Lincoln Award: Illinois Teen Readers' Choice Nominees 2023

  • Ace of Spades

    by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé Year Published: 2021

    Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, two students at Niveus Private Academy, are selected to be part of the elite school's senior class prefects and struggle against an anonymous bully who reveals all of their secrets.

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  • How It All Blew Up

    by Arvin Ahmadi Year Published: 2020

    Fleeing to Rome in the wake of coming out to his Muslim family, a failed relationship, and blackmail, eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi embarks on a more authentic life with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel before an encounter with a U.S. Customs officer places his hard-won freedom at risk.

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  • Love from A to Z

    by S.K. Ali Year Published: 2019

    Eighteen-year-old Muslims Adam and Zayneb meet in Doha, Qatar, during spring break and fall in love as both struggle to find a way to live their own truths.

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  • Firekeeper's Daughter

    by Angeline Boulley Year Published: 2021

    Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.

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  • We Are Not Free

    by Traci Chee Year Published: 2020

    For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare: attacked, spat on, and abused with no way to retaliate--and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps.

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  • Legendborn

    by Tracy Deonn Year Published: 2020

    To discover the truth behind her mother's mysterious death, a teen girl infiltrates a magical secret society claiming to be the descendants of King Arthur and his knights.

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  • Not So Pure and Simple

    by L.R. Giles Year Published: 2020

    High school junior Del Rainey unwittingly joins a Purity Pledge class at church, hoping to get closer to his long-term crush, Kiera.

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  • Almost American Girl : an Illustrated Memoir

    by Robin Ha Year Published: 2020

    The author recounts how she and her mother moved from South Korea to the United States.

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  • Grown

    by Tiffany D. Jackson Year Published: 2020

    When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an
    audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the
    previous night. Who killed Korey Fields? 

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  • Tokyo Ever After

    by Emiko Jean Year Published: 2021

    Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity… and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.

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  • You Should See Me in A Crown

    by Leah Johnson Year Published: 2020

    Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed Midwestern high school. After all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died. Instead, she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra, where she plans to study medicine--but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

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  • Gender Queer

    by Maia Kobabe Year Published: 2019

    In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

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  • Elatsoe

    by Darcie Little Badger Year Published: 2020

    Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

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  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club

    by Malinda Lo Year Published: 2021

    Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root—that desire to look, to move closer, to touch. Whenever it started growing, it definitely bloomed the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. Suddenly everything seemed possible. 

    But America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

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  • Furia

    by Yamile Saied Méndez Year Published: 2020

    Seventeen-year-old Camila Hassan, a rising soccer star in Rosario, Argentina, dreams of playing professionally, in defiance of her father's wishes and at the risk of her budding romance with Diego.

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  • The Loop

    by Ben Oliver Year Published: 2020

    Luka Kane has spent 736 days wrongfully imprisoned inside the Loop awaiting his execution. Each day is the same. Each day is torturous. But things are starting to change. Whispers of war are circulating. Strange things are happening to the prisoners. And the warden delivers a message: Luka, you have to get out... Now Luka must decide whether breaking out of the Loop is his only way to survive, especially if there's any chance of saving the ones he loves. But the population on the outside may be far more terrifying than anything he could have imagined. And in order to save his family, he'll have to discover who is responsible for the chaos that has been inflicted upon the world.

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  • Game Changer

    by Neal Shusterman Year Published: 2021

    All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash's life doesn't look quite the way he remembers it. Impossible though it seems, he's been hit into another dimension--and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own. The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he's ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past . . . universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes.

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  • Today Tonight Tomorrow

    by Rachel Lynn Solomon Year Published: 2020

    Throughout the years both Rowan and Neil have been at competition with one another on everything from who has the best ideas for school functions to which one will be their graduating class's valedictorian. However, in the twenty-four hours left they have as high school students, the two learn they share something much deeper than a rivalry.

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  • Cemetery Boys

    by Aiden Thomas Year Published: 2020

    Yadriel, a trans boy, summons the angry spirit of his high school's bad boy, and agrees to help him learn how he died, thereby proving himself a brujo, not a bruja, to his conservative family.

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  • Check, Please!

    by Ngozi Ukazu Year Published: 2018

    Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur patissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There's checking. And then, there is Jack---his very attractive but moody captain.

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