Ever wish that you could be one of the people who gets to say (in an official capacity) what the best books of the year are? You can! YALSA’s Reader’s Choice list puts the creation of the list directly into the hands of readers. Now, you may be thinking you need to wait until the end of the year to consider what the best books of the year are, but that is not the case. Gail Zachariah, chair of the Readers Choice Taskforce, reminds YA readers of all ages that “they should nominate whenever they feel they found the best YA book of the year in each of the seven categories.” So if you read a book and love it, go ahead and nominate it!
I did that a few minutes ago, and it was very easy. I simply went to http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/readerschoice/readerschoice.cfm#nominate and filled in the brief form. I nominated What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen in the realistic fiction category. If you’re a fan of Dessen you’ll love this latest. Yes, I think it was very similar to her other novels in terms of content and structure, but I did love it. McLean’s rediscovery of herself and healing relationship with her parents was very touching and, at time, had a gentle humor. I also loved the quirky secondary characters Dessen always has.
By nominating a title you are saying you think the book should be on the ballot for the Readers’ Choice list–the best books of the year chosen by readers. At the end of the year the ballot will be created based on how many nominations a title has, and then that ballot is voted upon. Worried that you don’t have the necessary cred to nominate a title? Don’t be! Zachariah assures readers “Nominated titles do not have to be literary. In fact, in this award, popularity takes precedence over literary quality.” So if there’s a book you’re passing around your circle of friends, be sure you all nominate it. Zachariah adds, “There is no reason not to nominate titles. Everyone should do it and do it often. The more nominations we get, the better the final ballot will reflect what’s popular in libraries all over the country. I especially encourage nominations from other YALSA Book Award and Booklist Committees.”
So, there you have it. I encourage everyone who is a reader to not only nominate titles they enjoy this year, but also to go out and tell their friends about this list. I wonder how many nominations we could get if everyone who read this posted this on their Facebook page….. Now, I need head back over there and nominate a few more titles myself, starting with Bumped by Megan McCafferty. Happy reading and nominating!
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