Every year, students in Wyoming nominate books to contend for the Soaring Eagle book award -- a state award that recognizes excellence in Young Adult fiction and nonfiction, based on peer nominations and peer voting. This year's list of nominees has been on the shelves -- or, rather, off the shelves -- since school began in late August. Interested students have been reading and talking about these titles since then, in preparation for the final voting period, which will take place from February 15 to March 15 this year. At that time, one of the list of nominated titles will be named this year's Soaring Eagle book award winner.
For the final reading push before the voting period, I'll be reviewing the list of fifteen nominees a few at a time. Besides being on the list of SEBA nominees, each of these titles offers a glimpse of what is new and popular among young adult readers.
This week's first set of titles represents dytopia, a genre that, while not necessarily new, remains incredibly popular among young adult and adult readers. In each of these novels, some sort of cataclysmic event has altered the world as we know it, creating a society of disorder, violence and destruction. Interestingly, we are seeing a move in YA fiction from dystopias brought about by technology, to those brought on by natural disasters . . . as evidenced by the following three nominees.
This is the first title in Sanderson's Reckoners series; the sequels are Firefight; and Calamity (to be released in the spring of 2016).
Although this is a work of fiction, the science is extremely well-researched, and based on predictions of what might happen should Yellowstone explode. This is the first in Mullin's trilogy; the sequels are Ashen Winter and Sunrise.
Besides being nominated for a Wyoming Soaring Eagle book award, Bacigalupi's debut YA novel has been named a finalist for both the American Library Association's Printz award, and the National Book Award. His companion novel, Drowned Cities, explores Nailer's world from another point of view.
I hope you'll enjoy one of these three YA dystopias. I'll look at some SEBA nominees that feature a different genre next week.