The finalists for the 34th annual L.A. Times Book Prizes were announced Wednesday, February 19. Among the 50 books that made the short list, five acclaimed titles for young people were selected, including 2013 SLJ Best Books Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang. Bestselling young adult novelist John Green is also being honored with the Innovators Award for “his dynamic use of online media to entertain and engage.”
Printz and Edgar Award–winning Green and brother Hank have risen to fame through their ultra-popular video blogging endeavors. The duo launched an annual combination video sharing/charitable fundraiser, Project for Awesome, in 2007. Their devotees—also known as “Nerdfighters”—raised more than $400,000 in two days in December 2013. Green continuously engages with his fans via social media channels and has more than 2 million followers on Twitter and Tumblr. The author has even hosted President Barack Obama on his vlog. A movie adaptation of his latest novel, The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin, 2012), is slated for June 6, 2014.
The winners of the L.A. Times book prizes will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 11, held on USC’s campus in Bovard Auditorium and they are open to the public.
The following titles were selected as the finalists in the Young Adult Literature category.
Elizabeth Knox, Mortal Fire
Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
(St. Martin’s Griffin)
Joyce Sidman, What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings
Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase
Gene Luen Yang, Boxers & Saints