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Capitol Choices 2018

Our mission is to identify and select a yearly list of outstanding titles for children and teens. We consider books and audiobooks published in the current calendar year for readers from birth through the high school years. We look not only for those books and audiobooks that are obviously remarkable but also for those whose charm, art, information, or depth of feeling may enhance a young person's world. We especially look for books that may not find an audience without the benefit of special attention. What does Capitol Choices mean by "the best" "Best" of the year? "Best" by this author? "Best" of its type? Our discussions are often heated, always serious, filled with good humor and, in the end, the titles we choose meet all of these criteria. In addition to the qualities that mark good titles—clarity, accuracy, credibility, and that most elusive quality of all, distinguished writing, illustration or narration—we place special emphasis on titles which we believe appeal to and reflect the sensibilities of their intended audience.

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      Far from the Tree

      by Robin Benway

      Mar 2018

      Young Adults Plus

      Fourteen and Up
      In this National Book Award-winning novel about the meaning of family, adopted teen Grace seeks out her biological siblings after giving up her own baby.

      Before She Was Harriet

      by Lesa Cline-Ransome

      Feb 2018

      Nonfiction Early Elementary

      Seven to Ten
      An evocative poem and richly colored paintings celebrate the diverse accomplishments of Harriet Tubman, as revealed by her many names.

      Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands

      by Susan Goldman Rubin

      Feb 2018

      Biography Middle Plus

      Ten to Fourteen
      This biography of Maya Lin recounts her struggle to stick with her vision of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, to the works she has since created.

      Victoria: Portrait of a Queen

      by Catherine Reef

      Feb 2018

      History High

      Fourteen and Up
      Victoria is filled with the exciting comings and goings of royal life: intrigue and innuendo, scheming advisors, and assassination attempts, not to mention plenty of passion and discord.

      The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

      by Mackenzi Lee

      Oct 2017

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      Fourteen and Up
      Henry Montague was born to be a gentleman, but even the finest boarding schools in England haven't been able to tame his roguish passions for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. Author's note on historical accuracy.

      Eliza and Her Monsters

      by Francesca Zappia

      Sep 2017

      Young Adults

      Fourteen and Up
      Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her offline, everything she's worked for begins to crumble. Black-and-white illustrations.

      Town Is by the Sea

      by Joanne Schwartz

      Jul 2017

      Easy Reading Plus

      Seven to Ten
      Stunning illustrations show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig. Author's note. Full-color illustrations.

      The Upside of Unrequited

      by Becky Albertalli

      Jul 2017

      High-Interest High Plus

      Fourteen and Up
      Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she's lived through it twenty-six times.

      When Dimple Met Rishi

      by Sandhya Menon

      Jul 2017

      Young Adults

      Fourteen and Up
      This is a laugh-out-loud, heartfelt romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

      Bull

      by David Elliott

      Jun 2017

      High-Interest High Plus

      Fourteen and Up
      David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. Author's notes about the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and the poetic forms used.

      Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism

      by Marc Aronson

      May 2017

      History High

      Ten to Fourteen
      Packed with dramatic photos, posters, and maps, this compelling book captures the fascinating story of photojournalism in modern times. Note to reader. Appendices. Cast of characters. Time line. Authors' notes. Sources. Notes. Bibliography. Web resources. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

      Train I Ride

      by Paul Mosier

      May 2017

      Advanced Readers

      Ten to Fourteen
      Rydr is on a train heading east, leaving California. Her gramma can't take care of her anymore, so she's traveling to Chicago to live with a relative she's never met.
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