reached the end of 2009, and I thought I’d take a look at the books
that won special awards this year. There are a lot of contests out
there, but I’m highlighting three prestigious awards that accept
inspirational young adult fiction novels. Congratulations to these
novelists for writing awesome books for teens.
Award was designed
to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and
publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview, and to bring
a new awareness of the breadth and depth of fiction choices available.
Christy Award Winner: I Have
Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke (Moody)
Mistakenly thought to
Confederate spy, Robert is on the run. He heads for North Carolina,
hoping to get to his mother and cousin. But war has ravaged the land,
and Robert is in danger at every turn. He berates himself for not
joining the Union and fighting against slavery like his Pa but learns
that his plans are not always God’s plans. As Robert cheats death again
and again, he discovers slavery comes in many forms and only by
becoming a slave to Christ will he ever be truly free.
Christy Award Finalist: The
Fruit of My Lipstick by Shelley Adina (FaithWords)
Gillian Chang is love struck.
Lucas Hayes, the smartest guy in school, is interested in her. But the
more time she spends with Lucas, the more she realizes she doesn’t
measure up. Determined to be everything Lucas needs in a girlfriend,
Gillian makes some changes. When her friends call her on it, she’s
livid. Why can’t they see that Lucas is right? He only wants what’s
best for her, and there’s a lot to improve.
Christy Award Finalist: On the
Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook)
The Igby children,
and Leeli, manage to upset a vicious Fang and are thrown into jail.
Janner is certain they’ll be taken away in the Black Carriage, forever
slaves of Gnag the Nameless. But before the carriage arrives, their
mother bails them out with a handful of precious jewels. The Fangs come
after them again, seeking the rest of the precious Jewels of Anniera.
The chase takes the Igby family far into Glipwood Forest where toothy
cows and horned hounds abound.
Book of the Year
contest is for members of the American Christian Fiction Writers
organization and honors books written from a Christian worldview in any
ACFW Book of the Year Winner:
The Big Picture (Jenny B. Jones)
Katie's mom gets out
and wants Katie back. Katie leaves the Scotts, her best friend,
Francis, and her boyfriend, Charlie, and sets forth on a new journey,
hoping her mom is ready to make their family work. From the start
tensions are high. Katie’s mom disappears for days at a time, even
missing the social worker's visit. When the situation escalates and
becomes dangerous, Katie is forced to make some hard decisions that
will affect her future forever.
ACFW Book of the Year Finalist:
It’s all About Us (Shelley Adina)
posh boarding school, Spencer Academy. Her number one goal: befriend
the popular crowd ASAP and gain the interest of hottie, Callum McCloud.
Unfortunately, Lissa’s new roommate is determined to keep Lissa in
check every minute, which doesn’t exactly make her look very cool. And
when things heat up with Callum, Lissa has to decide how far is too
far. Will she consult God and her Christian friends on how to deal with
her struggles, or rely on her own slightly skewed perspective?
Book of the Year Finalist: The Fruit of My Lipstick (Shelley Adina)
See above for details on The Fruit of My Lipstick, which also finaled
for a Christy Award.
ACFW Book of the Year Finalist:
Trion Rising (Robert Elmer)
obeyed her father and the Codex. But when a new music teacher arrives
and teaches a new way to look at things, the assembly banishes the
so-called Faithbreaker for his law-breaking ways. Oriannon follows her
teacher to Shadowside and meets the Owling people who live there. She’s
always been taught that the Owlings were nothing but animals, but now
that she knows them, she must do all she can to stop the assembly from
destroying the Owlings.
Book of the Year Finalist:
The Owling (Robert Elmer)
Oriannon has noticed
a lot of
changes in Corista. Her father refuses to tell Oriannon what is going
on. She visits him at work and meets his new advisor, Sola Minnik. At
first Oriannon is dazzled by the powerful woman who claims to want to
help the Owlings. Sola asks Oriannon to assist her, but Oriannon’s
friends are skeptical. Oriannon struggles to discover the truth about
what is going on in Corista, even if it means risking her own life.
Awards are designed to increase recognition to exemplary
books, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. These
winners won in categories with general market books. I did not provide
the full list of winners since I have not read the other titles and
cannot vouch for their content. For a full list of winners, click here.
Fiction—Horror/Mystery Gold: Always Watching by Brandilyn Collins and
Amberly Collins (Zondervan)
As her mother’s
up, Shaley O’Connor gathers her things to head off to the airport to
pick up her best friend. But before she makes it to the limo, she
stumbles upon the dead body of her friend Tom. Everything falls apart.
The paparazzi watches her every move, hoping to snap a picture of the
mourning teen. If the killer is a member of the band or crew, he’s
still out there, and, as the message in a mysterious gift says, he’s
Fiction—Fantasy/Science Fiction Silver: Curse of the Spider King by
Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper (Thomas Nelson)
Seven children have two things
in common. An adult has given them a very special book and a creepy man
watches them wherever they go. Tommy, the first to read his book,
experiences a 3D history of Berinfell, a foreign world in the midst of
a war between Gwar and Elves. The children also begin to experience
supernatural abilities. Dark creatures try to kill them. Their only
hope for survival is to leave earth and face an unknown future in a
distant world. For if they stay on earth, they risk their own lives and
those of their families.
Fiction Bronze (tie): Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow by the
Miller Brothers (Warner Press)
Hunter Brown stumbles
mysterious book. He takes it home and discovers the book is magical.
Before he can truly figure out what the book is for, he and his friend
are whisked away to Solandria, a realm that is at war with the Shadow.
There Hunter discovers that he must complete Codebearer training if he
is to help defeat the Shadow and get home again.