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Nutmeg Nominees

What is the Nutmeg Book Award?

The Nutmeg Book Award encourages children in grades 4-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of ten nominated titles. Jointly sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL), the Nutmeg Committee is comprised of children’s librarians and school library media specialists who are members of our sponsoring organizations.

Check out the links below for previous nominees and winners:

2013 Teen Nutmeg Nominees

2012 Teen Nutmeg Nominees

2011 Teen Nutmeg Nominees

2010 Teen Nutmeg Nominees


This year, the Nutmeg Award has expanded to cover grades 9-12.  The High School Nutmeg Nominees are a welcomed addition.


2014 Teen Nutmeg Nominees:

City of Orphans  by Avi


New York City, 1893.  When Maks’ sister, Emma, is falsely accused of stealing and imprisoned, Maks and his friend Willa must prove her innocence.  Maks must balance his amateur detective work with his newspaper business, not to mention the Plug Ugly gang and their attempts to stop Lower East Side Newsies from delivering their papers.




Divergent by Veronica Roth


Beatrice “Tris” lives in a society where citizens belong to factions that share certain aptitudes.  Tris has not one, but three aptitudes:  selflessness, courage, and truth-seeking.  To survive, Beatrice must hide her Divergence and choose just one faction, one aptitude.  When she selects Dauntless, for courage, she little imagines the stunts, battles, and friendships she will encounter.




I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan


Sam and Riddle have moved around their entire lives with their unstable father.  Sam wishes he could leave, but he could never abandon his quirky little brother Riddle.  Then one day Sam meets Emily, a true believer in fate.  Emily believes that Sam and Riddle are part of her destiny.  As their paths intersect, their lives change forever.





The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Lions of Little Rock

1958, Arkansas.  Painfully shy, Marlee feels grateful to her new friend Liz for making middle school more bearable.  But Liz has a secret.  She is a light skinned black ‘passing’ for white.  This causes a massive uproar in the community.  Shy Marlee finds the courage to help integrate her school.  A powerful story of friendship and determination.




Michael Vey:  The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

michael vey

Michael Vey has a secret.  He is electric and can even restart car batteries.  He thought he was unique until he meets Taylor, and they make a startling discovery.  When Michael’s mom disappears, they face an unknown enemy and even more electrics.





Mindblind by Jennifer Roy


14 year-old Nathaniel is a profoundly gifted Asperger’s student.  He thinks of himself as “mindblind:”  he cannot always guess what other people are thinking.  After college, he plans to become an “official genius.”  His story presents a unique perspective, illuminating the mind of a gifted person while showing the humor of Nathaniel’s quirky existence.




Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams


Deo and his friends live for soccer.  Every day they meet in the fields near their village in Zimbabwe and play, cheered on by Deo’s brother, Innocent.  One day, the soldiers arrive, and everything changes in an instant.  Deo and Innocent run for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a soccer ball.





Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

okay for now

Doug Swieteck sees only the negatives of his move to a new town.  Doug’s father and brothers often take their anger out on Doug.  Despite Doug’s family troubles, he finds his own place in town and discovers his strengths and talents with the help of some unlikely friends.





Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge


Paige has recently moved to New York City from Virginia with her writer parents.  In her sketchbook, Paige journals her inner feelings and struggles.  Although she is a true artist, she is afraid to share her drawings with her new friends.  Gulledge presents beautiful illustrations and visual metaphors.





The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stieffvater


The Scorpio Races take place every November on the island of Thisby, with wild horses that emerge from the sea and young men who risk their lives to ride them.  This year, 17 year-old Puck Connnolly plans to break tradition as the first girl to enter the race.  This book is a wild mix of horror, action, fantasy, and romance.





2014 High School Nutmeg Nominees:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daught of Smoke and Bone cover 2

Karou has secrets.  Secrets she cannot tell her fellow art students in Prague.  Secrets so marvelous that even she will not believe the truth behind them.  This enchanting novel explores identity and love.




Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Everybody sees the ants

When a teenager prefers to spend his time inside his grandfather’s nightmarish dreams of the POW camps in Vietnam rather than face the reality of his life, you know he has it rough.  It’s only when Lucky Linderman realizes that nobody’s life is perfect that he can (maybe) find the strength to, well, live.





Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

hold me closer necromancer

Sam knows magic exists, but he never thought HE had powers.  Imagine Sam’s surprise when he discovers he can raise the dead.  To add to Sam’s problems, a very evil and dangerous man wants Sam to work with him, or else.  Horror has never been so humorous.





Kings of Colorado by David E. Hilton


Everyone has to grow up.  William’s time comes when he stabs his abusive father with a penknife.  He is sent to a boys’ reformatory in Montana where the boys break wild horses and the reformatory breaks wild boys.





Legend by Marie Lu


In a futuristic war-torn western United States, an elite military prodigy and an alleged war criminal from the slums meet and learn the truth about their government.  This is nonstop action at its best with a hero and heroine to admire.





The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Night Circus the Book

Two young magicians, two horrendous father figures, two clever twins, one supernatural circus, hundreds of passionate circus fans, and one deadly contest.






Paper Towns by John Green


As human beings we often create perceptions of each other based on what we want to see, not on what is actually there.  Both poignantly meaningful and hilariously original, Paper Towns points out the mistakes we often make in relationships and our own lives.





Shine by Lauren Myracle

shine book

A terrible hate crime rocks a rural southern community.  With her best friend in a coma as a result, Cat is determined to solve the mystery.  In doing so, Cat uncovers some unbelievable truths about her own family, friends, the small town she lives in, and, most surprisingly, herself.





The Watch That End the Night by Allan Wolf

titanic watch

In poems reflecting the voices of over twenty distinct characters based on real people (including the ship’s rat and the infamous iceberg), readers experience the first, and final, voyage of the “unsinkable” Titanic.





by Laurie Halse Anderson


Lia struggles with anorexia, her parents, and the death of her bulimic ex-friend Cassie.  This novel offers a riveting view into the often mysterious world of eating disorders.