National Book Awards Finalists

One of my obsessions that has developed in the past few years is reading every one of the National Book Award Nominations for Young People’s Literature before the Award is announced.

Those who are unfamiliar with the NBA can check out their website.

Very briefly: judges who are authors select a shortlist of finalists, announced in October; the winner is announced at the gala in November. This year’s Young People’s Literature Judges: Susan Cooper, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Gary D. Schmidt, Marly Youmans

This year’s Finalists (information from the NBA website):

William Alexander, Goblin Secrets (Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach (Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down (Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Eliot Schrefer, Endangered (Scholastic)

Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press)

Notice anything? Yep, I haven’t read any of them yet!

When is the winner announced? Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So, if I’m going to be tracking down copies of the books, reading them, and reviewing them by then, I better get busy!

If you’re looking for either motivation to read the books, or a bit of an extra having read them, check out SLJ Speaks to National Book Award Finalists.

How many of the books have you read? Do you plan on reading them all before the winner is announced? What do you think of this year’s finalists?

8 thoughts on “National Book Awards Finalists

  1. I was already in the middle of reading Bomb when the finalists were announced so I have high hopes of finishing that one at least. Goblin Secrets and Never Fall Down I have checked out so plan to get to as well. With Endangered not being released ’til December I doubt I’ll get to that. And Out of Reach came so far out of left field that not a single library in my entire system owns it. I’m sure that will change but I have no confidence that I’ll be able to get it before the announcement of the winner. Bomb and Never Fall Down seem like easy picks – lots of starred reviews, heavy subject matter, but the other three were definite surprises to me. Goblin Secrets had mixed reviews and it looks like Kirkus is the only place to have reviewed Out of Reach so far with no reviews for Endangered yet due to the late release date. I’m looking forward to trying them out though when I finally get my hands on them.


  2. Jen, I’ve seen October, November and December for ENDANGERED, and some libraries and bookstores have it. Not a lot; I’m having a bit of a time tracking down a copy to read at the moment. I have the others and am busy reading, reading, reading!


  3. Huh. I swear when I looked in Baker and Taylor the other day it showed a Dec release date, but now it shows Oct 1st with copies on hand. Looks like PW has a review on it now too from this week’s issue which wasn’t in there last time. I wonder if they had that planned/previously scheduled or if they rush ordered it. Curious. Good luck finding a copy!


  4. I also try to read the finalists and choose a winner (I’m always wrong!), but this year I don’t think I’ll make it on time. Only 2 of the 5 are available through my library system. The committee must have relied on ARCs to make their selections. I have read NEVER FALL DOWN. It’s grim but wonderful. I’m sure it will take one of the prizes this awards season.

    Tim Tocher, author of Playing for Pride


  5. Jen, I got a copy!! Yay and thanks to the publisher!!

    Monica, thanks for the links. I look forward to reading the rest of your responses and what you think should win and what you think will win.

    Tim, “grim but wonderful” is a very apt description.

    Lisa, at least it’s an easier goal than reading all the adult fic finalists!


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