed young Kentucky native with a quick tongue and an open mind is catapulted into a surprising new life. Taylor leaves home in a beat-up '55 Volkswagen bug, on her way to nowhere in particular, savoring her freedom. But when a forlorn Cherokee woman drops a baby in Taylor's passenger seat and asks her to take it, she does. A first novel, The Bean Trees is an overwhelming delight, as random and unexpected as real life. The unmistakable voice of its irresistible heroine is whimsical, yet deeply insightful. Taylor playfully names her little foundling ``Turtle,'' because she clings with an unrelenting, reptilian grip; at the same time, Taylor aches at the thought of the silent, staring child's past suffering. With Turtle in tow, Taylor lands in Tucson, Ariz., with two flat tires and decides to stay. The desert climate, landscape and vegetation are completely foreign to Taylor, and in learning to love Arizona, she also comes face to face with its rattlesnakes and tarantulas. Similarly, Taylor finds that motherhood, responsibility and independence are thorny, if welcome, gifts. This funny, inspiring book is a marvelous affirmation of risk-taking, commitment and everyday miracles. Adult

Calling Home by Michael Cadnum YA Cadnum, M.
Everybody thinks that Peter's best friend has disappeared, but only Peter knows the truth--Mead is dead, and Peter himself is to blame. He tells no one what he knows. Instead, Peter calls Mead's distraught parents from pay phones, impersonating their son. As time passes, daily life becomes a nightmare for Peter. Can he tell the truth before it destroys him? Young Adult

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer YA FAR
Gr. 7-10. Even readers who don't like sf will be drawn to a hero who has a sense of humor about his serious mission. In Zimbabwe in the year 2194, the military ruler's 13-year-old son and his younger brother and sister leave their technologically overcontrolled home and find themselves on a series of perilous adventures. Tendai and his siblings encounter mile-high buildings and other miracles of scientific advance; they also find fetid slums and toxic waste dumps. As they're kidnapped by gangsters, forced to slave in a plastic mine, and accused of witchcraft, they're pursued by mutant detectives, who are both bumbling and sensitive and who always seem to be just one step behind rescuing the children. In the best section, the siblings find themselves in a traditional Shona village that at first seems idyllic but turns out to also encompass fierce sexism, ignorance, and disease. Throughout the story, it's the thrilling adventure that will grab readers, who will also like the comic, tender characterizations, not only of the brave, defiant trio and the absurd detectives, but also of nearly every one the kids meet, from street gangsters and spiritual healers to the English tribespeople with their weird customs. Tendai's spiritual coming-of-age is the least interesting part of the novel, but teens will like this teenager with "a hot line to the spirit world." Young Adult

Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geofrey Canada 305.23 CAN

Canada (president of the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families in New York City) offers a gripping memoir of his own youth and adulthood, as well as a description of his vision for a better future for children growing up in a frightening world of poverty, automatic weapons, and the continual threat of violence. Adult

Having Our Say by The Delany Sisters DEL+ LP
Warm, feisty, and intelligent, the Delany sisters speak their mind in a book that is at once a vital historical record and a moving portrait of two remarkable women who continued to love, laugh, and embrace life after over 100 years of living side by side. Their sharp memories show readers the post-Reconstruction South and Booker T, Washington; Harlem's Golden Age and Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, and Paul Robeson. Bessie breaks barriers to become a dentist; Sadie quietly integrates the New York City system as a school teacher. Adult

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston 614.5 PRE + LP

The dramatic and chilling story of an Ebola virus outbreak in a surburban Washington, D.C. laboratory, with descriptions of frightening historical epidemics of rare and lethal viruses. More hair-raising than anything Hollywood could think of, because it's all true. Adult

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton CRI

A man's experiment to genetically reproduce dinosaurs and create a dinosaur theme park goes terribly wrong. Adult

Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog (Brave Bird, Mary) 921 CROW DOG 
Born in 1955 and raised in poverty on the Rosebud Reservation, Mary Crow Dog escaped an oppressive Catholic boarding school but fell into a marginal life of urban shoplifting and barhopping. A 1971 encounter with AIM (the American Indian Movement), participation in the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties march on Washington, and giving birth to her first child while under fire at the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee radicalized her. Anglo-Indian confrontations are characterized by extreme prejudice and violence, but some whites (the Erdoes family, William Kunstler, Marlon Brando, and others) offer genuine support. Caustic humor sparks the matter-of-fact narrative. Wife of a Sioux medicine man, Mary Crow Dog exemplifies the contemporary movement back to Native land, religion, and values. Adult

Like Sisters on the Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia
When 14-year-old Gayle gets into trouble again, Mama sends her south to live with her aunt and uncle, a minister. They'll hardly let her out of the house and she doesn't like her cousin Cookie. Then Gayle meets Great, the family matriarch. Gayle's life begins to change--perhaps she can make her own place in the world after all. Young Adult

Maus: A Survivor's Tale Vol. 1 by Art Spiegelman YA GRAPHIC NOVEL 940.53 SPI
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'Maus' is a graphic novel that will grip you and will never let go ... incredible! Art Spiegelmann has re-invented the concept of 'comic book', in my opinion: touching, intelligent (!) and very well written ... 5 stars well deserved! You can look for a better work about WW2, but you'll (very probably) be disappointed. Adult

Night by Elie Wiesel 921 Wiesel, E  WIE
A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family . . . the death of his innocence . . . and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as "The Diary of Anne Frank, " "Night" awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again. Adult

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay COU 

In this magical novel, an irresistible boy tells the story of his survival and coming of age against the background of South Africa during and just after World War II. Adult

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel 921 WURTZEL, E. Wur

"Full of promise" is how anyone would have described Elizabeth Wurtzel at age ten, a bright-eyed little girl who painted, wrote stories, and excelled in school. By age 12, she was cutting her legs with razor blades, and college turned into a series of breakdowns, crises, and a suicide attempt. Not until being prescribed Prozac, in combination with other psychoactive drugs and therapy, was some stability possible for her. Written with spunk and wit, this is an excellent picture of a young woman's struggle with depression and her view of the dire effects our social and cultural milieu has on the young. Adult

Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
Readers who thought The Bridges of Madison County was a romantic book should try this story of honest and enduring love from the author of Talk Before Sleep (LJ 3/15/94). The first-person narrative describes an ordinary woman caught up in unusual circumstances. Lainey is a wife/mother/office worker whose life is suddenly changed when her husband is sent into a coma by a freak accident. The only one who believes that he will one day wake up, she visits him daily, bringing him stimulus from everyday life in an attempt to reach him. "I line up the little spice bags all across his chest. All across his University of California T-shirt are requests from the kitchen. Come back, says the curry, the oregano. And me." Lainey is sustained through her ordeal by the support of two special women: Alice, who lives next door, and Evie, the ghost of the woman who lived in Lainey's house in the Forties. A touching and enjoyable read, this novel is romantic without being a romance. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections. Adult

Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas YA Thomas, R.
In hopes of graduating, Steve York agrees to complete a hundred-page writing assignment which helps him to sort out his relationship with his famous astronaut father and the events that changed him from promising student to troubled teen. Young Adult


Reviving Ophelia... by Mary Pipher 305.235 PIP

From her work as a psychotherapist for adolescent females, Pipher here posits and persuasively argues her thesis that today's teenaged girls are coming of age in ``a girl-poisoning culture.'' Backed by anecdotal evidence and research findings, she suggests that, despite the advances of feminism, young women continue to be victims of abuse, self-mutilation (e.g., anorexia), consumerism and media pressure to conform to others' ideals. With sympathy and focus she cites case histories to illustrate the struggles required of adolescent girls to maintain a sense of themselves among the mixed messages they receive from society, their schools and, often, their families. Pipher offers concrete suggestions for ways by which girls can build and maintain a strong sense of self, e.g., keeping a diary, observing their social context as an anthropologist might, distinguishing between thoughts and feelings. Pipher is an eloquent advocate. Adult

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle YA L’Engle, M. (2)
During the summer her grandfather is dying of leukemia and death seems all around, 15-year-old Vicky finds comfort with the pod of dolphins with which she has been doing research. Young Adult