This year, for the first time, the National Book Foundation is announcing longlists of 10 books in each of its award categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Young People’s Literature. Monday’s announcement was the Young People’s Literature Longlist and as a young adult librarian currently and a youth services librarian previously, this is the list that most interested me personally. For the last few years, the Young People’s Literature Shortlists have skewed heavily towards young adult literature rather than children’s literature, but this year’s Longlist looks like it has a pretty good balance. The only one I’ve read so far is The Summer Prince which I adored, so I’m looking forward to reading the rest. The Algonquin Area Public Library either owns or has most of these on order, so stop on in to check them out or to place a hold! Let us know in the comments if there’s any of these you’re excited to see on the list or a favorite author you think was overlooked. Plus, what do you want to see make the 5 book shortlist?
The 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Longlist
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
Kathi Appelt’s first novel, The Underneath took home a Newbery Honor and with her return to a swamp setting, I’m not surprised to see this latest effort make the longlist.
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo isn’t the most prolific author out there, but she’s already racked up quite the list of awards including a Newbery Honor, a National Book Shortlist, a Geisel Honor, A Geisel Medal, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction. Release date for this one is September 24th.
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
Most of Lisa Graff’s previous books have been solidly mid-list crowd pleasers, well received by children, but ignored by award committees. It’s nice to see her get some awards recognition!
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
See my previous post for more details about my love for this one. Part of what’s so impressive to me is that this is Johnson’s first novel specifically for the young adult market, but she manages to capture the feel of being on the cusp of adulthood brilliantly.
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
Kadohata’s first book for children won the Newbery Medal and The Thing About Luck has been getting uniformly wonderful reviews, so no surprise to see this one make the cut.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
The reviews on this latest David Levithan title have been mixed, but since I loved Boy Meets Boy I’m looking forward to reading this one when it comes in although it sounds like it’s got a very different tone.
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Another title that’s been getting fantastic reviews, Far Far Away has an intriguing concept: Jeremy Johnson Johnson can communicate with the ghost of Jacob Grimm and soon finds himself at the center of a string of disappearances in town.
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
Meg Rosoff won the Printz Award for her debut novel how i live now back in 2005 (the movie adaptation will be out this November) and while responses to her works have been varied since then, this one has been getting some good buzz. Picture Me Gone is due out October 3rd, so place your holds now!
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Ursu’s last novel Breadcrumbs got quite a bit of Newbery buzz although it had its detractors. I liked it, but thought it had some issues. With The Real Boy (due out September 24th) Ursu returns to fantasy but this time focuses on a main character that some have identified as being on the autism spectrum – an interesting twist that the National Book Award jury seems to feel pays off.
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
It’s interesting that the jury chose to name this as one book since it’s published in two volumes. Yang’s graphic novels explore the Boxer Rebellion in China from both sides of the conflict. In Boxers we follow Little Bao who leads the rebellion. In Saints we see things from the viewpoint of Vibiana, one of the Chinese Christians persecuted by the rebellion. Yang takes historical fiction and adds touches of magical realism. This is the one title our library doesn’t own so feel free to place a hold and we’ll request it from another library!