Meet the TRCA 2022 Contenders

CCRCE’s TRCA Committee has shortlisted five books for the 2022 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. The winner will be announced 17 May 2022. The 2022 finalists are:

Barry Squires, Full Tilt by Heather Smith
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen
Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang; illustrations by Gurihiru
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

The 2022 TRCA Committee selected the finalists from a list of seventy titles. After months spent reading and discussing these suggestions, a selection was made. The selected titles include a quirky romp through the streets of St. John’s; a trip to Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give; a riveting survival memoir from literary legend Gary Paulsen; a clever graphic novel addressing issues of race and identity; and a deliciously dark twist on Romeo and Juliet promising glitter, suspense, gore, and more.

Heather Smith author of Barry Squires, Full Tilt

Heather Smith is a Canadian author. Originally from Newfoundland, Heather now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Heather is the author of several books for children and young adults including her YA novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, which won the 2019 White Pine Award, and this year’s TRCA nominee, Barry Squires, Full Tilt.

According to Smith, once a reluctant reader, she draws on her own experiences while writing. This is evident as Barry Squires, Full Tilt is speckled with details that convey the uniqueness of Newfoundland.

Angie Thomas author of Concrete Rose

Angie Thomas, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, was encouraged to take up writing after a trip with her mother to the local library. Initially intending to write fantasy and middle grade novels, Angie came to realize that she wanted her work to show truth and tear down stereotypes. The Hate U Give, her New York Times bestselling novel, was written to draw attention to the controversial issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. Concrete Rose, her third novel, revisits the character of Maverick, first introduced in The Hate U Give.

Gary Paulsen author of Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gary James Paulsen (May 17, 1939 – October 13, 2021) was an American writer of children’s and young adult fiction. According to Paulsen, best known for wilderness stories, he developed his love for reading at a young age.

During his lifetime Paulsen wrote more than 175 books and 200 articles. In 1997 he won the Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the American Library Association for his lifetime achievement in young adult literature. Prior to his passing, Paulsen spent time between his home in Alaska, his ranch in New Mexico, and his sailboat on the Pacific Ocean.

Gene Luen Yang author of Superman Smashes the Klan

Gene Luen Yang is an American graphic novelist. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely.

A native of California, Yang attended the University of California, Berkeley for his undergraduate degree. He wanted to major in art but his father encouraged him to pursue a more “practical” field so Yang majored in computer science with a minor in creative writing. Since graduating, Yang has worked as a computer engineer, high school teacher, and cartoonist.

Gurihiru illustrator of Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel Superman Smashes the Klan

Gurihiru is a Japanese illustration team, consisting of Chifuyu Sasaki, who does penciling and inking, and Naoko Kawano, who does coloring. Both originating from Sapporo, Japan, they are currently based in Saitama, mainly working as artists for American comics.

The two women are art school graduates who worked as web designers and art museum receptionists prior to their work in comics. After entering a manga competition, they were advised to contact U.S. comics publishers, and they have since illustrated many American comics and graphic novels.

Chloe Gong author of These Violent Delights

Chloe Gong is the New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and its sequel Our Violent Ends. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she double-majored in English and International Relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Chloe is now located in New York.

Members of the 2022 TRCA Committee are: Eve Trainer, Jan Matthews, Matt Cole, Myrna Allen, and Susan Cochrane.

Meet the TRCA 2021 Contenders

CCRCE’s TRCA Committee has shortlisted five books for the 2021 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. The award winner will be announced 25 May 2021.The 2021 finalists are:

  • Burn by Patrick Ness
  • The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
  • Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
  • I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott; illustrations by Harmony Becker
The 2021 TRCA Committee selected the finalists from a list of fifty titles. After months spent reading and discussing these suggestions, a selection was made. The selected titles include a wild ride by Patrick Ness involving assassins and dragon-worshippers; a compelling historical novel where the main character isn’t afraid to speak her mind; a deeply sensitive and powerful novel where the protagonist deals with internalized racism and a verbally abusive family; a deliciously twisted mystery with a clever plot; and a moving graphic memoir detailing the author’s time spent in a Japanese internment camp.

Patrick Ness author of Burn

Patrick Ness is a British-American author, journalist, lecturer and screenwriter. Born in the United States, Ness has lived in Virginia, Hawaii, Washington, California, and England. He is best known for his books for young adults, including The Knife of Never Letting Go and A Monster Calls.

Having only ever wanted to be a writer, Patrick studied English Literature at the University of Southern California, and upon graduation, went to work as a corporate writer for a Los Angeles cable company. He was working on his first novel when he moved to London in 1999.

Patrick has a tattoo of a rhinoceros, has run three marathons, and refuses to eat onions.

Stacey Lee author of The Downstairs Girl

An award-winning author of historical and contemporary young adult fiction, Stacey dreamed of writing books for a living since she was nine.

A native of southern California and fourth-generation Chinese American, she graduated from UCLA and later received her law degree. Along the way, she continued writing. Best known for Under a Painted Sky, Stacey plays classical piano and wrangles children, all while fulfilling the dream of a nine year old.

Alicia D. Williams author of Genesis Begins Again

Alicia D resides in Charlotte, NC. She is the proud mother of a brilliant college student. Her love for education stems from conducting school residencies as a Master Teaching Artist of arts-integration. Alicia D infuses her love for drama, movement, and storytelling to inspire students to write. Alicia D loves laughing, traveling, and Wonder Woman as well as chunky guacamole, shiny things, and good stories.

Kit Frick author of I Killed Zoe Spanos

Kit Frick is a novelist and poet. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. The author of young adult thrillers, Kit loves a good mystery but has only ever killed her characters. Honest.

George Takei author of They Called Us Enemy

George Takei is an American actor, author, and activist. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and one episode of Star Trek: Voyager. George spent ages 5 to almost 9 imprisoned by the U.S. government in Japanese American internment camps.

Harmony Becker illustrator of George Takei’s graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy

Harmony Becker is an artist and illustrator. She is the creator of the comics Himawari Share, Love Potion, and Anemone and Catharus. She is a member of a multicultural family and has spent time living in South Korea and Japan. Her work often deals with the theme of the language barrier and how it shapes people and their relationships.


Members of the 2021 Teen Reader’s Choice Award Committee are: Eve Trainer, Jan Matthews, Matt Cole, Myrna Allen, and Susan Cochrane.

Meet the TRCA 2020 Contenders

CCRCE’s TRCA Committee has shortlisted five books for the 2020 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. The award winner will be announced June 9th.

The 2020 finalists are:

  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell; illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
  • The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

The 2020 TRCA Committee selected the finalists from a list of over seventy titles. After months spent reading and discussing these suggestions, a selection was made. The selected titles include a fictional field guide to American high school life as told by a black French Canadian; a mystery involving murder, neglect, and systemic racism; a smart full colour graphic novel set in a pumpkin patch; a fantastical historical novel filled with love and imagination; and a graphic novel that humanizes the Syrian refugee crisis. 

Ben Philippe author of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

Ben Philippe was born in Haiti and raised in Montreal. He has a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in Fiction & Screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. He currently teaches at Barnard College in Manhattan, New York.

Ben has written articles for various magazines including Vanity Fair and Playboy. His short stories have appeared in several magazines. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, a Morris Award winner, is his debut novel. He can be found online at www.benphilippe.com.

Oh yes! Ben has a dog Blue of which he is very proud.

Tiffany D. Jackson author of Monday’s Not Coming

Tiffany D. Jackson, a Brooklyn native and lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, is a TV professional by day and novelist by night. Her second novel, Monday’s Not Coming, was named one of the Best YA Books of 2018 by School Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, Buzzfeed, BCCB, and Texas Library Association.  

Author of Allegedly, Monday’s Not Coming, and Let Me Hear a Rhyme, Jackson received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. You can visit her online at www.writeinbk.com.

Rainbow Rowell author of Pumpkinheads

Rainbow Rowell is the award-winning author of such books as Eleanor & Park, Carry On, and Wayward Son. She made her comics debut as the writer of Marvel’s monthly Runaways series. Pumpkinheads is her first graphic novel.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books and planning Disney World trips. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons and can be found online at https://www.rainbowrowell.com/

Faith Erin Hicks illustrator of Pumpkinheads

Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian writer and artist who worked in the animation industry for several years before transitioning into writing and drawing comics full time in 2008. Her graphic novels include Friends with Boys, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (with Prudence Shen), The Last of Us: American Dreams (with Neil Druckmann), and the Eisner Award-winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl.

Faith currently lives in Vancouver, BC with her partner, Tim, and their helpful cat. Be sure and check her out at http://www.faitherinhicks.com/.

Jonathan Auxier author of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Jonathan Auxier is the award-winning author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which was a BookPage Magazine Best Book of 2011 and Diamond Willow Award winner. This novel was successfully followed by The Night Gardener which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. His third book, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard, received four starred reviews and was shortlisted for the Sunburst Fantasy Award in Canada. His latest novel, Sweep, named one of CBC Books’ Best Canadian Children’s & YA Books of 2018, received six starred reviews as well as the Governor General’s Award.

Jonathan, a Canadian-born writer, grew up near Vancouver and now lives in Pittsburgh with his family where he teaches creative writing and children’s literature. He can be found online at https://www.thescop.com/.

Don Brown author of The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of numerous books including Drowned City. His latest book on the Syrian refugee crisis is a Sibert Honor Medalist, New York Public Library Best Of 2018, and a Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Excellence in Nonfiction Winner.

Don lives in New York with his family. Visit him online at https://www.booksbybrown.com/.

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Members of the 2020 TRCA Committee are: Eve Trainer, Jan Matthews, Matt Cole, Myrna Allen, and Susan Cochrane.

Meet the TRCA 2019 Contenders

Meet the authors of the ten books shortlisted for the 2019 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. This year’s contending novels include a work of nonfiction, a graphic novel, Black fiction, mystery fiction, realistic fiction, and historical fiction. The books, a diverse collection, explore subjects such as gender nonconformity, adoption, teenage pregnancy, rape, and murder.

Dashka Slater author of The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

Dashka Slater has been telling stories since she could talk. When she was little, she told stories to her mother, who wrote them down until Slater was old enough to write them down herself.

An award-winning journalist she is also the author of nine books. The 57 Bus, has received numerous accolades, including the 2018 Stonewall Book Award and the 2018 Beatty Award from the California Library Association.

Natalie C. Anderson author of City of Saints & Thieves

Natalie C Anderson is an American writer and international development professional based in Geneva, Switzerland with her husband and son. You can also sometimes find her in the mountains of North Carolina or Nairobi, Kenya. She’s spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee issues around the world, mainly Africa.

Francesca Zappia author of Eliza and Her Monsters

Francesca Zappia lives in central Indiana. When she is not writing, she spends most of her time reading, drawing, watching anime, and playing way too much Pokémon. She is also the author of Made You Up and Eliza Mirk’s favorite,The Children of Hypnos, a biweekly serial novel posted on Tumblr and Wattpad.

Robin Benway author of Far from the Tree

Robin grew up in Orange County, California, attended NYU, where she was the 1997 recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing, and is a graduate of UCLA. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she spends her time hanging out with her dog, Hudson, making coffee, and procrastinating on writing.

Jeff Zentner author of Goodbye Days

Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums.and has recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. 

As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

Goodbye Days is his love letter to the city of Nashville and the talented people who populate it. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son

Antonio Iturbe author of The Librarian of Auschwitz

Antonio Iturbe is a Spanish journalist, novelist and professor. While pursuing his degree in journalism, Antonio balanced his studies with several jobs: parking guard, baker, and bill collector.

In researching this story, he interviewed Dita Kraus, the real-life librarian of Auschwitz.

Jason Reynolds author of Long Way Down

Jason Reynolds graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English. He writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Long Way Down, a novel written in verse.

Reynolds was motivated to write Long Way Down by his visits to juvenile detention centers, where he often meets children caught in a cycle of violence that, under slightly different circumstances, might have been his own.

Karen McManus author of One of Us Is Lying

Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn’t working or writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, McManus loves to travel with her son.

One of Us Is Lying, her debut novel, is a New York Times bestseller, a CBC Teen Choice Book Award Nominee, and a Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee.

Elizabeth Acevedo author of The Poet X

Elizabeth Acevedo is the daughter of Dominican immigrants. She has a BA in performing arts from George Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. Elizabeth has been on television, given TEDTalks, and traveled all over the world.

She is the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the recipient of the Boston-Globe Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction of 2018.

Laurie Halse Anderson author of Speak: The Graphic Novel ; illustrated by Emily Carroll

Laurie Halse Anderson is an American writer, known for children’s and young adult novels.

She lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. She and her husband, Scot, plus dogs Kezzie and Thor, and assorted chickens and other critters enjoy country living and time in the woods.

Emily Carroll, an Eisner Award winning illustrator and author of Through the Woods, has also illustrated the children’s graphic novel Baba Yaga’s Assistant in addition to creating numerous popular Web comics.

Carroll entered into the world of independent video game development in 2013, creating illustrations for The Fullbright Company’s Gone Home, as well as collaborating with game developer Damian Sommer to create The Yawhg.

I live in Stratford, Ontario with a very large dog, a very small dog, one cat (no teeth), and a wife who is extremely wonderful.

Meet the TRCA 2018 Contenders

Meet the authors of the ten books shortlisted for the 2018 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. This year’s contending novels include realistic fiction, fantasy fiction, dystopian fiction, mystery fiction and science fiction and explore subjects as diverse as race relations, transgender persons, mental health, traditional families, and immigration.

Meet the authors of the ten books shortlisted for the 2018 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. This year’s contending novels include realistic fiction, fantasy fiction, dystopian fiction, mystery fiction and science fiction and explore subjects as diverse as race relations, transgender persons, mental health, traditional families, and immigration.

Kelly Barnhill author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Kelly Barnhill, author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, describes herself as a former teacher, bartender, waitress, activist, park ranger, secretary, janitor and church-guitar-player. She is a mother of three whose husband designs sustainable houses.

Her novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon, New York Times Bestseller and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2016, was awarded the 2017 Newbery Medal.

Angie Thomas author of The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. A former rapper, she holds a BFA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was a Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction winner, a School Library Journal Best YA of 2017 and a National Book Award Longlist title.

Film rights for The Hate U Give have been optioned by Fox 2000 with Hunger Games and Everything, Everything actress Amandla Stenberg to star.

Donna Gephart author of Lily and Dunkin

According to Donna Gephart, a self-described nerd, her love for libraries and reading led her to a career as an author. Lily and Dunkin received a Voice Award from the Palm Beach County Action Alliance for Mental Health and a Rainbow Award for Best Transgender Book. Lily and Dunkin is a Junior Library Guild Selection novel and an Amazon Best Book of the Month.

Originally from Philadelphia, Donna now lives in South Florida with her family, including her dog, Benji.

Cherie Dimaline author of The Marrow Thieves

Cherie Dimaline, a member of the Georgian Bay Métis Nation, was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Arts in 2014. She is also the first Aboriginal writer in residence for the Toronto Public Library.

Her recent young adult novel The Marrow Thieves won the Governor General’s Award for English-language children’s literature  and the $50,000 Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category.

Rebecca Podos author of The Mystery of Hollow Places

Rebecca Podos is a graduate of the writing, literature, and publishing program at Emerson College, where she won the MFA award for best thesis. Rebecca’s debut novel, The Mystery of Hollow Places, was nominated for a 2016 Agatha Award. The novel, whose main character Imogene Scott is the daughter of a bestselling mystery writer, was a Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee, and a Junior Library Guild Selection title.

Traci Chee author of The Reader

Traci Chee is the author of The Reader, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a 2016 Kirkus Prize finalist. Chee loves poetry and paper crafts, and dabbles at piano playing, egg painting, and hosting potluck game nights for family and friends. She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a Master of Arts degree from San Francisco State University. According to Traci, she grew up in a small town with more cows than people. She currently lives in California with her dog.

Jeff Zentner author The Serpent King   

Jeff Zentner’s book The Serpent King is a recent winner of the William C. Morris Award and the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award.

Zentner, who began his creative life as a guitarist and eventually songwriter, lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

Nicola Yoon author of The Sun is Also a Star

Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything, and The Sun Is Also a Star. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and husband.

A lover of kimchi and karaoke, Yoon  majored in electrical engineering at Cornell University she but discovered her knack for writing by accident when she took a creative writing class as an elective.

Adam Silvera author of They Both Die at the End

Adam Silvera, a former children’s bookseller, literary marketing assistant, and book reviewer for children’s and young adult novels, grew up in the Bronx revering the work of J.K. Rowling.

All of Silvera’s novels have received multiple starred reviews. His third novel, They Both Die at the End, is a New York Times bestseller, a Book Riot Best Queer Book of 2017, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

Sandhya Menon author of When Dimple Met Rishi

Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of the smash-hit When Dimple Met Rishi. She was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food. A confessed dessert nut she loves anything containing Nutella or chocolate. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

Meet the TRCA 2017 Contenders

Meet the authors of the ten books shortlisted for the 2017 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. This year’s contending novels include a hard-edged, ripped-from-the-headlines book dramatizing police brutality and race relations in America; a novel where sixteen-year-old gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical; and story of a teenager learning to live with clinical depression.

Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely authors of All American Boys

Jason Reynolds didn’t grow up expecting to be a writer: indeed, he was 17 before he read a book from start to finish. But it might be his atypical background that allows him to connect so powerfully with teenage readers.

Jason published several poetry collections before publishing his first novel, When I Was The Greatest, in 2014. In 2015, Reynolds published The Boy in the Black Suit, about a child grieving the loss of his mother and All American Boys, which he co-authored with Brendan Kiely.

Brendan Kiely is the co-author, with Jason Reynolds of the young adult novel, All American Boys, which won the Coretta Scott King Honor Award and the inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award for outstanding children’s literature in the young adult category. Brendan is also the author of the novel The Gospel of Winter, which has been published in ten languages.

Brendan grew up in the Boston area and attended The City College of New York where he earned an MFA in creative writing. He found his enthusiasm for young people working at a high school in New York City for ten years before becoming a full-time writer.These days, Brendan lives with his wife in Greenwich Village

Melanie Crowder author of Audacity

Melanie Crowder is the acclaimed author of several books for young readers. She writes YA historical fiction and Middle Grade novels of all sorts. Audacity,a novel in verse featuring the real-life Clara Lemlich, a courageous, tenacious warrior for workers’ rights in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City, is a 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist.

Melanie teaches English to non-native-English-speaking students at her local school and holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives under the big blue Colorado sky with her wife, two kids, and one good dog.

E. K. Johnston author of Exit, Pursued by a Bear

Emily Kate Johnston, publishing as E.K. Johnston, is a Canadian author and forensic archaeologist.

Johnston, who started writing fan fiction in 2002, wrote her first manuscript seven years later. Her first book, The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, was published in 2014. Exit, Pursued By A Bear is her fifth novel.

Johnson’s favourite authors include Elizabeth Wein, JRR Tolkien, and Holly Black. She plays the alto saxophone and the clarinet, and currently lives in Stratford, Ontario.

Becky Albertalli author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. She now lives with her family in Atlanta. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is her first novel.

Frances Hardinge author of The Lie Tree

Frances Hardinge was born in Brighton, England, and dreamed of writing at the age of four. She studied English at Somerville College, University of Oxford. Her writing career started after she won a short story magazine competition. Her debut novel, Fly By Night, won the 2006 Branford Boase Award and was listed as one of the School Library Journal Best Books, while her 2015 novel The Lie Tree won the 2015 Costa Book Award, the first children’s book to do so since Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass in 2001.

Hardinge is often seen wearing a black hat and enjoys dressing in old-fashioned clothing.

Francisco X. Stork author of The Memory of Light

Francisco Xavier Arguelles was born in 1953 in Monterrey, Mexico and moved to El Paso, Texas at the age of nine. At Spring Hill College, Francisco majored in English Literature and Philosophy and received the college’s creative writing award. After college he attended graduate school at Harvard University and Columbia Law School. Francisco is married to Jill Syverson-Stork. He is the father of Nicholas and Anna and the grandfather of Charlotte.

He lives near Boston with his wife.

Patrick Ness author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Patrick Ness was born in Virginia, then moved to Hawaii where he lived until he was six. He then spent the next several years in Washington state, before moving to study English Literature at the University of Southern California. Patrick moved to the United Kingdom in 1999, where I’ve lived (mostly in London) ever since.

Ness is the author of several novels, including The Knife of Never Letting Go, A Monster Calls and The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

Stephanie Oakes author of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Stephanie Oakes lives in Spokane, Washington, and works as a library media teacher in a combined middle and elementary school. She has an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University. Her first novel, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, was a Morris Award finalist.

You can follow Stephanie on Facebook and twitter.

Susin Nielsen author of We Are All Made of Molecules

Susin Nielsen got her start writing a spec script for the popular television series Degrassi Junior High. She went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit show and four of the Degrassi books. She has written for many TV series, including Heartland.  Her first novel, Word Nerd, was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature. Her next two novels, Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, won numerous awards.  

Susin lives in Vancouver with her family and two destructive, naughty cats. When not writing, she loves to road bike, be in the great outdoors, read and travel.

Ryan Graudin author of Wolf by Wolf

Ryan Graudin was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. With a severe case of wanderlust, she has travelled to South Korea, New Zealand, Peru and Kenya. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy writing and spending time with her husband and wolf dog.

Meet the TRCA 2016 Contenders

CCRCE’s TRCA Committee has shortlisted ten books for the 2016 Teen Reader’s Choice Award. The award winner will be announced on May 31st.

This year’s contending novels include a powerful novel about living with someone who has suffered through war; a graphic novel involving a young shape-shifter with a knack for villainy; and a smartly told story dealing with grief and other complex emotions.

Jennifer Niven author of All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven grew up in Indiana and now lives with her fiancé and literary cats in Los Angeles.

As well as writing novels, Niven has also worked as a screenwriter, journalist and an associate producer at ABC Television.

Niven’s first young adult novel, All the Bright Places was released in 2015. The narrative follows two teenagers, Violet and Finch who are struggling with mental health issues.

Meg Wolitzer author of Belzhar

Meg Wolitzer was born in Brooklyn and raised in Syosset, New York. Wolitzer studied creative writing at Smith College and graduated from Brown University in 1981.

She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, Skidmore College. Belzhar is her twelfth novel.

Kwame Alexander author of The Crossover

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author who believes that poetry can change the world. His name Kwame comes from Ghana and it means born on a Saturday, but Alexander was born on a Wednesday. His second novel, The Crossover, is a New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal Winner.

Nicola Yoon author of Everything Everything

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica and in Brooklyn, New York. She majored in electrical engineering as an undergraduate at Cornell University but taking a creative writing class as an elective got her “hooked on writing”. After graduation, she attended the Master of Creative Writing program at Emerson College.

Yoon currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their daughter. Everything Everything is her debut novel.

Kate Milford author of Greenglass House

Kate Milford is the New York Times bestselling author of the Edgar Award-winning, National Book Award nominee Greenglass House.

Kate has written for stage and screen, and as a contributing writer at nagspeake.com she has authored scholarly articles on subjects as varied as self-aware ironmongery and how to make saltwater taffy in a haunted kitchen. Kate grew up in Riva, Maryland, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, and their dog.

Sharon Biggs Waller author of A Mad, Wicked Folly

Sharon Biggs Waller moved to England in 2000, where she worked as a riding instructor at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace and as a freelance magazine writer. These days she is a dressage rider and trainer and lives on a ten-acre sustainable farm in Northwest Indiana with her British husband, Mark.

Laurie Halse Anderson author of The Impossible Knife of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson is an American writer, known for children’s and young adult novels.

She lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. She and her husband, Scot, plus dogs Kezzie and Thor, and assorted chickens and other critters enjoy country living and time in the woods.

Noelle Stevenson author of Nimona

Noelle Stevenson is an American cartoonist and animation producer.

While attending MICA, Stevenson gained fame as a fan artist, under the name “gingerhaze”, for her “hipster Lord of the Rings” characters. In 2012, soon after posting the first few installments of Nimona online, Stevenson signed with a literary agent, who helped her sign with HarperCollins to publish Nimona as a graphic novel. For her work on Nimona, Stevenson won Slate Magazine’s 2012 Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic of the Year, and the 2016 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint.

Follow her online on Twitter.

Ali Benjamin author of The Thing About Jellyfish

Ali Benjamin is a National Book Award Finalist for The Thing About Jellyfish, and the co-writer for HIV-positive teen Paige Rawl’s coming-of-age memoir Positive. She is a member of New England Science Writers and has written for The Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, and Sesame Street. She lives in Massachusetts.

Josh Sundquist author of We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story

Josh Sundquist is a Paralympic ski racer, cancer survivor, popular YouTube vlogger, motivational speaker, and Halloween enthusiast. Every Tuesday, Josh releases a new video to 200,000-plus subscribers on his YouTube channel.

As a motivational speaker, Josh has inspired audiences across the world. His speeches blend humor and heartfelt storytelling. He also performs standup comedy in an interactive one-man show on Friday nights in Los Angeles.