Elizabeth Acevedo Takes 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Acevedo received the award for her debut novel The Poet X, written in verse.

Elizabeth Acevedo has won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for The Poet X from HarperTeen/HarperCollins Publishers.

The winners in each of the five categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people’s literature, and translated literature—were announced Wednesday night at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

All of the winners were first-time finalists.

Acevedo rose to the top of a shortlist that included some of the most discussed books of the year. The other four finalists for Young People’s Literature NBA were: M.T. Anderson, The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge; Leslie Connor, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle; Christopher Paul Curtis, The Journey of Little Charlie; and Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction.

WATCH: Elizabeth Acevedo Talks About Representation in YA Lit

The rest of the NBA winners:


Sigrid Nunez, The Friend

Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House



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

Oxford University Press



Justin Phillip Reed, Indecency

Coffee House Press


Translated Literature:

Yoko Tawada, The Emissary

Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

New Directions Publishing


Two lifetime achievement awards were also presented at the ceremony:

· Isabel Allende was recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

· Doron Weber, vice president, programs and program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

Publishers submitted a total of 1,637 books for this year’s National Book Awards: 368 in Fiction, 546 in Nonfiction, 256 in Poetry, 142 in Translated Literature, and 325 in Young People’s Literature. The panels of judges in each category made their final decisions the day of the ceremony, choosing one winner from the five finalists in each category.

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