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Recommended Reading

William Allen White 2023 Winner

Flight of the Puffin

by Ann BradenYear Published: 2021Realistic Fiction

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Told in multiple voices, seventh-grader Libby sets off a chain of events that brings hope and encouragement to four different individuals across the country who are dealing with bullies, acceptance, homelessness, and grief.

If you're an adventure seeker and into stories that mix heartwarming moments with environmental action, Flight of the Puffin by Ann Braden is calling your name. Libby sets out to save an injured puffin, but her quest leads to uncovering a bigger mystery – the disappearance of puffins from her island. Alongside her friends, Libby takes on the challenge of standing up for nature and finding her voice. With themes of friendship, conservation, and making a difference, this book is not only a captivating read but also an inspiring reminder that even small actions can have a huge impact. Get ready to soar with Flight of the Puffin!

Fast Pitch

by Nic StoneYear Published: 2021Sports Fiction

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Shenice Lockwood dreams of leading the Fulton Firebirds to the U12 softball regional championship. But Shenice's focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending-and family-name-ruining-crime may have been a setup. It's up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family's past-and fast-before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.

Step up to the plate with Fast Pitch by Nic Stone. This exciting novel follows Shenice, a talented softball player who's got a killer arm and a fierce determination. But there's more to this story than just the game – Shenice is facing tough challenges off the field too. With themes of friendship, family, and finding your own path, "Fast Pitch" hits it out of the park. Join Shenice as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school, stands up for what's right, and shows us all what it means to be a true team player. If you're into sports, heart, and a whole lot of determination, this book is a home run!

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown

by Steve SheinkinYear Published: 2021HIstorical Non Fiction: Cold War

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As World War II comes to a close, the United States and the Soviet Union emerge as the two greatest world powers on extreme opposites of the political spectrum. After the United States showed its hand with the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the Soviets refuse to be left behind. With communism sweeping the globe, the two nations begin a neck-and-neck competition to build even more destructive bombs and conquer the Space Race. In their battle for dominance, spy planes fly above, armed submarines swim deep below, and undercover agents meet in the dead of night. The Cold War game grows more precarious as weapons are pointed towards each other, with fingers literally on the trigger. The decades-long showdown culminates in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world's close call with the third-and final-world war


by Megan FreemanYear Published: 2021Adventure: Novel in Verse

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When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone—left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.

With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.

As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?

If you're into heart-pounding survival stories, Alone by Megan E. Freeman is a must-read. Imagine this: a sudden disaster strikes, and everyone over 12 years old disappears. The world turns upside down for a group of kids, including our protagonist Maddie. Trapped in a world without adults, they have to figure out how to survive, make decisions, and build a new community. With themes of resilience, teamwork, and finding strength within yourself, Alone takes you on a thrilling journey of adventure and self-discovery. If you're ready for a gripping ride, this book is calling your name!

365 Days to Alaska

by Cathy CarrYear Published: 2021Multicultural Fiction

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When eleven-year-old Rigel Harman's parents divorce, she and her sisters must move from the Alaskan wilderness to suburban Connecticut, and while she yearns to return in a year, she eventually realizes she must move forward.

 This book is an unforgettable journey of courage and self-discovery: 365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr is a must-read. When Rigel's plans for the summer fall apart, she embarks on a road trip to Alaska with her family. Along the way, she faces challenges, makes new friends, and learns that life's detours can lead to unexpected adventures. This heartwarming story is about finding your own path, embracing change, and the bonds that hold families together. If you're ready to be inspired and swept away on a road trip of emotions and growth, this book is waiting for you!

2023 William Allen White Nominees

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