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December 19, 2014

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National Book Award Finalists Include Kathi Appelt, Gene Luen Yang

boxersSaints National Book Award Finalists Include Kathi Appelt, Gene Luen Yang The National Book Foundation has announced the 2013 Young People’s Literature finalists for the National Book Award. The list includes two previous finalists, Kathi Appelt (2008) and Gene Luen Yang (2006), and first-time finalists Cynthia Kadohata, Tom McNeal, and Meg Rosoff.

The finalists were revealed on MSNBC this morning by David Steinberger, chairman of the National Book Foundation’s board of directors and president and CEO of Perseus Books Group, along with “Morning Joe” program hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

The foundation also announced on the program that it has made available a new free ebook series, The Contenders: Excerpts from the 2013 National Book Award Finalists, available for download.

2013 Finalists for Young People’s Literature

Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster

Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck
Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster

Tom McNealFar Far Away
Alfred A. Knopf/Random House

Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone
G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Group (USA)

Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints
First Second/Macmillan

Authors’ biographies

Kathi Appelt was a National Book Award Finalist in Young People’s Literature in 2008 for The Underneath, which was also a Newbery Honor Book in 2009. She lives in Texas.

Cynthia Kadohata won a Newbery Medal in 2005 for Kira-Kira. She lives in Los Angeles.

Tom McNeal is the author of several books for children; many written with his wife, Laura McNeal, who was a National Book Award Finalist in 2010. He lives in Southern California.

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, Massachusetts and lives in London. She won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2005 for How I Live Now.

Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese won the Michael L. Printz Award and was the first graphic novel honored as a National Book Award Finalist in 2006. Yang also served as a National Book Award Judge. He lives in San Jose, California.

Publishers submitted a total of 298 books for the 2013 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. The judges’ decisions are made independently of the foundation’s staff and board of directors; deliberations are strictly confidential.

To be eligible for a 2013 National Book Award, a book must have been written by a US citizen and published in the United States between December 1, 2012 and November 30, 2013.

For the first time in history, the foundation had presented a longlist of nominees (on September 16) for all four categories of awards: young people’s literature, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The winners in all categories will be revealed at the awards ceremony on November 20.

Judges for the Longlist in Young People’s Literature
Deb Caletti was a National Book Award Finalist in Young People’s Literature in 2004 for Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, which was the recipient of numerous other awards and honors, including the PNBA Best Book award, the Washington State Book award, and the SLJ Best Book award.

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults, including Boy ProofThe Plain JanesThe Year of the Beasts, and Odd Duck. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, children’s correspondence coordinator for The Rumpus, and a two time MacDowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

Peter Glassman has been a bookseller for 38 years and is the founder and owner of Books of Wonder, one of the foremost bookstores in the country for young people’s literature. He is also the author of three picture books and the editor of the Books of Wonder Classics series published by HarperCollins.

E. Lockhart (Chair) was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature for her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which was also a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a Cybils Award winner. Her most recent book, Real Live Boyfriends, is the fourth book in the Ruby Oliver series.

Lisa Von Drasek is the curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University of Minnesota. Previously, she was the director of the Center for Children’s Literature and children’s librarian of the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. She reviews children’s books for The New York Times and blogs about children’s and young adult books on EarlyWord.com.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson (kpeterson@mediasourceinc.com) is a former News Editor ofSLJ.

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