The Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (Blue Spruce Award) has been recognizing the most popular books among middle and high school students in the State of Colorado since 1985.


The award is unique in being entirely nominated and voted for by teens. Inclusion on the nominations list does not imply endorsement by any adult as this is a program of entirely student-selected titles. Each year teens in grades 6-12 are free to nominate their favorite titles; a list of 12-15 titles is then compiled by the Blue Spruce Award committee based on number of nominations received. 


Students must have read at least three of the titles to vote for a winner. Adults do not nominate or vote for books, and publishers are not allowed to submit their books for consideration.


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  • Must have been published within the last three years.

  • May be fiction or non-fiction.

  • Need not have been written exclusively for a young adult audience.

  • May not appear on the list in consecutive years.

  • Must not have appeared first as a movie or television program.


*Guidelines adopted 2016.

  • May not be written by the previous year's award winner.

  • May only have one title by an author on each year's list.

  • Must not be in a series which has already won the award.

  • Must meet accepted standards of quality.




*Guidelines adopted 2016.


Colorado Association of Libraries


We greatly appreciate your interest in adolescent literacy and the Colorado Blue Spruce Book Award.


Colorado's 400,000 middle and high school students, however, are responsible for nominating titles each year. Adults have no say in the matter, other than general bookkeeping.


As such, there is no way for publishers to submit their titles for consideration and our participant list is not made available to ensure privacy.