The National Book Awards shortlist has been announced and I’m once again impressed with the variety in selections. Book award nominations always generate interest in books but the NBA’s have always been the most interesting to me (vs. The Booker). For years I have wanted to cut out some time to devote to reading the nominee’s prior to the winners are announced in an attempt to not only understand what the judges are seeing but to make my own half-hazard guess as to who is most worthy of the win. I haven’t actually read a single one of the finalists yet but I’ve decided to finally attempt this little experiment this year for the Young People’s Literature category.
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin [Purchase]
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby [Purchase]
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin [Purchase]
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman [Purchase]
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson [Purchase]
A young girl struggles to deal with her grief after the death of her best friend so she begins researching a rare jellyfish she believes is responsible for her friends death. A magical realism tale of a boy in a small town who witnesses an abduction but is unable to keep his facts straight because of his inability to differentiate between faces. A non-fiction story about Daniel Ellsberg, the individual responsible for leaking secret documents during the Vietnam War. A story about a young boy with schizophrenia and the mental adventures his illness takes him on. And a fantasy graphic novel about shapeshifters and villains with romance and humor.
Winner’s are announced November 18th so I’ve got a little over a month to read these five titles.
Have you read any of these already? Who do you think is most worthy of the win?