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2019-2020 Reading Program Nominees

The Pennsylvania Young Readerss Choice Awards (PAYRCA) Program is an annual statewide program that gives students the opportunity to vote for their favorite authors. At Grier, students who participate in the program receive Grier Bucks and chances to win prizes throughout the school year. To participate, students sign-up in the library between September and February and read titles from the list of fifteen nominees. Copies of the books are available through the library. Grier students vote before Spring Break and the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association declares winners in May.
re are the 2019 nominees for Grades 9+

Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista is a teenage girl living in Harlem who's learned to use her fists to send messages. When she's invited to join her school's poetry club, she knows her religious mother will never allow it. But Xiomara is determined to find a way because she has something to say that can only be shared through her poetry.
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award!
Children of Blood and Bone
By Tomi Adeyemi
Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.
Love, Hate & Other Filters
By Samira Ahmed
Maya Aziz, seventeen, is caught between her India-born parents' world of college and marrying a suitable Muslim boy and her dream world of film school and dating her classmate, Phil, when a terrorist attack changes her life forever.

Speak: the Graphic Novel
By Laurie Halse Anderson
"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless—an outcast—because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak: The Graphic Novel comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.
The Way You Make Me Feel
By Maurene Goo
When Clara Shin takes a practical joke too far, she's sentenced to working in her dad's food truck, the KoBra, all summer with her uptight classmate, Rose Carver. As the summer progresses and she starts dating a boy named Hamlet and becoming invested in her father's business, Clara starts to examine her relationships to see if she can let go of the old, irresponsible Clara.
Truly Devious
By Maureen Johnson
Ellingham Academy in Vermont is full of riddles, twisting pathways, and winding gardens. Shortly after it is opened by Albert Ellingham in 1936, Albert's wife and daughter are kidnapped. The only clue is a riddle describing various methods of murder and signed, "Truly, Devious." Years later, true-crime buff Stevie Bell enters Ellingham Academy with a goal to solve the cold case. Then Truly Devious makes a surprising return, and another death rocks Ellingham Academy.

Darius the Great is Not Okay
By Adib Khorram
Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life. Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award
By Brendan Kiely
At Fullbrook Academy, where tradition reigns supreme, James Baxter and Jules Devereux take on privilege, sexism, and the importance of consent.
Hey, Kiddo
By Jarrett J. Krosoczka
A graphic novel memoir by author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka who describes growing up with an addict mother, a missing father, and two loving, opinionated grandparents who raised him into his teen years. Describes how Krosoczka relied on his art to express himself and to survive the ups and downs of life.
By Julie Murphy
Millie Michalchuk decides this is the year--she will not go to fat camp yet again, but will accept herself and put plans in motion to chase her secret dream and finally kiss her crush. Callie Reyes, the pretty, soon-to-be dance-team captain with the popular boyfriend, has always made frenemies out of girls. Events conspire to bring these girls together and, shockingly, they find they may have more in common than they ever thought.

After the Shot Drops
By Randy Ribay

When Bunny takes a scholarship to a prestigious prep school with a championship basketball team, his relationship with his best friend Nasir is ruined. When Nasir learns that his cousin, Wallace, and his grandmother are being evicted, he tries to get over Bunny's betrayal. But as Wallace's situation becomes desperate, both Bunny and Nasir will have to face bigger and bigger consequences and decide just how much they're willing to risk.
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card
By Sara Saedi
In 1990s California, thirteen-year-old Sara Saedi keeps a diary of her life as an Iranian American and her discovery that she and her family entered the country illegally.
The hilarious, poignant, and true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East, perfect for fans of Mindy Kaling and Trevor Noah's books. "Very funny but never flippant, Saedi mixes '90s pop culture references, adolescent angst and Iranian history into an intimate, informative narrative that thoroughly defies current divisive view on immigration."--The New York Times
By Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, turning Alyssa's quiet suburban street into a warzone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.

Just Mercy: Adapted for Young Adults
By Bryan Stevenson
Lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares his efforts to end racial and economic injustice through his organization Equal Justice Initiative. With personal stories from his work, he sheds light on a broken justice system he's working to change.
The young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy--soon to be both a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson and the subject of an upcoming HBO documentary feature.
Piecing Me Together
By Renee Watson
Each day African American teen Jade Butler shuttles to a private, mostly white school where she's accepted a scholarship. Intent on taking advantage of every opportunity she can to rise above the poverty in which she lives, Jade tries to find her place in a world where she teeters between the privilege of her classmates and the racial tension and fear of her neighborhood. “Jade's narrative offers compelling reflections on the complexities of race and gender, class and privilege, fear and courage, while conveying the conflicted emotions of an ambitious, loyal girl. Teeming with compassion and insight, Watson's story trumpets the power of artistic expression to re-envision and change the world” (PW).

These titles have been nominated by students, teachers, and librarians across the state of Pennsylvania. The final fifteen nominees for each grade category are determined by a committee comprised of Pennsylvania School Librarian Association members. The selections reflect diverse genres, characters, and formats. 

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