Young Hoosier Book Nominees 2018-2019


The Young Hoosier Book Award encourages Indiana students to read for fun. Each year, teachers, students, parents and media specialists submit suggestions to the Young Hoosier Book Award committee, who nominate twenty books in three categories.  Any student who reads at least five from the list will be eligible to vote for his or her favorite this spring.

We have most of the titles on the list in print, and more copies are on the way.  Click here for our print catalog:  Print Books

We also have most titles in the Overdrive collection.  Click here and open the "Collections" tab to view "Young Hoosier Book Award Nominees 18-19." Overdrive

Middle Level Nominees





Maisie is out running when a near-by tree is struck by lightning and she is burned severely. She receives a face transplant that changes everything. Her boyfriend tries to help her transition back to school, but nothing is what it used to be. 

Claire, a wisecracking girl, feels like she just doesn’t fit in - with her family or her friends. She can’t dance as well as her friends and they are moving on without her. The “mean” girls at school are living up to their name, too.

Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw wants to be an NBA star when he grows up. One day, he raced a boy at the neighborhood track and is noticed by the coach, who invites him to join the team. He gets into trouble a lot in school and his mother is hesitant to allow him to participate. She makes a deal with the coach that as long as he behaves at school and doesn't neglect his school work, he can join the team. 

The Greek god Apollo has been punished by his father and made mortal- specifically a 14 year old pimple-faced boy named Lester. During a fight with bullies, Lester/Apollo is saved by a young demigod named Meg. Together they travel to Camp Half-Blood and face the challenges of a mysteri-ous villain who is planning to destroy the camp and the world, but first he has to get rid of Apollo and his oracles.





Carolina or Carol, as she likes to be called, spends the summer months help-ing her grumpy, old grandfather, Serge, prepare for moving into an assisted living facility. At first, Carolina is frightened of her grumpy grandfather. But, as time passes and she gets to know him better, she begins to understand her grandfather .Carolina learns of her heritage from her grandfather’s storytelling and uncovers other family secrets. 

Timothy is under house arrest for stealing a credit card to pay for his baby brother’s medical bills. He is also court-ordered to keep a journal for a year. This novel in verse is his journal where he records his thoughts on being under house arrest and life with a baby broth-er who has a serious medical condition.

What teenager wouldn’t be excited to spend the summer in one of the most romantic and beautiful locations in the entire world, Tuscany, Italy? Well, when it’s your mom’s dying wish for you to travel 6,000 miles and meet your father for the first time, maybe it’s not as romantic as it sounds. Lina, short for Carolina, just wants to belong and be loved, but is that possible when you are surrounded by strangers. 

More than poison ivy waits in the woods for the five summer campers who bunk in Roanoke Cabin. Sure, there's canoeing and hiking and all of the other ordinary things that any scout would expect to find on a quest to earn badges. But what about yetis? River monsters? Fibonacci puzzles? And, is that a . ? Many secrets will be revealed to readers who join these hardcore lady-types on their madcap adventures in this fast and funny graphic novel about "friendship to the MAX.





When their favorite teacher announces she is sick and will be unable to finish out the school year, three boys decide to take action to show her how special she is to them. 

Things go from strange to dangerous as the NEED Network recruits more teens from Nottawa, Wisconsin to the exclu-sive social networking site. NEED deliv-ers members their desires in exchange for the completion of a small task. The actions required of members steadily result in worse consequences. 

Gerta’s world is turned upside down in the blink of an eye when the Berlin Wall sud-denly goes up leaving her father and one of her brothers in West Berlin while she, her brother Fritz, and her mother are trapped in the East, forced to live by strict rules with no way of escape. Gerta longs to live a free life, one where she is not told what she is allowed to talk about, who she can be friends with, and what she can or cannot do with her own life.

The Playbook provides information on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models from all sports and all walks of life. Kwame Alex-ander also shares his personal poetic and uplifting words, and provides stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this book for individuals needing encouragement. 





 Michael O’Shaunessey lives in war-torn Berlin with his parents who are the Irish ambassadors to Nazi Germany. Michael detests all that Nazis stand for, but he joins the Hitler Youth and takes part in the terrible games and book burnings to gain insider knowledge to bring back to his parents. He learns of the top secret Projekt 1065, a Nazi jet plane that can change the course of the war. 

Salt to the Sea follows an unlikely group of travelers making their way to the Wilhelm Gustloff in this historical fiction novel. A group of distinct refugees find themselves trying to escape as the Russian Army advances on Germany. The perspectives of four very unique characters is shared as they each imagine attaining freedom while escaping the horrors of their pasts. 

In a postmodern world where all diseases have been cured, old age no longer kills you, and you can be brought back to life after almost any accident, population control must still be addressed. It is up to the Scythes to determine who will be “gleaned” (killed is such an antiquated word) and all Scythes have their own methods for deciding.

(for mature audience)

Finley Hart is sent to stay with grandparents she has never met for an entire summer. While there, she works through her “blue” days and learns deep family secrets, including why her father never speaks to his mother. She finds solace in writing about a fictional heroine in a magical wood. 





 Daniel Anderson is thirteen and his sister Erica is seven years old. When they hear stories of an old witch in the woods who takes little girls every 50 years, Daniel believes the stories are just a mean trick kids are telling to scare newcomers. Erica turns to her look-alike doll as her only friend in this strange community. Soon Erica believes the doll is talking to her and that the doll is telling her to go into the woods. Daniel begins to believe the stories just as Erica disappears. 

Quarterback Travis Gardner is the talk of the sports world when he is promised a scholarship before he plays his first high school game. Travis struggles with fame both from the opposing team’s focus on sacking him to his own team trusting his talents. When you mix in an injury and increased media scrutiny, you are left to wonder if Travis is a Top Prospect at all.

For Ben Coffin life has always had its ups and downs. After spending most of his life in foster care, he is finally adopted. Even though his life is better- he spends his time at the library among his favorite sci-fi books, life and death has a way of sneaking into reality. One day as he is avoiding some bullies, he rescues a lost and scruffy dog and his life really changes. 


Annabelle has lived a quiet life until Betty Glengarry walks into her classroom. Betty has been sent to live with her grandparents because she was incorrigible. Betty is also a cruel and manipulative person who targets not only Annabelle, but also the reclusive World War I veteran Toby. When Betty goes missing, Annabelle moves quickly to protect Toby from accusations that he had something to do with her disappearance. 


Intermediate Nominees






 When the first apple falls from the tree, Faith and Peter know that it's applesauce weather, even though Peter is getting a little old for such things. It also means Uncle Arthur should be here to tell his stories, with a twinkle in his eye as he spins tales about how he came to have a missing finger. But this is the first year without Aunt Lucy, and when Uncle Arthur arrives, there's no twinkle to be found and no stories waiting to be told. 

Four fascinating friends are randomly chosen by an eccentric billionaire to travel back through time to capture famous historical moments on film. The four must ask the right questions, find the right people and get the picture—all without being caught! 

When Maxine—Max, for short, brings her robot to her middle school’s new “robot integration program”, they try to survive the seventh grade. However, it soon becomes a game of life and death when Max learns that her robot has an evil program at heart—BARBARA—designed to shape the perfect student!

Garvey’s father wants him to be a sports star. But Garvey loves everything—except sports! Feeling bad, he uses food as comfort. When he joins the school chorus with his friend, he finds a way to connect with his father using the language of music. 





 Gertie Reece Foy is 100% awesome! Even so, she can’t convince her absen-tee mother to stay in her small town. Then, Gertie decides to show her mother exactly what she’ll be leaving behind. Everything starts off as planned until fellow 5th grader Mary Sue also wants to be at the top and there’s just not room for both of them, or is there? 

When John Watson moves into a building, he is intrigued by the curious girl who lives downstairs from him, Shelby Holmes. Shelby is only 9 years old, 2 years young-er than John, and seems to have a knack for solving mysteries. Together they form a friendship while solving a dog-napping case! 

When a mysterious growling hamster appears at the back of his class, Sam knows just what to call him: Ham-stersaurus Rex. Sam tries to protect Hammie from an overzealous Hamster Monitor, and from the meanest bully in the history of Horace Hotwater Middle School. 

Trying to deal with her mother’s death, Andie takes advantage of her friend’s science project idea to dabble in the paranormal. So, she begins to wear her mother’s per-fume, mysteriously move objects and change TV channels. Maybe pretending to be dead will bring her family back among the living. 





 Turning 10 years old is a big deal for Avalon and her best friend Atticus. When you turn 10, you discover your magic power—something that can be used time and again, or just once when most needed. The past year has been a difficult one and the time is running out for her to find her power before her 11th birthday. Will she get the power she needs?

Timminy must start middle school in a new town—perfect situation to end up a “bully bait”. But he finds Maxi—a gentle giant of a dog who the family quickly discovers is deaf. Timminy is determined to do all he can to help Maxi—after all, his parents didn't return him because he was a runt. But when the going gets rough for Tim-miny, who spends a little too much time getting shoved into lockers at school, Maxi ends up being the one to help him. 

In a modern day twist on Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack has to take care of his autistic kid sister Maddie who doesn’t speak. One day, Maddie mysteriously speaks to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of seeds. It may be the best mistake Jack ever made!

The first book in the now established “Rip and Red” series, features the boys navi-gating their way through 5th grade. When a new girl, Tiki, arrives at school, they find out she not only is interesting, but has game! She proves to be tough competition on the floor and off ! 





 Joseph Johnson has had rotten luck in life—he’s lost his father in an accident, and the rest of his family to sickness. So, he clings to the only family he has left—his pony, Sarah. But then Sarah is stolen and Joseph will do whatever he can to get her back. 

Its 1847 Missouri and doesn’t want to James start school; his sister practi-cally had to drag him there. The classroom was dark and dreary, and James knew everything outside was more exciting than anything he'd find inside. But his teacher taught him otherwise until a new law forbid African American education in Mis-souri. James’ teacher, the Reverend Meachum, determined to educate his students, set up a school on the Mississippi River—just outside the state boundaries. 

William “Doc” Key had a special way with animals. As a boy during the Civil War, he was sent to various plantations to care for sickly animals. When his dream of breeding a champion race horse is dashed with a sickly colt, Doc nurses him back to health and then begins to notice Jim’s many unusual gifts and talents. 

Cadence Mariah Jolly is shy, so shy that she is called Mouse by her family, friends and church What they don’t know is that she is a gifted singer. She wants to audi-tion for the youth choir, but is too shy to do it in person. She comes up with a solution, but when it does not go as planned she is faced.





  Lonnie Johnson loved robots, rockets and inventing as a boy. When he was tasked with coming up with a new way to cool refrigerator systems, he accidentally in-vented the mechanics that led to the Super Soaker water gun invention—one of the top 20 toys of all time!

Roz the robot discovers that she has been left on a remote island without any memory of how she got there. She knows she must survive and does so by befriending the animals and adapting to her surroundings. When a sudden fierce storm and a bear attack occur, she is suddenly flooded with memories of what happened to land her there. 

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reece, is an expert wish-maker, She even has a list on all the ways to make a wish. However, when she is sud-denly sent away to extended family, she fears her wish may never come true. Then she meets a skinny, stray dog she names Wish-bone and wonders if maybe she’s been wishing for the wrong things all this time! 

Isaiah is an unusual mouse—first of all, his first is blue and he can read and write and also talk to any human willing to listen. When he becomes separated from his family at the lab, he finds an unusual and lonely girl, Hailey. Together, the two learn the true meaning of friendship.