The National Book Foundation has announced the ten books being considered for the 2017 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.
Time to put these novels on your book clubs’ radar and guess the winner! The finalists will be revealed on October 4th followed by the winners on November 15. While you’re waiting to hear the results, be sure to check out the book that has remained on The New York Times best sellers list, The Hate U Give, a Black Lives Matter-inspired debut novel by Angie Thomas.
The Hate U Give centers around Starr Carter, a 16-year-old who juggles between the poor neighborhood she lives in and the upscale prep school she attends. After Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, her balance between worlds topples over entirely. Khalil, an unarmed victim of police brutality, gets labeled a “thug” in the media headlines. Everybody wants to know what truly happened that night, yet Starr is the only one who does. This gripping tale will hit the big screen with many of the cast members revealed, here.
The longlist for the 2017 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature is as follows:
If you’re a millennial (that is, folks born between the early 80s and early 00s loosely), you’ve probably been told you’re too sensitive. Maybe you’ve been called whiny, or spoiled. According to a new Pew Research Center study, there’s another word that describes millennials: informed.
The study found that about 78% of adult Americans feel they receive reliable information from public libraries. Among those asked, millennials (defined, in this case, as people ages 18 to 35 as of 2016) were the most passionate about their public libraries.
Image Courtesy of Pew Research Center
Earlier this year, another Pew Research Center study found millennials were the generation most likely to have used a public library in the past year. If millennials are the generation most likely to use public libraries, and most adult Americans feel public libraries are reliable sources of information, then millennials may be among the most well-informed Americans.
Image Courtesy of Pew Research Center
The key word in Pew’s recent study is ‘feel.’ The survey participants were asked if they feel the information in public libraries is reliable, and most said it is. Whether or not the information received is actually reliable remains questionable. Participants also weren’t asked what they were reading at libraries. If everybody is reading The Hobbit, then the information may be reliable, but the information is also about goblins and dragons and stuff.
Still, the fact remains that millennials are the age demographic most likely to visit public libraries. We can also probably all agree that going to a library is, overall, an educational experience. Thus, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to say millennials may be the most informed generation.
Next time anybody tries to pull a “kids these days” argument on us millennials, remember what Socrates said over 2,000 years ago:
The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
When book shoppers asked themselves “what book should I get?” this week, many answered with Dr. Seuss’ What Pet Should I Get?. Now, the rediscovered children’s book is smashing sales records.
In just one week, the picture book has sold more than 200,000 copies. According to Random House, the book’s U.S. publisher, the book now “sits prominently among the fastest-selling picture books of all time.” For the publisher in particular, the book is a historic success: What Pet Should I Get? is now the fastest-selling picture book in the history of Random House Children’s. It also set a first-day children’s sales record at retailer Books-A-Million.
Random House knew they’d struck gold as soon as they found the book, calling it “the literary equivalent of buried treasure.” The original manuscript for the story sat undiscovered for decades. Experts believe it was written between 1957 and 1962, meaning that it was penned shortly after Seuss’ famous The Cat in the Hat. After Theodore Seuss Geisel (who used Dr. Seuss as a pen name) died in 1991, Audrey Geisel, the author’s widow, saved the manuscript in a box. The published version has been completed in Dr. Seuss’ trademark illustration style. As the title suggests, the story features children in a pet store deciding which pet to bring home.
One of the great things about children’s literature is how strange it can be. In the hands of capable authors, weird and wonderful worlds can come to life for young readers!
While the staple children’s books are important, there can also be room on the shelf for titles that stimulate creativity and imagination. With this list, we’re celebrating the delightfully odd books that imagine bizarre worlds and strange characters. Take your child on a journey, or get nostalgic yourself, with one of these books!
The plot in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is as simple as it is absurd: the entire alphabet (which is alive) tries to fit into one palm tree. They fall out, and the capital letters (those are the adults) come to their aid. The bright, colorful pictures and helpful alphabet lesson make the book a hit with kids.
“What if food were weather?” is a pretty weird question, and it turns out to have a delightfully odd answer. The citizens of Chewandswallow live in a land of food weather, and they never have to go grocery shopping. But when the weather takes a turn for the worse, they find themselves running from unpleasant and giant food falling from the sky.
The Giving Tree’s magical elements are a little more restrained than the other books on this list. In the book, a boy and tree can communicate. The oddness of this story, though, is its cryptic message. The Giving Tree is the subject of a lot of debate, with many readers questioning whether the relationship between the two main characters was abusive. Despite the debate, the story remains a classic.
Dr. Seuss is the king of weird children’s books. His odd, little furry characters have been running around rhyming about weird-colored food and cats in hats for more than half a century. Green Eggs and Ham is delightful nonsense, and every child should have their own copy.
If you child is a fan of the fantastic, he or she will have plenty of options once they’re ready for chapter books. Roald Dahl’s creative worlds are occasionally dark and always imaginative. In James and the Giant Peach, an orphaned boy takes a magical journey with oversized garden bugs on a massive peach. Only Roald Dahl could come up with such a thing.
The Little Prince is one of the most popular children’s books in the world – and it’s about a boy who explores different planets. The Little Prince himself is a native of an asteroid, and de Saint-Exupéry’s story revolves around the Prince’s adventures in the galaxy. The book was revolutionary for its time and remains a worldwide favorite.
Norton Juster’s chapter book is the strange story of a boy who drives his toy car through a toy tollbooth and finds himself in a magical alternate universe. Funny and odd, The Phantom Tollbooth is a great work of fantasy.
In Maurice Sendak’s original idea for this book, a child sent to his room imagines a journey to a land of wild horses. But Sendak couldn’t draw horses, and he and his editor came up with the idea of the “Wild Things” instead. The result is a fantastic romp that has inspired everything from a movie to an opera.