Longlist Announced: 2019 National Book Award for Young People's Literature 

A YA debut novel and two works in verse are among the books longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

A YA debut novel and two works in verse are among the books longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (YPL). 

The National Book Foundation announced the YPL longlist today. Finalists will be revealed on October 8, and the winner will be announced—along with honorees in the categories of Translated Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction—on November 20 at a ceremony in New York City.

The 2019 Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature: 

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrations by Kadir Nelson                     

Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson

Viking Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House  

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi 

Make Me a World/Penguin Random House  

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata 

With illustrations by Julia Kuo Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Simon & Schuster

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds 

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Simon & Schuster

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay 

Kokila/Penguin Random House  

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby 

Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Publishers 

1919: The Year That Changed America, by Martin W. Sandler 

Bloomsbury Children’s Books/Bloomsbury Publishing

Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve 

Triangle Square/Seven Stories Press

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw

First Second Books/Macmillan Publishers

Six of these authors have previously been recognized by the National Book Foundation. Cynthia Kadohata won the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, and Jason Reynolds was longlisted in 2017 in the same category. In 2016, Reynolds was a  finalist and Kwame Alexander was longlisted. Laura Ruby was a finalist in 2015.

Laurie Halse Anderson has previously been recognized three times; she appeared on the National Book Award YPL longlist in 2014 and was a finalist in 2008 and1999. 

An honoree on the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” list last year, Akwaeke Emezi makes their young adult debut with Pet.

Publishers submitted a total of 325 books for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The YPL judges are An Na (Chair), Elana K. Arnold, Kristen Gilligan, Varian Johnson, and Deborah Taylor.


SLJ's reviews of the 2019 National Book Award Longlisters

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Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

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