This award began in 2009. It is given to a new author or authors who have not been previously published and have had a strong literary debut for young adults.
The 2009 winner:
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Charlotte Miller has always scoffed at talk of a curse on her family’s woolen mill, which holds her beloved town together. But after her father’s death, the bad luck piles up. Then a stranger named Jack Spinner makes a tempting offer: he can turn straw into gold.
The 2010 winner:
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him. When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa.
The 2011 winner:
Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston
Suffering from a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, sixteen-year-old Loa Lindgren tries to use her problem solving skills, sharpened in physics and computer programming, to cure herself.
The 2012 winner:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Seventeen-year-old Cullen’s summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin’s death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother’s sudden disappearance.
The 2013 winner:
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.