Tag: national book awards

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 

d

Here are the Nominees for Each Category in the 2018 National Book Awards Longlist

The lists are as hot and delicious as pieces of bread just released from the bakery. The following are the 2018 National Book Awards longlists for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. Enjoy them! 

 

 

Fiction

 

d

Image via nationalbook.org

 

 

 

Nonfiction

 

d

Image via nationalbook.org

 

  • Carol AndersonOne Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy 
    (Bloomsbury Publishing)

  • Colin G. CallowayThe Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation
    (Oxford University Press)

  • Steve CollDirectorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan 
    (Penguin Press / Penguin Random House)

  • Marwan Hisham and Molly CrabappleBrothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War 
    (One World / Penguin Random House)

  • Victoria JohnsonAmerican Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic
    (Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company)

  • David QuammenThe Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life
    (Simon & Schuster)

  • Sarah SmarshHeartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
    (Scribner / Simon & Schuster)

  • Rebecca Solnit, Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)
    (Haymarket Books)

  • Jeffrey C. StewartThe New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
    (Oxford University Press)

  • Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights
    (Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company)

 

 

Poetry

 

c

Image via nationalbook.org

 

 

 

Translated Literature

 

c

Image via nationalbook.org

 

  • Négar DjavadiDisoriental
    Translated by Tina Kover
    (Europa Editions)

  • Roque LarraquyComemadre
    Translated by Heather Cleary
    (Coffee House Press)

  • Dunya MikhailThe Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq 
    Translated by Max Weiss and Dunya Mikhail
    (New Directions Publishing)

  • Perumal MuruganOne Part Woman 
    Translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
    (Black Cat / Grove Atlantic)

  • Hanne ØrstavikLove
    Translated by Martin Aitken
    (Archipelago Books)

  • Gunnhild ØyehaugWait, Blink: A Perfect Picture of Inner Life
    Translated by Kari Dickson
    (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers)

  • Domenico StarnoneTrick
    Translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
    (Europa Editions)

  • Yoko Tawada, The Emissary
    Translated by Margaret Mitsutani
    (New Directions Publishing)

  • Olga TokarczukFlights
    Translated by Jennifer Croft
    (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House)

  • Tatyana Tolstaya, Aetherial Worlds
    Translated by Anya Migdal
    (Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House)

 

Young People’s Literature

 

c

Image via nationalbook.org

 

  • Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X 
    (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers)

  • M. T. Anderson and Eugene YelchinThe Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
    (Candlewick Press)

  • Bryan BlissWe’ll Fly Away 
    (Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Publishers)

  • Leslie ConnorThe Truth as Told by Mason Buttle 
    (Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers)

  • Christopher Paul CurtisThe Journey of Little Charlie
    (Scholastic Press / Scholastic, Inc.)

  • Jarrett J. KrosoczkaHey, Kiddo
    (Graphix / Scholastic, Inc.)

  • Tahereh MafiA Very Large Expanse of Sea
    (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers)

  • Joy McCullough, Blood Water Paint
    (Dutton Children’s Books / Penguin Random House)

  • Elizabeth PartridgeBoots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam
    (Viking Children’s Books / Penguin Random House)

  • Vesper Stamper, What the Night Sings
    (Knopf Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House)

 

 

Did you find out your favorite authors? Let’s bet on who’s going to win from each category this year! The ceremony will be held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on November 14th, and will also be live-streamed online in its entirety.

 

 

Featured Image Via nationalbook.org

National Book Award statues

National Book Foundation Adds First New Award Category in Twenty-Two Years

The National Book Foundation has just announced a fifth National Book Award category: The National Book Award for Translated Literature. A new category hasn’t been added since 1996 when the foundation awarded the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature to Victor Martinez for Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida.

 

Because this marks a pretty major step for the National Book Foundation, a unanimous vote was needed from the Board of Directors. They got all the votes, and Chairman of the Board of Directors, David Steinberger, said in a statement “We could not be more pleased to take this step. We now have the opportunity to recognize exceptional books that are written anywhere in the world, and to encourage new voices and perspectives to become part of our national discourse.”

 

National Book Award gold stamp first place

Image Via the National Book Foundation

 

After twenty-two years, the question of “Why now?” arises. The political atmosphere is obviously very tense when it comes to immigration and xenophobia runs rampant in some parts of the country, so that seems to be part of the foundation’s mission. After all, they are an organization dedicated to enriching the country’s literature.

 

Some insight can be gleaned from the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, Lisa Lucas. In a statement, Lucas said:

 

As the Foundation further expands its purview and work, it’s important that we continue to promote reading habits that reach widely across genre, subject, and geography. We are a nation of immigrants, and we should never stop seeking connection and insight from the myriad cultures that consistently influence and inspire us. We want American readers to deeply value an inclusive, big-picture point of view, and the National Book Award for Translated Literature is part of a commitment to that principle. The addition of this award lends crucial visibility to works that have the power to touch us as American readers in search of broadened perspective.

 

That sums everything up pretty nicely. Though it is a national organization, the literary world is, obviously, international. Personally, of my top favorite authors, I might include one American writer. However, if it weren’t for American translator Jay Rubin, for example, we wouldn’t be able to read many of Haruki Murakami’s works.

 

The work of translators is indispensable to a reader’s life. If you are reading a work in translation, then, though it may not seem it, about half the work is being done by the translator. Capturing an author’s voice and aesthetic in a new language is immensely challenging and is an artistic medium independent of writing. It’s extremely exciting that one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world is now awarding translators for their contributions to book life.

 

Submissions for the National Book Award for Translated Literature will be open on March 7th, the same time as the other categories (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature). The longlist will be announced on September 10th, and the finalists will be announced on October 10th. The inaugural winners (both writer and translator) of the National Book Award for Translated Literature will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner on November 14th. Winners in each category receive a bronze sculpture and $10,000. Winners of the Translated Literature award will split the money evenly between them.

 

Who would you like to see win the National Book Award for Translated Literature? Think globally!

 

Feature Image Via the National Book Foundation

Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts Gleams At National Book Awards as Women Sweep Top Prizes

The 68th Annual National Book Awards Ceremony has come and gone and it was a good night for women writers. Hosted by Cynthia Nixon with guests like Bill Clinton, the ceremony celebrated some of the brightest names in 2017 literature. Women nabbed fifteen out of twenty National Book Award nominations and, ultimately, won four out of five. Considering the groups of judges for each category made totally independent decisions, that’s a pretty good sign of the changing times.

 

The winners in each category are:

 

Fiction winner:

 

Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Image Via National Book Foundation

 

Fiction finalists:

 

Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing

 

Lisa Ko, The Leavers

 

Min Jin Lee, Pachinko

 

Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

 

Nonfiction winner:

 

Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

 

Future History

Image Via Amazon

 

Nonfiction finalists:

 

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

 

Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

 

David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

 

Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

 

Poetry winner:

 

Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 

 

Half-light

Image Via National Book Foundation

 

Poetry finalists:

 

Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings

 

Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS

 

Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor

 

Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems

 

Young People’s Literature winner:

 

Robin Benway, Far from the Tree

 

Far From the Tree

Image Via National Book Foundation

 

Young People’s Literature finalists:

 

Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of

 

Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

 

Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

 

Ibi Zoboi, American Street

 

Jesmyn Ward’s last novel, Salvage the Bones, was also a National Book Award-winner. Sing, Unburied, Sing follows thirteen-year-old Mississippi boy Jojo as he reckons with the painful history of America through an inmate ghost that bears the whole history of the South. Though I haven’t read it, it sounds powerful and it’s nice to see socially conscious stories mash-up genres.

 

In terms of media attention, the National Book Awards pales in comparison to other mediums’ award ceremonies (i.e. the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, etc.). Part of that is the lack of red carpet buzz. Emma Roberts put that to the test this year, though, wearing a beautiful Ulyana Sergeenko dress that’s completely sheer.

 

Emma Roberts

Image Via AOL

 

The National Book Awards have a great track record, and Executive Director Lisa Lucas has been doing a great job modernizing the National Book Foundation (the ceremony streamed live on Facebook to half a million people!). It’s a bright day for book lovers, especially those wondering what to add to their holiday gift lists!

 

You can watch the full ceremony here (begins at about the 10 minute mark)!

 

 

Feature Images Via AOL and CelebMafia