All four schools in Bremen High School District 228 recently received the Abraham Lincoln Award: Illinois' High School Readers' Choice Award grant. The grant, which is given to only 40 schools in the state every year, is handed down by the Illinois School Library Media Association.
The grant gives each school 22 books that students read and then vote on in January, and the book with the most votes receives the Abraham Lincoln Award: Illinois High School Readers' Choice Award.
This is the first time in several years that Oak Forest High School has received the grant, said Cheryl Harris, Media Specialist at the Oak Forest High School Library and IMC, and the first time Harris knew of all four schools received the grant in the same year—which came as a shock to all of the schools. More than 200 schools applied for the grant, and all four applied independently.
Harris said that it is amazing to her the differences between students' reading preferences and dislikes between schools. She said that at Oak Forest, students' top picks so far were “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher, “Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” by John Green and David Levithan, and “Impulse,” by Ellen Hopkins.
Meanwhile at Tinley Park High School, Harris said students are raving over “Clockwork Angle,” by Cassandra Clare.
“It's amazing that the students have such different tastes, even though some of the books are by authors who are required reading in the curriculum,” Harris said. “Maybe they just don't realize it, but it's very interesting.”
Harris added that once voting opens in January, students can cast their votes on their favorite books, with a winner announced by the ISLMA in February or March.
“It's really very cool because the students get to vote, this isn't just a school only vote thing,” she said. “The kids get to vote and their favorite books are recognized, which is nice.”
Below is the list of books each school received from the grant, listed by title and author(s).
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
- Bruiser by Neil Shusterman
- Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
- Dark Song by Gail Giles
- Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles) by Melina Marchetta
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Impluse by Ellen Hopkins
- Impossible by Nancy Werlin
- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
- Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 by Alexander Gordon Smith
- Matched by Ally Condie
- Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
- North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
- Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
- Riker’s High by Paul Volponi
- Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
- Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
- Thirteen Reason Why by Jay Asher
- WAR by Sebastian Junger
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan