Virginia Readers’ Choice is a program sponsored by VSRA in partnership with the Virginia Association of School Librarians, the Virginia Library Association and the Library of Virginia Youth Services. It is anticipated that school officials will review the books carefully for content that is appropriate to their schools, their readers and families. Students are not required to read all the books on any of the lists. Some Virginia Readers’ Choice titles may contain controversial themes, mature content, and/or profanity. Some teachers specifically request these titles because they know their students are wrestling with these topics, while others choose not to incorporate these materials. Please review each title carefully before selecting it.
And I Darken
Set in 15th century Transylvania, And I Darken reimagines Vlad the Impaler as a female, Lada Dragwyla. Lada and her brother Radu have been given as hostages by their father to the Ottomans, their sworn enemies. Raised alongside the sultan’s son, Mehmed, Lada and Radu become intricately woven into the story of the Ottoman people. Lada is brutal and filled with rage, waiting for the chance to return to her homeland and seek vengeance for the wrongs done to her. And I Darken is for action-adventure seekers and readers who appreciate stories about love, friendship, and destruction.
Set in Ireland, the Sidhe are seeking revenge against the people that banished them to another dimension by torturing their children. When you get "the call" you are transported and must fight to survive. Three minutes in real time is one day in the other world. You come back dead or if you come back alive, you are changed in some twisted way. The main character is handicapped and quickly written off by everyone as a victim-to-be, but she is determined to train, survive, and prove them all wrong.
Girl in Pieces
Emotional scars present themselves as physical scars in Kathleen Glasgow’s highly-personal debut. After being treated for self-harm, seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis is released back into a world that’s been very unkind, filled with terrible abuse and loss. Will Charlie be able to overcome her past demons, or will her fragile relationships with other troubled individuals, including fallen rock star Riley West, prove insurmountable?
Girl in the Blue Coat
Hanneke is growing up in war torn Netherlands during WWII. She is smart, devious, and uses her wits to trade in an underground economy to help her family survive. She knows the lonely and needy in the neighborhood. She knows how to maneuver and stay safe under German soldiers’ watchful eyes. She grasps whatever opportunities may allow for a smile or a treat. In spite of the danger, she falls in love. She has friends in the resistance group and they all walk a treacherous path. The mystery that unfolds is tied to a blue coat. Hanneke learns how important it is to live in the moment, because the future is tenuous, but knows that human kindness and loyalty must never be lost.
Learning to Swear in America
The West Coast is facing impending doom by an asteroid strike. America must enlist the help of Yuri, a 17-year old, physics prodigy from Russia. Yuri meets a sister and brother who are determined to help Yuri learn all about American culture, which of course includes all of the best swear words and how to properly use them. Yuri has three weeks to earn the respect of his fellow scientists, create a plan to destroy the asteroid, and of course experience as many youthful adventures in America before his possible death. A cleverly written, hilarious page turner. You will be in tears from laughing so hard!
Piecing Me Together
Jade is a smart, hard-working girl who wants nothing more than to make a better life for herself, and that means getting out of her neighborhood. She takes the bus every day to an elite private school, where she struggles to fit in with the other girls who know she's there on a scholarship. She tries to give back by tutoring other students and expresses herself with art and collage. She's optimistic when a new student starts riding the bus with her; Jade thinks she has found a kindred spirit and possibly a new friend.
Her guidance counselor calls her in for a new "opportunity" Jade believes is a chance to study abroad, however she is disappointed to find out she's been assigned a new "mentor." When the mentor turns out to be less than inspirational, and her new friend turns out to be less understanding than she'd hoped, Jade starts to feel lost. How can she show the world that there is more to her than where she comes from, without losing herself?
The Serpent King
As three friends, the son of a preacher-turned-convict; a fashion blogger; and a fantasy novel loving aspiring writer finish their senior year in rural Tennessee, they're aware that life may be about to take them in different directions. Can they make the most of their remaining time together while still trying to figure out what's next?
The Star-Touched Queen
When Maya, daughter of a king, was born, she was cursed with a terrifying horoscope that warns of death and destruction. She has been met with fear and unkindness since. When her father, the Raja, plans to marry her to a prince of her choice to save his warring kingdom, Maya finds a promising suitor in Amar from Akaran. Amar and his city are each not what Maya expect, however. The Star-Touched Queen features lyrical prose, a ghastly world, reincarnation, death, destruction, romance, and so much more!
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
In Undefeated, Sheinkin captures the story of Jim Thorpe, one America’s greatest athletes, in a fast-paced nonfiction book. Thorpe’s personal story is contrasted with the story of Pop Warner, his irascible coach who lives on in the history books as one of the winningest coaches ever. This narrative non-fiction book weaves the retelling of footballs’ violent beginnings with the recounting of the Carlisle Indian School, where thousands of Native American children were shipped across country in a dark attempt to eradicate their culture. This page-turner of a book will appeal to anyone who loves to root for the underdog—both on and off the field.
When Dimple Met Rishi
Dimple Shah is passionate about coding and believes it will be just the thing to help her escape her mother's infatuation with Dimple landing the "Ideal Indian Husband." So when a complete stranger approaches her at a summer program for aspiring web developers and mentions something about Dimple being his future wife, a natural reaction would be to throw iced coffee at him, right?! Trouble is, Rishi Patel knows that their parents have arranged their marriage. Dimple - not so much. What is it that Dimple and Rishi really want? And will all of this affect their ability to work together when paired for the major app project that could change both of their lives forever?