YRCA: Finding the Perfect Book Match for High School Students

We made it! This is the final blog post in our series where we profile all 24 nominated books for the 2020 Young Reader’s Choice Awards. To catch up, read up on finding the perfect YRCA book for Division 2 students (Grades 4 to 6) and Junior High students (Grades 7 to 9).

Here are the nominated books in the Senior division for high school students (Grades 10 to 12).

If a teen likes books based in reality...


American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: Fabiola Toussaint moves from Haiti to Detroit. She thought she would live a peaceful life here, but is quickly caught up in the challenges of a tough American high school and learns of a shocking family secret.

Read-Alikes:

Fun Fact: Ibi Zoboi was born in Haiti and immigrated to New York. She now lives in Brooklyn with her three children, her husband and three pet turtles named Lucky, Jade and Leo. It’s a messy house.

American Street is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: After Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her friend at the hands of a police officer, she must make the difficult and dangerous decision to tell the truth about what happened that night.

Read-Alikes:

Fun Fact: The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas’ first novel. She is a former teen rapper and holds an unofficial degree in Hip Hop.

The Hate U Give is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: 16-year-old Aza suffers from anxiety and OCD. Together with her friend Daisy, she sets out to solve a mystery of a disappearance and get a reward. Along the way, she falls in love but her mental health struggles continue to affect her.

Read-Alikes:

Fun Fact: John Green has OCD so this story was very personal for him. He also wrote the YRCA 2015 winner The Fault in Our Stars. He hosts a podcast with his brother called Dear Hank and John.

Turtles All the Way Down is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

If a teen likes books with heart...


That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E. K. Johnston

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: The setting is Ontario in a near-future world. Princess Margaret, Helena and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a chance to change the world—just like the first Queen Victoria.

Read-Alikes:

Fun Fact: E. K. Johnston is a forensic archaeologist and author of YRCA 2019 nominated book Exit, Pursued by A Bear. Her full name is Emily Kate.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Recommended for teens 13 and up.

About: Mateo and Rufus meet on the last day of their lives with one mission: to live a whole lifetime in a single day.

Read-Alikes: Release by Patrick Ness

Fun Fact: Adam Silvera was a bookseller before shifting to children's publishing. He achieved his goal of becoming a published author by the age of 25 just five days before his birthday.

They Both Die at the End is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

If a teen likes science fiction(ish) books...


The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: The setting is a dystopian future where Indigenous Peoples are being harvested for their dream-carrying bone marrow. A young Métis boy, Frenchie, comes of age while fleeing capture.

Read-Alikes:

Fun Fact: In 2015, Cherie Dimaline was named Toronto Public Library’s first Writer in Residence—Aboriginal Experience. The Marrow Thieves won the Governor General’s Award and the prestigious Kirkus Prize for Young Readers.

The Marrow Thieves is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: Elizabeth Vogler dreams of being a famous composer but spends her days helping run her family’s inn and caring for her violist prodigy brother. When the Goblin King takes her younger sister Kathe as his bride, Elizabeth travels to the goblin realm to take her place.

Read-Alikes: Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Fun Fact: S. Jae-Jones is a voracious and indiscriminate reader, a cuddler of baby harp seals, avid traveler and not-so-secret goth.

Wintersong is available as a book and audiobook CD.

If a teen likes thrillers...


One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Recommended for teens 14 and up.

About: Five students are called into a seemingly normal after-school detention. When one dies, the other four become the prime suspects.

Read-Alikes: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd

Fun Fact: Karen McManus wrote this book in two months and only spent two more months editing, which is very fast!

One of Us Is Lying is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.


What is YRCA?

The Young Reader’s Choice Awards is an annual EPL program that takes places every school year for kids in Grades 4 to 12. Starting in the fall, students are introduced to an exciting, diverse and age-appropriate collection of books that they can read and vote on throughout the school year. Each YRCA division (Junior for Grades 4 to 6, Intermediate for Grades 7 to 9 and Senior for Grades 10 to 12) includes eight awesome titles, but students can choose to read from any division, and vote for as many books as they like, until Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

YRCA Book Profiles: Senior Division for High School (Grades 10 to 12)

To help navigate the titles in each YRCA category, we’re profiling the books so parents and educators can help children find their perfect match! First, a few important notes:

  1. Books are organized into common themes
  2. Each title also includes age recommendations from Kirkus reviews
  3. Read-Alikes are similar books as the one being profiled
  4. All available formats of the book are included so kids can choose works best for them.

No matter what a child is into, YRCA has something they’ll love. Here’s a sample of some of the previous winners, many of which are so popular that they’ve been made into movies!


And…that’s a wrap! Remember to encourage kids to share their favourites with us by tagging @EPLdotCA on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.

Want more reading recommendations for high school students? Check out our page dedicated to teens.

Teens

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