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YAVA

Timeline

Sunday
April 2020
19
Main Library

Teens Apply to Judge

This year, the winner of the 2021 YAVA Award will be decided by a panel of teen judges. Each teen judge will receive a copy of all the nominated titles for evaluation. This is also a great opportunity to participate in a program that will look wonderful on school applications and resumes! Teens applying for this position must be between the ages of 12 - 18 and must live in Virginia. The application deadline is June 12, 2020.

Monday
April 2020
20
Main Library

Nominated Titles Release

The YAVA Committee is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2021 YAVA Award. These books will be submitted to a panel of teen judges who will determine our winner.

Friday
June 2020
12
Main Library
6:00 pm

Judging Applications Closed

Judging applications will be closed by the end of the day.

Saturday
April 2021
17
Main Library
2:00 pm

2021 YAVA Award Celebration

The winning author will be recognized and received a $1,000 cash prize as the 2021 YAVA Award Celebration at the Richmond Public Library on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 2 - 4pm.

Nominations

We Are the Perfect Girl

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Ariel Kaplan
Aphra Brown is bold and outgoing. Her best friend, Bethany, is achingly beautiful. Individually, they could both do a little better in the self-esteem department, but together? Together, they have what it takes to win over Greg D'Agostino, a proverbial "ten," who happens to be fluent in six languages--seven if you count the language of smoldering gazes . . . What begins as an honest mistake turns into an elaborate deception, wherein Bethany goes on dates with Greg while Aphra coaches her on what to say, and texts him in the guise of Bethany, trying and failing, all the while, to tamp down her own hopeless crush. It's only a matter of time before things come crashing down. The question is: What will happen when Greg finds out? And can Aphra and Bethany's friendship survive the fallout? From the author of We Regret to Inform You comes a witty, warm-hearted exploration of love in all its forms, and a cris-de-coeur for self-acceptance when the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming.

Orpheus Girl

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Brynne Rebele-Henry
Abandoned by a single mother she never knew, 16-year-old Raya—obsessed with ancient myths—lives with her grandmother in a small conservative Texas town. For years Raya has fought to hide her feelings for her best friend and true love, Sarah. When the two are outed, they are sent to Friendly Saviors: a re-education camp meant to “fix” them and make them heterosexual. Upon arrival, Raya vows to assume the role of Orpheus, to return to the world of the living with her love—and after she, Sarah, and the other teen residents are subjected to abusive and brutal “treatments” by the staff, Raya only becomes more determined to escape. In a haunting voice reminiscent of Sylvia Plath and the contemporary lyricism of David Levithan, Brynne Rebele-Henry weaves a powerful inversion of the Orpheus myth informed by the disturbing real-world truths of conversion therapy. Orpheus Girl is a story of dysfunctional families, trauma, first love, heartbreak, and ultimately, the fierce adolescent resilience that has the power to triumph over darkness and ignorance.

No Place Like Here

X
Christina June
Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She's just spent a year at boarding school and can't wait to get home. But when Ashlyn's father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for "exhaustion", a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down. The cherry on top? Ashlyn's father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn't even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed "indoor girl", not even Ash's habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes - inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere - can help her cope. With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad's marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home. From Christina June, author of It Started with Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be, comes No Place Like Here, a modern twist on Hansel and Gretel.

Before I Disappear

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Danielle Stinson
Rose Montgomery parks her family’s trailer in Fort Glory, Oregon with one goal: to carve out a new life for herself and her little brother, Charlie. They need a fresh start for their family, and she thinks she's finally found it in a town where nobody knows them. But Rose’s plans come crashing down when, in an instant, Fort Glory disappears and every person in town vanishes into thin air - including Charlie. Rose and four other teens become trapped in the Fold, a patch of woods caught halfway between the real world and the lost town. In the Fold, a mysterious force suspends the laws of physics, and everyone’s inner darkness has the power to kill. To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon - or he'll be gone forever.

How the Light Gets

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Katy Upperman
Since her sister’s tragic death, 17-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents once were. When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine. But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomena that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

Spin

X
Lamar Giles
Lamar Giles is back with another nonstop, addictive, edge-of-your-seat thriller about best friends, murder, and music. When rising star Paris Secord (aka DJ ParSec) is found dead on her turntables, it sends the local music scene reeling. No one is feeling that grief more than her shunned pre-fame best friend, Kya, and ParSec's chief groupie, Fuse - two sworn enemies who happened to be the ones who discovered her body. The police have few leads, and when the trail quickly turns cold, the authorities don't seem to be pushing too hard to investigate further. Only no one counted on Paris's deeply loyal fans, ParSec Nation, or the outrage that would drive Fuse and Kya to work together. As ParSec Nation takes to social media and the streets in their crusade for justice, Fuse and Kya start digging into Paris's past, stumbling across a deadly secret. With new info comes new motives. New suspects. And a fandom that will stop at nothing in their obsessive quest for answers, not even murder....

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me

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Olivia Hinebaugh
Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke feels like the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she's been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita. But then everything changes. When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls' restroom. Meanwhile, things with Theo have become complicated, and soon Lacey is not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but her own as well.

Song of the Dead

X
Sarah Marsh
Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom's borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia's waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task. Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can't help being mesmerized by the new magic--and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once. Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria's mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won't be enough to save them. In this enthralling, heartrending sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Odessa faces the fight of her life as the boundaries between the Dead and the living are challenged in a way more gruesome than ever before.

Titania Academy

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Titania Academy
Holly thought her second semester at Titania Academy would be easier. Her father had charged the academy's students to protect his daughter, and his directive seemed ironclad. But Holly and her father may have seriously misjudged the power and tenacity of the Oak King's rival faction. The new year brings with it new courses of study. As first-year students enter a new semester, Holly and her friends learn about faefolk magic, and the nature of their own powers. About concentrated shifting, and glamours. But as the headmistress, Professor Ó Baoghill, begins a year-long sabbatical, her place is taken by a harsh new headmaster who questions Holly's scholarship. And the Oak King faction is on the move again, gaining power and supporters, especially after the students learn what Holly's special fae power is: control of the elements. Some students feel threatened. Some just want her gone. So when the Master of Quests puts out a call for an archaic book of magic supposedly lost in New York City, Holly decides to take her own weekend sabbatical to find it, hoping the craziness will calm down in her absence. But the Oak King's supporters have other ideas, and they are out for blood. Will Holly survive her second semester at Titania Academy?

What's New

We're Mixing It Up in the New Decade for the YAVA Award

This Year Means Some New and Exciting Changes

  • There’s an all new judging process. This year the YAVA Award will be decided based on a panel of teen judges who will read and evaluate each of the nominated titles.

  • Our timeline is shifting. Reading and judging by our panel of teens will begin this summer and continue until early 2021.

  • There is technically no 2020 YAVA Award. But do not despair! We will still be hosting our annual YAVA celebration.

Past Winners

The Impossibility of Us

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2019
Katy Upperman
Katy Upperman’s book, The Impossibility of Us, is a contemporary novel with a romantic spin. Set in San Francisco during the Afghan War, The Impossibility of Us tells the story of Elise and Mati, two teens from very different backgrounds. Elisa and her mother are grieving the loss of her brother who was killed in the war in Afghanistan. When they move to a new town, Elisa meets Mati, an Afghan teen visiting with his family from overseas. The two unexpectedly fall in love but face the disapproval of Elise’s family. Can their relationship overcome the deep-rooted prejudice that confronts them? Upperman’s novel has been described as “timely, tender, romantic and impressively honest.” Readers will relate to Elisa and Mati’s struggle and the book’s themes of racism will feel very real and relevant.

It Started with Goodbye

X
2018
Christina June
It Started with Goodbye is a modern day Cinderella story for today’s teens. Confined to her house for the summer after being unfairly implicated in one of her best friend’s ideas gone awry, 16-year-old Tatum launches a graphic design business and falls for a cello-playing client who lives in Ireland.

Unhooked

X
2017
Lisa Maxwell
From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.

Breakaway

X
2016
Kat Spears
When Jason Marshall's younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates—Mario, Jordie, and Chick—to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who's not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick. Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold onto the friendships he has always relied on.

Come August, Come Freedom

X
2015
Gigi Amateau
In a time of post-Revolutionary fervor in Richmond, Virginia, an imposing twenty-four-year-old slave named Gabriel plotted a rebellion involving thousands of African- American freedom seekers armed with refashioned pitchforks and other implements of Gabriel’s blacksmith trade. The revolt would be thwarted by a confluence of fierce weather and human betrayal, but Gabriel retained his dignity to the end. Interwoven with original documents, this poignant, illuminating novel gives a personal face to a remarkable moment in history. This edition includes extensive research notes on the story behind the plot.

About

About YAVA

The Richmond Public Library’s annual YAVA Award highlights excellence in writing for readers at the middle and high school level by Virginia authors. The YAVA Celebration began in 2013 as “Teen ‘13”. It has grown increasingly over the years to include a year-long award process culminating in the spring with our annual celebration. Beginning in 2020, the YAVA Award winner will be selected by a panel of teen judges and announced during the annual YAVA Celebration. This is our Library's biggest teen event, providing readers an opportunity to interact with local authors, learn about current young adult literature, and engage with others in the community. We value the entire YAVA Award process as an opportunity for teens to connect, engage, and become inspired.