The Sakura Medal High School Books for 2016

The Winners

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The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series by Rick Yancey
Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
In alternating chapters, eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel navigates the New York City publishing world and Lizzie, the heroine of Darcy's novel, slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack and becomes a spirit guide, as both face many challenges and both fall in love.
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr
This novel is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
The Art of Secrets by James Klise
When some quirky art donated to a school fundraising effort to help a Pakistani American family, victims of a possible hate crime, is revealed to be an unknown work by a famous outsider artist, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, adults and teenagers alike debate who should get the money and begin to question each other's motivations.
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Jam Gallahue, fifteen, unable to cope with the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, is sent to a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont, where a journal-writing assignment for an exclusive, mysterious English class transports her to the magical realm of Belzhar, where she and Reeve can be together.
The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
Linus, a teenage runaway is kidnapped and locked in a nuclear bunker. Initally alone, he's soon joined by several others, also kidnapped against their will. Forced to co-exist in order to survive, the group finds themselves at the mercy of some particulary nasty mind games, and tensions soon begin to pull them apart. Can they survive? First person recount.
A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
When the Spanish influenza epidemic reaches Portland, Oregon, in 1918, seventeen-year-old Cleo leaves behind the comfort of her boarding school to work for the Red Cross.
Diamond Boy by Michael Williams
When Patson's family moves to [the] Marange region of Zimbabwe, he begins working in the mines, searching for blood diamonds, until government soldiers arrive and Patson is forced to journey to South Africa in search of his missing sister and a better life
Forging Zero (The Legend of ZERO) by Sara King
The Legend of ZERO begins the epic journey of 14-year-old Joe Dobbs in a post-apocalyptic universe following a massive alien invasion of Earth. The oldest of the children drafted from humanity’s devastated planet, Joe is impressed into service by the alien Congressional Ground Force—and becomes the unwitting centerpiece in a millennia-long alien struggle for independence. Once his training begins, one of the elusive and prophetic Trith appears to give Joe a spine chilling prophecy that the universe has been anticipating for millions of years: Joe will be the one to finally shatter the vast alien government known as Congress. And the Trith cannot lie.… But first Joe has to make it through bootcamp.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.
Jackaby by William Ritter
Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” -Chicago Tribune Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby's assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose.
Japantown: A Thriller (A Jim Brodie Novel) by Barry Lancet
San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie recently inherited a stake in his father's Tokyo-based private investigation firm, which means the single father of six-year-old Jenny is living a busy intercontinental life, traveling to Japan to acquire art and artifacts for his store and consulting on Brodie Security's caseload at home and abroad. One night, an entire family is gunned down in San Francisco's bustling Japantown neighborhood, and Brodie is called on by the SFPD to decipher the lone clue left at the crime scene: a unique Japanese character printed on a slip of paper drenched in blood
Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath
Based on actual events, this novel in verse relates the tale of siblings Sosi, Shahen, and Mariam who survive the Armenian genocide of 1915 by escaping from Turkey alone over the mountains.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
When Laurel starts writing letters to dead people for a school assignment, she begins to spill about her sister's mysterious death, her mother's departure from the family, her new friends, and her first love.
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
After dying at age sixteen, Travis Coates' head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body, and now the old Travis and the new must find a way to coexist while figuring out changes in his relationships.
Red Rising: Book I of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow--and Reds like him--are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin
Bookstore owner A. J. Fikry is offered the chance to make his life over when a mysterious and unexpected package arrives on the heels of the theft of his most prized possession, a rare collection of Edgar Allan Poe poems.
Vango: Between Sky and Earth by Timothee de Fombelle
In a world between wars, a young man on the cusp of taking priestly vows is suddenly made a fugitive. Fleeing the accusations of police who blame him for a murder, as well as more sinister forces with darker intentions, Vango attempts to trace the secrets of his shrouded past and prove his innocence before all is lost