Any student who has read or listened to at least four titles from the list of twenty-two nominees is eligible to vote. The winner is chosen by YOU – high school students from across the state of Illinois and will be announced in March. Only one vote per student and voting will close on February 29, 2012. Click here to cast your vote and thanks for taking part in the Abe 2012 award program!

Posting Comments

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

Please share your thoughts on the Abe books with your fellow Red Devils! You can post your comments by clicking on the “talk bubble” to the right of each individual book’s title. Not sure what to comment on? Here are some questions to consider:

1) Before you read the book: Why did you choose this particular book from the Abe list?

2) While you are reading the book: Do you relate to the characters in your book? Why or why not?

3) Once you have finished the book, share your opinion: Do you think it was worthy of being on this year’s Abe list? Tell us why.

4) Tell us why you did or did not like the book. It’s OK to say you don’t like a book, but please use appropriate language.

If you feel comfortable doing so, before you submit your comment for publication, add your name and year of graduation. We will publish unsigned comments, but if you leave your name, you might open yourself up to a dialogue with other Red Devils. Finally, all comments will be reviewed by library staff before being published on the Awesome Abe Blog, so please remember to be polite. Thank you and have fun!

After by Amy Efaw

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Who would ever leave her own baby in the trash to die?  Certainly not someone like Devon-straight A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother.  But desperation and panic drove her to do what most people can’t imagine.  Now Devon’s in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder.  If she’s tried as an adult, she faces life in prison.

Does Devon deserve that punishment?  Your answer depends on whether you believe her story- that she didn’t know she was pregnant.  Was she buried in a denial so deep that she that she unable to register the seemingly obvious signs of pregnancy?  Or were her actions the result of a more devious, premeditated plan?

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.


Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list.  Released from the constraints of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Will Carter, “Carter” to his friends and classmates, is starting high school. He’s excited, anxious, worried, and determined to start high school off right. The only problem is everything he’s doing, he’s doing wrong!  Join Carter for his freshman year, where he’ll search for  love and acceptance anywhere he can find it.  In the process, he’ll almost kill a trombone player, face off against his greatest nemesis, get caught up in a messy love triangle, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise everyone, including himself.  With the help of his friends, dogged determination, and a wise sister who’ll help him stumble through his freshman year, Will finds his first love, faces down the school bully, and learns who he really is.

Columbine by Dave Cullen

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma-City style, and to leave “a lasting impression on the world.” Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence-irrevocably branding every subsequent shooting “another Columbine.”

In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris, and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal.

The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends, who came to stockpile a basement cache of weapons, to record their raging hatred, and to manipulate every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boy’s tapes and diaries, he gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy.

A close-up portrait of hatred, a community rendered helpless, and the police blunders and cover-ups, it is a compelling and utterly human portrait of two killers-an unforgettable cautionary tale for our times.