“1919: The Year That Changed America” Wins National Book Award

Martin W. Sandler's nonfiction book, which discusses prohibition, women's suffrage, the red scare, labor strikes, and more, takes the prestigious prize.

The 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (YPL) went to 1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler (Bloomsbury). The prestigious awards, administered by the National Book Foundation, were announced Wednesday night at a ceremony hosted by Levar Burton in New York City.

Sandler’s nonfiction book was selected from YPL finalists Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World/Penguin Random House); Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/S. & S.); Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (Kokila/Penguin Random House); and Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins). There were 325 titles submitted by publishers in this category this year.

The YPL judges were authors Elana K. Arnold, Varian Johnson, and An Na, along with Deborah Taylor, an adjunct professor of young adult literature at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies, and retired Baltimore public librarian; and Kristen Gilligan, owner of Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store.

The National Book Award winners in the other categories were: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi (Henry Holt/MacMillan) for Fiction; The Yellow House by Sarah M. Bloom (Grove) for Nonfiction; Sight Lines by Arthur Sze (Copper Canyon) for Poetry; and Baron Wenkheim's Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet (New Directions) for Translated Literature.

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