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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

National Book Award Finalists


The National Book Award finalists were named this morning (on TV, which is a first for the award), and though the adult fiction nominees were pretty much what you'd expect them to be, I thought I'd share with you the nominees in the "Young People's Literature" category.

I have to say, not only have I not read any of them, but with one exception, I haven't even heard of any of them. Or if I had, it didn't stick. Featuring war, addiction, loss, and all manner of dark things (and goblins), they were pretty much all new titles to me, but I will certainly be looking into some, if not all, of them.

In Goblin Secrets, a boy joins a troupe of theatrical goblins (!) in a quest to find his missing brother; Out of Reach (again) features the search for a sibling - this time, a girl looking for her missing addict brother (no goblins this time); the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond's life as a forced child soldier in Cambodia is told in Never Fall Down, from Patricia McCormick, whose 2006 book, Sold, was also a finalist; in Endangered, a young girl at a sanctuary risks her life to save a group of bonobos during a coup; and finally, Bomb takes a look at WWII-era science and the race to create - or steal - the world's most dangerous weapon, the atomic bomb.





So, have you read any of these? Or heard of them, for that matter?  Does the award make you more eager to read any of them, or recommend them to your children/nieces, nephews, neighbors/students, etc?

And just as importantly, are there any books you think were overlooked on this year's list? After last year's kerfuffle with Chime and Shine, I'm especially curious if you think there are any books that were left off, OR even if you no longer trust these prestigious awards as much as a result.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

8 comments:

  1. I've heard of NEVER FALL DOWN, but not the others!

    Thanks for letting us know this was out :)

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  2. I haven't even heard of any of these titles or authors (save for McCormick), which surprised me. Your short little summaries make me curious about them though -- I may have to check some of them out.

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  3. Goblin Secrets sounds like a lot of fun and Out of Reach sounds intriguing. I'm definitely interested in trying these out as I hadn't hear of any of these before the announcement either!

    I have to say that I'm curious to read these solely because of being a finalist but after attempting to read the finalists from the Booker Prize this year I'm beginning to think that I'm just not cut out to read the books they pick.

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  4. Never Fall Down is the only one I know.

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  5. Funny how I haven't ever seen any of these books before.

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  6. I've seen the covers around the blogosphere for Out of Reach and Endangered, but I haven't read any of them and don't plan to.

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  7. Ooo! Ooo! I've actually held Out of Reach in my hands! (Probably helps I work at a library...) And I only remember it from the cover. But yea, I don't think I even recognize the other ones. I certainly haven't shelved them.

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Sorry, folks who wish to remain unnamed, but I had to get rid of the anonymous-ness.
Step out into the light and tell me what you think.
It's not so bad out here.

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