The 10 contenders for the Young People’s Literature category of National Book Awards were released today. The New Yorker will announce the “longlist” for a new award category each day this week. It’s worth noting that these lists do not comprise the “finalists” in the category; the much-shorter list of finalists will, rather, be announced on October 14. These candidates will then attend the award ceremony in New York announcing the winners on November 18.
The award is for “Young People’s Literature,” not “Young Adult,” so don’t expect to find too many post-apocalyptic love stories on this list. In fact, many of the books take on serious and challenging topics, including a non-fiction book about the Vietnam War and a novel about the life of Malcolm X.
And now —insert drum roll here— The National Book Award “Young People’s Literature” candidates are:
Becky Albertalli, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Books M. T. Anderson, “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad” Candlewick Press Ali Benjamin, “The Thing About Jellyfish” Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group Rae Carson, “Walk on Earth a Stranger” Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books Gary Paulsen, “This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs” Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Laura Ruby, “Bone Gap” Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Books Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon, “X: A Novel” Candlewick Press Steve Sheinkin, “Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War” Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group Neal Shusterman, “Challenger Deep” HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s Books Noelle Stevenson, “Nimona” HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s Books
Tuesday’s list will announce the top contender for the award in Poetry.