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THUMBS UP! AWARD

The Thumbs Up! Award recognizes and promotes an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and teen appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. The award was established in 1986 by the Teen Services Division of the Michigan Library Association. 

Thumbs Up! Award Guidelines (pdf)

Submit a nomination for the 2023 Thumbs Up! Award using the online form:

2023 Thumbs Up! Award Nomination Form

Award Seals

Download the Thumbs Up! Award seals to use at your library! Winner, Honor Book and Top Ten Title award seals are available for download here: (To download, right-click on the seal and save it as an image.)

Thumbs Up! Top Ten Title Award Seal - circle with logoThumbs Up! Honor Book Award Seal - circle with logoThumbs Up! winner Award Seal - circle with logo 

2022 Thumbs Up! Award

The 2022 Thumbs Up! Award workgroup reviewed 101 fiction and nonfiction books to select this year's winner, honor books and top ten titles. The group spent over 2,141 hours reading and reviewing to come to this decision and met monthly to discuss evaluate and rank titles and select the top titles for teens aged 13-18 published in 2021. 

2022 Thumbs Up! Award Workgroup

 

 Sarah Swiderski

Chair: Sarah Swiderski
Salem-South Lyon District Library

Sarah Welch

Vice-Chair: Sarah Welch
Big Rapids Community Library

Rachel Ash headshot

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Natalya Anton

Natalya Anton
Fowlerville District Library

Robert Chartrand

Robert Chartrand 
Capital Area District Libraries

Kayla Dies
Paw Paw District Library

Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson 
Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library

Shanni Kerr

Shanni Kerr
Ionia Community Library

Becky Mangini

Becky Mangini 
Chesterfield Public Library

Emily Marsh

Emily Marsh
Bay County Library System

Jennifer Noble

Jennifer Noble 
Adrian District Library

Amanda Shepard

Amanda Shepard 
Herrick District Library

Jana Slisher

Jana Slisher 
Bath Township Public Library

     

2022 Thumbs Up! Award Winner

The winner of the 2022 Thumbs Up! Award is In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner, published by Crown Books for Young Reader, part of Penguin Random House.

"Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He's been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen. But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he has to leave behind. Jeff Zentner's new novel is a beautiful examination of grief, found family, and young love."

"In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner was the overwhelming favorite amongst the workgroup because of the excellent execution of setting, story, and writing," said Sarah Swiderski, 2022 Thumbs Up! Award Workgroup Chair. "Workgroup members believe it will have a wide appeal among Michigan teens because of relatable emotions and themes depicted through well-developed characters and excellent writing." 

The 2022 Thumbs Up! Award Workgroup reviewed 101 fiction and nonfiction books to select this year's winner, honor books and top ten titles. The group spent over 2,141 hours reading and reviewing to come to this decision and met monthly to discuss evaluate and rank titles. Since 1986, the Thumbs Up! Award has recognized outstanding contributions to teen literature. Winners of this award have both literary quality and teen appeal, with characters, setting, subject and themes that appeal to teens age 13 to 18 years old.

We announced the winners and honor books of the 2022 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards on Friday, May 27 at the MLA 2022 Youth Literary Awards. The awards selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to determine the top titles published in 2021. Watch the announcement below! 

2022 Mitten Award Winner

Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World 
By Matt de la Pena, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

2022 YouPer Award Winner

Ophie's Ghost

Ophie’s Ghosts 
By Justina Ireland

2022 Thumbs Up! Award Winner

In the Wild Light

In the Wild Light
By Jeff Zentner

 

2022 Thumbs Up! Award Honor Books

Firekeeper’s Daughter 
Author:  Angeline Boulley 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., an Imprint of Macmillan

Concrete Rose 
Author:  Angie Thomas 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

The Girls I’ve Been 
Author: Tess Sharpe 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

All of Us Villains
Author: Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman 
Publisher: Tor Teen, an Imprint of Macmillan Publishers 

2022 Thumbs Up! Award Top Ten Titles

(Listed in random order)

In the Wild Light 
Author: Jeff Zenter 
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Reader, part of Penguin Random House

Firekeeper’s Daughter  
Author:  Angeline Boulley  
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., an Imprint of Macmillan

Concrete Rose  
Author:  Angie Thomas 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

The Girls I’ve Been 
Author: Tess Sharpe 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

You’d Be Home Now 
Author: Kathleen Glasgow 
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an Imprint of Penguin Random House 

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry 
Author: Joya Goffney 
Publisher: HarperTeen, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers 

Muted
Author: Tami Charles 
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Reads, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

Instructions for Dancing 
Author: Nicola Yoon 
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an Imprint of Penguin Random House

All of Us Villains
Author: Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman
Publisher: Tor Teen, an Imprint of Macmillan Publishers

Past Thumbs Up! Award Winners and Honor Books

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

Thumbs Up! Award Winners and Honor Books (pdf)

Thumbs Up! Home

 

 

 


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