• Lincoln Award: Illinois Teen Reader's Choice Award

    The Abraham Lincoln High School Book Award is given to the book from that year's Master List
    that earns the highest number of student votes.
    Nominations are submitted by teachers/librarians in the categories of adult and young adult
    fiction and non-fiction titles.  These nominees are vetted by the nomination committee.
    Popularity is a factor, but the primary focus remains on the quality of the work.  Annually, a panel 
    of high school librarians, teachers, public librarians, and students compile the twenty title master

                                                       question mark   

                                                       To Be Announced!                   


    How to participate?

    1. Read a book from the selected list of Lincoln Award nominees and fill out the ABE 2023 Submission Form for each title read.

    2. You will receive a prize for each book that you read!

    3.  After reading at least four books, you will be invited to a Voting Pizza Party! The comment forms will be included in a raffle for a prize.  All comment forms must be submitted by March 3, 2023.


    2023 Lincoln Award Master List


      ACE OF SPADES   Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-lyimide   

    When the newest prefects are announced at Niveus Private Academy, certain choices just make sense—like the promotion of popular and perfect Chiamaka Adebayo to head prefect—but when Devon is announced as prefect, a role he neither expected nor feels deserving of, he suspects something is afoot. The narrative escalates as Devon and Chiamaka begin receiving suspicious texts from someone known as Aces, who threatens to expose their secrets to the public, endangering their chances of becoming valedictorian—and their lives. Told in alternating chapters that capture each character’s unique voice and personality, Àbíké-Íyímídé’s adeptly crafted debut brings to life an unforgettable thriller that fuses intricate world-building with compelling character development. The unexpected allyship between Devon and Chiamaka shines as the two attempt to survive Aces together, with what originally seemed like a cruel prank becoming more and more sinister. This fast-paced novel takes place over the course of a week, but the repercussions of Aces’ handiwork will affect Devon and Chiamaka for years to come.

    HOW IT ALL BLEW UP    How It All Blew Up by Arvin Armadi

    Iranian American Amir is in crisis. The deeply closeted 18-year-old is being blackmailed for thousands of dollars by a bully in his high school threatening to out Amir to his parents. When the bully then threatens to do the deed during their graduation ceremony, Amir flees—first to New York and then to Rome. Amir’s fear is exacerbated by his belief that being Iranian and gay is as incompatible as Amish culture and Apple products. Keeping his whereabouts a secret, Amir is fortunate to make gay friends quickly, friends who become his surrogate family. But what will happen if his real family learns where he is? Ahmadi, who is himself Iranian American, does an excellent job of taking readers into a culture that is much less than friendly to gays while creating a relatable circle of new friends who care about and support Amir. A fully realized, deeply sympathetic character, Amir tells his own story in the first person voice, in the tradition of Iranian storytellers. The result is compelling. 


     love from a to z   Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

    A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes--because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries, Adam and his mom used to make together.

    An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb's teacher, who won't stop reminding the class how "bad" Muslims are.

    But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn't bad. She's angry. When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, "nicer" version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

    Then her path crosses with Adam's. Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam's stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam's also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals. Until a marvel and an oddity occurs...

    Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

    Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.


     firekeepers daughter  Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

    Reeling after the death of her uncle, Daunis is trying to adjust to her new normal, a challenge at the best of times in her gossip-prone town, especially when her scandalous origins leave her caught between two worlds: Ojibwe on her father’s side, but not officially enrolled as a member of the tribe, and French, dating back to fur traders, on the side of her mother, who considers the other half of Daunis’ heritage a defect. When she witnesses a murder at the hands of someone who is addicted to meth and from a prominent family of her tribe, she has a choice: let the cycle of pain continue or protect her community. This debut novel is gripping from the start, letting the reader know that they’re in for a wild ride. Boulley, herself an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, writes from a place of love for her community and shares some key teachings from her culture, even mixing languages within the context of the story. She doesn’t shy away from or sugar-coat the very real circumstances that plague reservations across the country, and she tackles these through her biracial hero, who gets involved in the criminal investigation into the corruption that led to this pain. An incredible thriller, not to be missed.

      we are not free    We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

    Chee is a master storyteller, as the Reader trilogy aptly demonstrates. Here, she uses her own San Francisco–based Japanese American family's history to inform a blazing and timely indictment of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. Her passion and personal involvement combine with her storytelling talents to create a remarkable and deeply moving account of the incarceration. The interconnected stories of 14 very different teenage individuals beautifully demonstrate the disintegration of family life in the camps, a phenomenon often addressed in nonfiction accounts but not so well depicted in fiction—until now. In a culture where the influence of parents and grandparents was all-important, life behind barbed wire destroyed that dynamic, with peer influence and friendships taking precedence. It's as if S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders met Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's Farewell to Manzanar. Despite the large cast, Chee's clear chapter headings, vivid characterizations, and lively portrayals of very diverse characters enable readers to easily identify the nonstereotyped teens. Chee also incorporates many different media types: telegrams, newspapers, postcards, drawings, and maps all help to drive and deepen the story. A short but excellent bibliography and thoughtful author's notes round out what should become required curriculum reading on a shameful and relevant chapter in U.S. history. 
    legendborn Legendborn by Tracey Deonn

    After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape--until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so called "Legendborn" students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a "Merlin" and who attempts--and fails--to wipe Bree's memory of everything she saw. The mage's failure unlocks Bree's own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there's more to her mother's death than what's on the police report, she'll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society's secrets--and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur's knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she'll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down--or join the fight.


    not so pure and simple Not so Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

    Grades 8-12. Del Rainey and his best friend, Qwan, are known for their sexual conquests and wild times with girls in town. Even so, he’s always had his eye set on Kiera Westing—the hottest and most unavailable girl at school. So when Del sees an opportunity to spend time with Kiera, he doesn’t care that that time will be spent taking purity pledge classes at church. Even though he had no intention of being pure, Del finds himself challenged and stretched to check his own behavior toward girls as he spends more time with the Purity Pledgers. What he thought would be a surefire way into Kiera’s heart becomes an experience that reveals just how toxic his own behavior toward women is. Readers will find themselves rooting for Del because he’s such a likeable character, but a shocking event will illuminate just how poor his decisions have been to date. This title grapples with the many ways that toxic masculinity drives the actions of people, from the pastor’s love of public shaming to Del’s inability to accept no as an answer from girls. With a fresh perspective, Giles takes care to flesh out his full cast of characters, creating an intricate, multifaceted web of misogyny and its detrimental impact. -Booklist


     almost  Almost American Girl by A.S. King

    The End of the World as I Know It”—Ha’s first chapter heading—happened when she was 14. As a student in 1995 in Seoul, Korea, Ha was mostly a typical teenager, enjoying close friendships, studying hard, and obsessed with reading—and drawing—comics. That she lives with just her single working mother occasionally caused clucking gossip and bullying at school, but Ha’s two-person household was exactly right for mother and daughter. While past vacations took the pair to touristy destinations like Hawaii and Singapore, this year, Ha’s mother announces they’re flying to Alabama, where they ultimately land in the Kim family home, where three immigrant generations reside. When Ha’s mother shockingly reveals she’s marrying the recently divorced Mr. Kim, returning to Korea is no longer an option. With unblinking honesty and raw vulnerability, Ha’s debut graphic memoir captures her often excruciating journey toward creating, 24 years later, “a new identity that I now love.” Silenced by lack of English, abused by racist students, even manipulated by a step-cousin, Ha spends her first year in the U.S. experiencing an arduous ordeal. Presented in full-color splendor, her energetic style mirrors the constant motion of her adolescent self, navigating the peripatetic turbulence toward adulthood from Seoul to Alabama to Virginia and back to Seoul—just for a visit—before finally arriving home. 


      grown 2    Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

    Grades 8-11. Enchanted wants to sing more than anything else in the world, but it’s hard to make her dreams a reality when she’s the oldest of five and helping her parents to take care of the kids. So when an opportunity to work, record, and have a romance with the legendary and kind Korey Fields pops up, of course, she wants to take it. Touring with Korey would not only boost her career; financially, it could be life-changing for her family. That is if things were actually what they seemed. After spiraling into a toxic cycle of abuse and narrowly escaping the wrath of her abuser, Enchanted is left to pick up the pieces of her life—including charges for the murder of Korey Fields. This title is gripping in both its content and format, as Jackson moves back and forth through time, using the fractured timeline alongside related text threads and social media conversations to stir up questions surrounding what happened to Enchanted and who murdered Korey Fields.


     tokyo    Toyko Ever After by Emiko Jean

    After learning that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan, Izumi travels to Tokyo, where she discovers that Japanese imperial life--complete with designer clothes, court intrigue, paparazzi scandals, and a forbidden romance with her handsome but stoic bodyguard--is a tough fit for the outspoken and irreverent eighteen-year-old from northern California.


     crown   You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

    Liz Lighty has always believed she was too black, too poor, and too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay -- Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down . . . until she's reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and queen. There's nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight, she's willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?
    gender    Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

    An autobiographical comic in which the author discusses their path to identifying as nonbinary and asexual, and coming out to family and society.


     elatsoe   Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

    Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly every day, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly strange America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.


    .telegraph    Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

    Grades 9-12. For 17-year-old Lily Hu, San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1950s is home to her community and culture. However, despite having friends and loving parents, she struggles with a sense of belonging. Rather than fixating on boys, like her friends, Lily dreams of working at the Jet Propulsion Lab (where her aunt works) and traveling to Mars. Slowly, Lily realizes that more than her life goals are in play here, as she recognizes that she is attracted to women rather than men. That includes Kath, the other girl in her math class, whose goal is to fly airplanes. After the two connect over an ad for a male impersonator at the Telegraph Club and begin frequenting the establishment, Lily’s life changes forever. Fearful of exposing her feelings and of her family being labeled Communists (as a result of the Lavender Scare), Lily is faced with hard decisions about herself and those she loves. Writing beautifully with a knowing, gentle hand that balances Lily’s unease and courage, Lo presents a must-read love story in an uncommon setting: the midcentury queer Bay Area at a time when racism, homophobia, and McCarthyism held tight grips on the citizenry.


     furia   Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

    The story that I thought was my life didn't start on the day I was born. Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, because of a biased system, he's seen as disruptive and unmotivated. Then, one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. "Boys just being boys' turns out to be true only when those boys are white.  The story that I think will be my life  starts today Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?  With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth in a system designed to strip him of both.


    loop     The Loop by Ben Oliver

    Luka Kane has spent 736 days wrongfully imprisoned inside the Loop awaiting his execution. Each day is the same. Each day is torturous. But things are starting to change. Whispers of war are circulating. Strange things are happening to the prisoners. And the warden delivers a message: Luka, you have to get out... Now Luka must decide whether breaking out of the Loop is his only way to survive, especially if there's any chance of saving the ones he loves. But the population on the outside may be far more terrifying than anything he could have imagined. And in order to save his family, he'll have to discover who is responsible for the chaos that has been inflicted upon the world.


    game changer     Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

     After some especially rough hits on the football field, Ash is knocked into other dimensions, and the more universes he visits the more the changes he notices begin to quickly spiral out of control, soon forcing him to face perspectives he never thought to consider before.


    today tonight     Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

    Throughout the years, both Rowan and Neil have been in competition with one another on everything, from who has the best ideas for school functions to which one will be their graduating class's valedictorian. However, in the twenty-four hours left they have as high school students, the two learn they share something much deeper than a rivalry.


    cemetery boys     Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

    When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.


    check please     Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu

    Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur hockey player, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge.

Last Modified on August 19, 2022