The 2018 winner is

The Hate U Give 
by Angie Thomas  

Ready to vote for next year's award?  

Voting will open July 1st!

Here is the announcement about our current 2018 winner.

I am Sharon Nehls, co-chair of The Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award committee, and I am here to
announce this year’s winner. The Blue Spruce Award has been recognizing as 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. The winner of the 2018 Blue Spruce Award is The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. How many of you have read the book or seen the movie? We are particularly thrilled that this ground-breaking book received the 2018 award in that teens nominated it and voted for it, recognizing its importance. In addition to the Blue Spruce Award, The Hate U
received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Michael J Printz Honor, William C. Morris YA Debut Award,
Goodreads Choice Award for best debut and best young adult novel 2017, as well as being long-listed for the National Book Award. It was adapted into a film starring Amanda Steinberg. 


For those of you not familiar with the story, African American Starr Carter, the main character in The Hate U Give, lives in a poor black urban neighborhood, but attends a suburban prep school where she plays basketball and has a white boyfriend.  She successfully navigates these two very different realities until the night she witnesses a police officer shoot and kill her unarmed friend Khalil, when they are driving home from a neighborhood party. Although her parents want her to stay out of the news, she is challenged to come forward about the injustices following the event. Khalil is painted as a drug dealing thug and the officer is not charged. Starr, who has known Khalil since childhood, realizes she owes it to him to speak out, even if it endangers her family. 


Thomas’ debut is both a searing indictment of injustice and a clear-eyed, dramatic examination of the complexities of race in America. It invites deep thoughts about our social fabric, ethics, morality, and justice. Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this book takes a topic that is very current and examines it on a very personal level, allowing students to examine a situation where moral conflict and confusion exist and vicariously experience the resolution of the problem. If you haven’t read, The Hate U Give, I would highly recommend it to you and your students. 

by Sharon Nehls, Colorado Blue Spruce Award Committee Co-Chair

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