2021 Nutmeg High School Nominees – Grades 9-12

You can also browse the full teen Nutmeg Nominee digital collection on OverDrive

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay

Bunny and Nasir have been best friends since they were little, however that friendship is tested when Bunny gets an athletic scholarship at a prestigious school across town. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new peers, Nasir begins to spend more time with his cousin Wallice who is being evicted. Told in alternating voices, After the Shot Drops is a powerful story about friendship, basketball, and one teen’s mission to create a better life for his family.

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American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott

Teodoro is in love with his mom’s green chile cheeseburgers and a girl named Wendy Martinez. When his brother, Manny, returns home from Iraq with PTSD, his family, already reeling from the housing bubble, is thrown into survival mode. Teodoro is afraid all of his hard work to prepare for college will be lost. Luckily, his sister has a plan to save them all!

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Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

276 girls were kidnapped from their Nigerian homes, schools, and families on April 14, 2014. This story follows one of these girls as her dreams of any future are torn away, she is forced into a camp to radicalize her beliefs, and watches as the group Boko Harem terrorizes her country.

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Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Bitty enters freshman year at Samwell University armed with a love of skating, baking, and a sense of humor—all documented on his vlog—but is he ready to face the challenges of university hockey, hockey bros, and a gorgeously talented captain?

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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

When the dead rise up from the battlefield during the U.S. Civil War, there is suddenly a new enemy to
fight. Miss Preston’s School of Combat for Negro Girls is one of the best training schools in the
country, and Jane McKeene is the top pupil. She could easily find herself working to protect any of
the fine women of Baltimore from the shamblers, but when whole families start to go missing, Jane sets
out to uncover the secrets and solve the mystery.

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A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Months after a devastating tragedy, Annabelle starts to run. Down the street. Into the next town. Soon
she’s on a 2,700 mile journey from Seattle to Washington DC. With her grandfather following in his RV, and her friends and family supporting her from a distance, Annabelle embarks on a cross-country journey of healing.

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Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

Cliff Hubbard thinks he has nothing going for him and out of all the people he hates at his school he hates Aaron Zimmerman the most. But Aaron has heard the voice of God and has been commanded to get Cliff’s help at making their school better. What follows is a story that will have you laughing, crying and making you realize that when you label someone, what you see is not exactly what you get.

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The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Three new friends decide to seek justice after an assault goes unpunished. They form an anonymous club that encourages a diverse group of girls to rise up and fight the sexist power structure that surrounds them.

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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

A victim of constant harassment in her city of Harlem by both men and women, the only place
Xiomara Batista feels like herself is while writing her poetry and with her new love interest, Aman, both of which she must hide from her intensely catholic mother who is determined to force Xiomara to obey the laws of the church. A novel written in verse, readers explore the inner thoughts of Xiomara, her frustrations that fuel her creativity
and the power of the written and spoken word.

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Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

As a closeted gender fluid teenager, Riley must struggle with high school, relationships, and
discovering what it means to feel comfortable in your own body. On the advice of a therapist, Riley
starts an anonymous blog that gains national attention, however just when things are starting to look up someone discovers Riley’s true identity and threatens exposure. Now Riley must decide to speak out and face the world or walk away from the safe space the blog created.

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