ABA announces 2017 Indies Choice Awards finalists


The American Booksellers Association announced the finalists for the 2017 Indies Choice Awards. The young adult titles nominated this year are The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, Kids of Appetite by David Arnold and The Reader by Traci Chee.

The Sun Is Also a Star is the story of split second connections. Natasha’s family is twelve hours away from being deported back to Jamaica, while Daniel is on his way to Yale at his parent’s bequest. While Natasha is doing everything in her power to save her family, Daniel falls in love with her in an instant on the subway and spends the rest of the day trying to convince her of their kismet connection. They share countless romantic moments while counting down the hours until Natasha is deported.

Salt to the Sea tells the story of the escape of thousands of East Prussian refugees and the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. A World War II novel which shines light on a little known tragedy, Ruta Sepetys spins a gorgeous tale of strength, courage, and humanity in the face of fear and uncertainty.

In The Serpent King, Dill wrestles with being a target after his father’s very public fall from grace. Fortunately, his two friends Lydia and Travis have his back. But as they begin their senior year, the future feels more and more like the grip of a viper. His only solace comes from music and his feelings for Lydia, which neither of them are brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an end than a beginning, but before then he must cope with another ending- one that shakes him to his core.

Girl in the Blue Coat is another World War II story about Henneke, a black market expert who considers her illegal works to be an act of rebellion. When a client asks her to locate a missing Jewish teenager, Henneke is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, the horrors of the Nazi party, and compel her to take desperate action.

In Kids of Appetite, Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell: it begins with the death of Vic’s father and ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle. The police would love to hear it, but in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must tell all the chapters in between.

The first novel of the Sea and Ink series is The Reader, a story where books do not exist. Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin. They survive in the wilderness together, constantly looking over their shoulders. When Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is.

The Indies Choice Awards were inaugurated at BookExpo America in 2000. Previous winners include Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, and Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. The winners will be announced May 3rd. For more information, visit the American Booksellers’ Association website.

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About Author

Lauren Byrnes

Lauren is a college student working towards a degree in history and education. She writes a little and reads a lot. In addition to the YA world, her interests include historical nonfiction, showtunes, coffee, gender studies, and red lipstick.

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