National Book Award Nominees!

Today was chaotic at school and I missed the National Book Awards nominees announcements!  Thankfully, my twitter friends reminded me as I began to see the hashtag popping up. And then I almost let out a scream when I saw that one of my favorite books of the year was nominated!  I reviewed Eliot Schrefer’s Endangered last month and I haven’t stopped raving about it since.  Congratulations to Eliot on his National Book Award nomination!  Now get out there a pick up a copy before everyone else beats you to it!

The other nominees are now on their way to my house.  I haven’t read the rest of the Young People’s Literature Award nominees yet, and some of them aren’t even published as of this date, but they are now pre-ordered.  The list runs the age gamut, from a recommended 8+ to upper-YA. I’m excited to read them!


I also ordered a few of the adult nominees.  John Green and Penny Kittle both recommended the nonfiction nominee Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Plus, I somehow never added Junot Diaz’s books to my library.

What are you looking forward to reading form this year’s nominees?

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Patricia McCormick’s Sold has been on my TBR pile for a very long time. It never quite made it to the top because I knew I most likely would not put it in my classroom library so I did not want to disappoint myself by loving a book I could not share. However, now that I am in ninth and twelfth grade, I pulled it out.

If you teach high school (or even upper middle school, depending on your class) this book must be in your classroom library. The heartbreaking story of 13-year-old Lakshmi opens on her ordinary life in Nepal. However, her stepfather is a gambler sells her into prostitution in India in order to pay off a gambling debt. Refusing to be with men, Lakshmi is beaten and starved, eventually drugged and raped. Written in free verse, Lakshmi’s story is difficult to read, but sadly is real life for too many girls in Nepal. McCormick interviewed girls in India and Nepal before writing this book and I am so happy she decided to tell their stories. I know that we focus on speaking loudly in our own communities, but these girls need us to SpeakLoudly, too.

McCormick handles difficult subject matter with sensitivity and dexterity.  Lakshmi’s story is never sensationalized, but will leave you in tears.  The subject matter is difficult, but it is something that teens should be aware of.  This is daily life for some children and their stories need to be shared.  Highly, highly recommended.

*copy purchased by me

National Book Award Nominees- Young People’s Literature

Today is one of my favorite days of the year….the announcement of the National Book Award nominees!  I love the NBA because the nominees are always so varied and sometimes seem to come out of nowhere.  But the books are always amazing, and I love being introduced to new authors and books.

This year, the judges for the Young People’s Literature category are:

Laban Carrick Hill

Kelly Link

Tor Seidler

Hope Anita Smith

Sara Zarr


2010 National Book Awards Young Peoples Literature:

Paolo Bacigalupi, “Ship Breaker”
Kathryn Erskine, “Mockingbird”
Laura McNeal, “Dark Water”
Walter Dean Myers, “Lockdown”
Rita Williams-Garcia, “One Crazy Summer”


Great books! Definitely trending a bit younger than last year. I would consider a lot of the nominees to be on the upper-end of middle grade, whereas as last year’s nominees trended more YA.  I have got to get a copy of Shipbreaker, though!  It’s been on my “must-read” list for a while and this will be my impetus to get it.