This March, teens throughout Illinois voted The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas winner of the 2019 Lincoln Award. The wildly popular novel, now also a movie, is currently #2 on the NY Times YA Best Sellers List. Named after Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln Award is sponsored by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE).
This annual Illinois Teen Readers’ Choice Award lets teens vote from a master list of 20 recently published titles. Teachers and librarians first nominate favorite titles for the list. Then a committee vets the nominations to verify eligibility. Titles published for adults or young adults, graphic novels, fiction, and nonfiction are all eligible. Finally, a panel of teachers, librarians, and teen readers decide on the top 20. Both popularity and overall quality are considered.
More than 140 Schools and public libraries across the state registered for the program, which encourages high school students to read for fun. Students who read four or more titles get to vote, and the award goes to the book that wins the popular vote. 1754 students voted this year, with each book on the list receiving 30 or more votes. The Hate U Give crushed its competition with 349 votes while the second place title, Scythe, garnered 200. Scythe, by Neal Shusterman will also hit movie screens.
As a registered voting site for the Lincoln Award, Niles-Maine District Library encourages teens to participate through programming. In past years, the library held a March Madness tournament of books. This year, we held our first annual Lincoln Cup, a team trivia competition modeled after our popular Reading Challenge for middleschoolers.
In our inaugural year, teams from Maine East and Maine West battled for the title of Lincoln Cup champions. Maine West emerged victorious, winning a limo ride to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Members of both teams got to pick out free books to keep.
Along with announcing the 2019 winner, AISLE also announced the official master list for 2020. Titles include best sellers Turtles All The Way Down by John Green, The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi; as well as previous award winners Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, and The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater.