The Lodestar Award is an award given annually to a book published for young adult readers in the field of science fiction or fantasy. The name of the award was chosen because a lodestar is “a star that guides or leads, especially in navigation, where it is the sole reliable source of light—the star that leads those in uncharted waters to safety.” This year’s Lodestar Award winner is Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer.
Because her mother is always on the move, sixteen-year-old Steph hasn’t lived anywhere longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet–a social-media site where users upload cat pictures–a site whose admin is CheshireCat, a sentient AI who loves cat pictures. When a threat from Steph’s past catches up to her and CheshireCat’s existence is discovered, it’s up to Steph and her friends–both online and IRL–to save them. A near-future thriller about online privacy and out-of-control technology, and the importance of making connections in an increasingly fragmented society.