Tag: national book awards

Douglas Stuart Wins 2020 Booker Prize for Novel, ‘Shuggie Bain’

Douglas Stuart is the proud recipient of the 2020 Booker Prize for his national best-selling novel, Shuggie Bain, which details the life of a young boy growing up amidst poverty and addiction in 1980's Glasgow, Scotland.

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I Am Excited About the YA National Book Award Finalists!

On Tuesday, October 8th, the finalists for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature were announced! Here are the five books that are influencing the minds of our youth!

 

Pet by Akweake Emezi

 

Image Via Amazon

 

This story follows Jam, a transgender, selectively mute girl who lives in the fictional utopia of Lucille which claims itself to be post-bigotry and violence, and has supposedly eradicated all “monsters”. However, after Jam accidentally bleeds on her mother’s painting, the image of a horned creature with metallic feathers and metal claws comes to life, looking to defeat the human monster that threatens the home of Jam’s best friend, Redemption. Together, Jam, Redemption, and the creature—which they call Pet—set out to find the monster. Narrated by Jam in both voice and sign language, which is conveyed through italic text, Pet is a great read for fans of speculative horror!

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds

 

Image Via Amazon

 

 

In this book, Reynolds tells ten relatable stories, all beginning after school ends, over ten blocks encompassing multiple schools. The stories follow an overlapping black cast experiencing life as it comes at them. The stories cover topics such as familial love, first crushes, near-death experiences, cancer, bullying, and so on. Combining reality and humor, Reynold’s Look Both Ways leaves a bittersweet feeling on the reader’s tongue. 

 

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

 

 

This novel follows high school senior Jay Reguero as he struggles to find out the truth about what happened to his cousin, get him the justice he deserves, as well as find his own identity as a Filipino-American. Navigating the secrets that his cousin kept and his guilt for losing touch, Jay comes of age in this story of a victim of the fictional President Duerte’s war on drugs.

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

 

 

This novel intertwines the stories of two young girls on the cusp of WWII in Chicago—Frankie Mazza, a fourteen-year-old artistic “half orphan”, and the narrator, the ghost of Pearl Brownlow who died when she wasn’t much older than Frankie. Throughout the novel, Pearl observes Frankie’s life and reflects on her own, coming to terms with the events that preceded and ultimately led to her death. The journeys of the two girls bring to light the tribulations that girls suffer through at the hands of the patriarchy and the importance of living to the fullest. 

1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

 

 

Unlike the other finalists, Sandler’s book is a nonfiction outline of life-altering events that occurred in the year 1919 and how those events have shaped the present day. From Boston’s Great Molasses Flood, to Communist Red Scare, to the passage of the 19th Amendment and Prohibition, Sandler ties all these events and more to current events such as Black Lives Matter, women’s presence in business and the government, climate change, gun control, and so on. 1919 is a great resource that shows how big of an impact history has on the present day.     

National Book Award Finalists For Young People’s Literature

The National Book Foundation has unveiled the finalists for the National Book Awards. Listing five books each in five categories, they’ve given us some recognizable names, but it’s going to be an interesting year considering that none of the authors have taken home a National Book Award in these categories before.

For this article, we’re going to show you what made it into the ‘Young People’s Literature’ category.

 

 

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

 

Pet by [Emezi, Akwaeke]

Image Via Amazon

 

This book follows Jam and her best friend, Redemption, as they learn that monsters exist and suddenly meet Pat, a creature made of horns and colors and claws that emerges from one of Jam’s mother’s paintings thanks to a drop of Jam’s blood.

Now Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but it’ll be tough given that no one in this world believes in monsters.

How does one navigate in a world that is in denial about what you yourself know to be the truth?

Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks this all important question, and many more, in their timely young adult debut. Kirkus Reviews praised this addition to YA as a “…soaring novel shoots for the stars and explodes the sky with its bold brilliance.”

 

Look Both Ways: A tale told in ten blocks by Jason Reynolds

 

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by [Reynolds, Jason]

Image Via Amazon

 

As Kirkus Reviews notes, this is a “collection [that] brims with humor, pathos, and the heroic struggle to grow up.” The overarching story is that a school bus fell from the sky, but no one saw it happen. Going through the day-to-day life of ten children all on a different block, we discover what really happens after the last school bell rings and what goes through our minds as we walk from home and, more importantly, what we ignore.

 

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by [Ruby, Laura]

Image Via Amazon

 

Here we follow the story of Frankie, who’s been an orphan ever since her mother died and her father left her and her siblings in an orphanage. Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.

But now the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and with the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death all around, the odds are against Frankie to make it in his doggone world.

NPR notes that “[t]here may be wolves behind all the doors, but there is also a whole world beyond for those bold enough to push them wide.”

 

1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

1919

IMAGE VIA Amazon

 

In 1919 (obviously) America was recovering from World War I, black soldiers returned to racism so violent that that summer would become known as the Red Summer, the suffrage movement had a long-fought win when women gained the right to vote, laborers turned to the streets to protest working conditions, and a national fervor led to a communism scare. It was the year that prohibition went into effect.

A hundred years later, Sandler looks back at each of these movements, looking at their momentum and their setbacks, showing that progress isn’t always a straight line. More than a history book, Sandler has crafted an “entertaining and instructive look at a tumultuous year.”

 

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING BY RANDY RIBAY

Patron Saints of Nothing

IMAGE VIA GOODREADS

 

This high school English teacher and YA novelist has a breakout hit with this June 18th release. Critically acclaimed, this Filipino-American author gives his most personal story yet:

The novel explores Jay, whose cousin is killed as part of Duterte’s drug war, as he travels to the Philippines in an attempt to unravel the mystery of his cousin’s death, confronting a place he thought he knew.

Kirkus Reviews showers praise, ending their review by saying “[p]art coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth,” and I say that I’ve been following this ever since I included it on Top Picks all the way back in June 16th, and now it’s been nominated!

 

 

Who do you think is going to win? I know who I think is going to win…

 

 

Featured Image Via School Library Journal