As a quick overview, the Nutmeg Award is a Connecticut-based award and is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians.

The aim of the contest is to get school-aged kids to read more and better books.  Children in Connecticut choose the winner.

Past winners have included books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Lightening Thief and many other easily recognized titles.

Here is the list of nominees for the Teen category, for grades 7-8.  I’ll post a list of High School nominees in an upcoming post.  For a list of the Elementary Nominees, click here, and for a list of Intermediate Nominees, click here.

2015 Nutmeg Book Award Teen Nominees

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles – Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible to her family, where grumpy older sister, Sarah, is working in the family restaurant, her brother, Holden, is dealing with bullies at school, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention.  When tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.

Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon – When computer genius, Noa, wakes up on a table in a warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, she starts to wish she had someone on her side.  Enter Peter Gregory, a rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, and he needs people with Noa’s talents on his team.  But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt – Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick.  But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she’s blindsided.  This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never though existed – until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde – Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs an agency for underemployed magicians in a world where magic is fading away.  It seems, though , that Big Magic is brewing in the world again when visions of the death of the world’s last dragon begin. Stranger still, all signs point to Jennifer being the newest and perhaps, final, Dragonslayer.

Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner – Jaden’s summer visit with her meteorologist father, who has just returned from spending four years in Russia conducting weather experiments not permitted in the United States, fills her with apprehension and fear as she finds living at her father’s planned community, Placid Meadows, is anything but placid.

The Final Four by Paul Volponi – When the heavy favored Michigan Spartans and the underdog Troy Trojans meet in the first semifinal game of March Madness, four players find their fates entwined.  As the teams race to find victory, the stories of how each player arrived there are revealed.

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato – When forced to share a practice room, and a guitar, perfect student, Lyla, and loner, Tripp, begin to correspond through a series of heated notes.  A friendship develops as they discover that they truly “get” one another, but can they overcome the differences that others see in them to maybe become more?

The Raft by S. A. Bodeen – When Robie’s plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean, she must depend on the plane’s co-pilot, Max, and a life raft for survival.  As their water disappears and the evidence of sharks in the water mounts, Robie isn’t really sure that they’ll make it until a team can rescue them.

Insignia by S. J. Kinkaid – An elite military academy recruits Tom Raines to train to become a soldier in outer space, and he can’t believe his good fortune.  As his training begins, though, Tom finds he might have to sacrifice more than he’d ever though in order to succeed.

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen – In a country threatened by civil war, four orphans get recruited to compete for the role of impostor.  the winner will play the King’s long-lost son, inherit the Kingdom, and become a puppet for a noble who wants the crown for himself.  Sage knows his life depends on winning this Princely role.

All descriptions come from the Nutmeg Book Awards website.