Revealed: 5 Finalists, 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Three works of fiction for middle grade, a novel in verse, and a graphic memoir are this year’s finalists for the 2018 National Book Award.

Three works of middle grade fiction, a novel in verse, and a graphic memoir are finalists for the 2018 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.

The finalists, announced today, are: 

Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X 

HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers

M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin, The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

Candlewick Press

Leslie Connor, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers

Christopher Paul Curtis, The Journey of Little Charlie

Scholastic Press / Scholastic, Inc.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo

Graphix / Scholastic, Inc.

Read SLJ's reviews of the titles.

The National Book Foundation chose five titles in each category: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The finalists were advanced from longlists released in September. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 14, at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

The finalists in the other four categories are: 

Finalists for Fiction:

Jamel Brinkley, A Lucky Man

Graywolf Press

Lauren Groff, Florida

Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Brandon Hobson, Where the Dead Sit Talking

Soho Press

Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers

Viking Books/Penguin Random House

Sigrid Nunez, The Friend

Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House


Finalists for Nonfiction:

Colin G. Calloway, The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation

Oxford University Press

Victoria Johnson, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic

Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company

Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

Scribner / Simon & Schuster

Jeffrey C. Stewart, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

Oxford University Press

Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company


Finalists for Poetry:

Rae Armantrout, Wobble

Wesleyan University Press

Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Penguin Books / Penguin Random House

Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of

Omnidawn Publishing

Justin Phillip Reed, Indecency

Coffee House Press

Jenny Xie, Eye Level

Graywolf Press


Finalists for Translated Literature:

Négar Djavadi, Disoriental

Translated by Tina Kover

Europa Editions

Hanne Ørstavik, Love

Translated by Martin Aitken

Archipelago Books

Domenico Starnone, Trick

Translated by Jhumpa Lahiri

Europa Editions

Yoko Tawada, The Emissary

Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

New Directions Publishing

Olga Tokarczuk, Flights

Translated by Jennifer Croft

Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House




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Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

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