Thursday, October 15, 2009

National Book Award nominations...

This year's NBA nominations for Young People's Literature are... diverse? Out of the blue? Strange? I don't know how I feel about it. A part of me rejoices that the author judges have recognized books that may not get a lot of attention otherwise - but how can I say that when I haven't read any of the books? Here they are:

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith
by Deborah Heiligman

I actually have this book checked out right now, but I haven't read it yet. It's children's narrative nonfiction, which is a blossoming field. SLJ says it's for grades 8 and up, which is understandable, and my library shelves it in the biography section. I've read many rave reviews, so it looks like I'll have to bump it up on my to-read list.

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
by Phillip Hoose

Another biography, this one grade 6 and up. Before Rosa Parks got famous, teenager Claudette Colvin refused to move to the back of the bus. Here's her nearly forgotten story.

Lips Touch: Three Times
by Laini Taylor

Three short stories about kissing. YA. Great cover.

by Rita Williams-Garcia

Realistic fiction about bullying in school. YA.

Stitches: A Memoir
by David Small

Graphic novel memoir of David Small. YA? Some people disagree. I'm intrigued.

So, I don't know if "young people" are being represented here. Young adults surely are. And it is nice to see a blend of fiction, nonfiction, short stories, and even a graphic novel. Too bad there wasn't a novel in verse. There may be a little bit of sarcasm in the previous statement.

The judges who nominated these titles and will be voting on the winner are:

Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath

Coe Booth, author of Kendra and Tyrell

Carolyn Coman, author of What Jamie Saw and Many Stones

Nancy Werlin, author of The Rules of Survival and Impossible

Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese and The Eternal Smile

Maybe it's just me, but I can definitely match this year's nominees to judges' own writing styles and preferences.


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