The finalists for the National Book Award were announced this morning.
GOBLIN SECRETS by William Alexander
OUT OF REACH by Carrie Arcos
NEVER FALL DOWN by Patricia McCormick
ENDANGERED by Eliot Schrefer
BOMB by Steve Sheinkin
While they once again skew to an older audience, I think we will probably end up discussing several of them here. BOMB is the only one that I have read so far. It’s only been out for a month or so, but I hope that you are able to lay hands on a copy soon because Nina and I are itching to discuss it.
According to Roxanne Feldman, yesterday was the deadline for the Newbery committee to submit their first round of three nominations to the chair. You can read her vague and cryptic thoughts on that process here.
I can afford to be much less coy than Roxanne. I would lead with my personal top three the first time around and then strategically nominate titles in the later rounds. Thus–
MOONBIRD by Phillip Hoose
NO CRYSTAL STAIR by Vaunda Nelson
BOMB by Steve Sheinkin
I’m not very optimistic about the chances of building consensus around NO CRYSTAL STAIR, but I have to lead with this fiction title over my next choices–THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN and LIAR & SPY–simply because of its outstanding quality. I have BOMB and MOONBIRD rated 1-2 in terms of nonfiction, but I’m still very high on BLACK HOLE, TITANIC, IMPOSSIBLE RESCUE, TEMPLE GRANDIN, and WE’VE GOT A JOB. I also have a handful of less traditional candidates in the genres of easy readers, picture books, and poetry that we’ll explore over the course of the season. I’m still looking for some great under the radar books; I know they’re out there, I just haven’t found them yet.
Now it’s your turn. Give me your top three as of right now, and tell me what you’d be considering for future nominations, too.
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About Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the Coordinator of Library Media Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. You can reach him at email@example.com
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