National Book Awards back to 5 nominees in Young People’s Literature category

With great grace, Lauren Myracle withdrew her book Shine from National Book Award consideration.  According Myracle, quoted in an article in School Library Journal:

“I was over the moon last week after receiving the call telling me that Shine (Amulet, 2011) was a finalist for the award,” says Myracle, referring to her much-praised gritty novel, which involves a brutal hate crime, poverty, and drugs. “I was later informed that Shine had been included in error, but would remain on the list based on its merits. However, on Friday I was asked to withdraw by the National Book Foundation to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges’ work, and I have agreed to do so.” (Read the whole article here.)

As of today, the five nominees are:

  • Franny Billingsley, Chime (Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, Inc.)
  • Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name Is Not Easy (Marshall Cavendish)
  • Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again (Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)
  • Albert Marrin, Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy  (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
  • Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now (Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

From the reviews I’ve seen, Shine is a must-read.  I’ll be reviewing it here soon.

My respect and admiration of Lauren Myracle has been reinforced, and has even increased, in light of the way she has handled herself in an unbelievable public relations nightmare for the National Book Awards.  Do you think their donation of $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation in Myracle’s name (at her request) will smooth over the “regrettable incident?” (Read more at the New York Times blog.)



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