Saturday, November 1, 2008

It begins...

It’s the best time of year—YA awards season!
Over the next few months hundreds of new books are going to be added to my database of award-winning young adult literature. And for the first time, I’m going to be totally on top of it if it kills me. Every year, I have the best intentions, but there are just so many to keep track of.

First up, one of the highest profile awards:
The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Five finalists were announced last month.
Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson
The Underneath, Kathi Appelt
What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell,
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart,
The Spectacular Now, Tim Tharp

The awards ceremony is November 19th, but I’m tentatively ready to predict the winner now (I haven’t read The Spectacular Now yet, since it hadn’t been released when the nominees were announced, so I may have to change my mind after I read it this week.) For whatever it’s worth, I’ve never picked the right winner, not once--but I keep trying.

I think this one will win:
The Underneath

Sure it's a tear-jerker about abandoned kittens and a blues-singing hound (among other things), but it’s also exactly as magical and poetic and haunting and rare as the reviewers say it is.

But I hope this one does:*
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
It’s hard to believe that someone could pull off such a smart, readable, inspiring and funny book featuring a bunch of entitled prep school kids and a plot that revolves around Frankie’s fascination with the Panopticon, feminism and the old boys’ club, plus P.G. Wodehouse and grammar hijinks. It’s a bit like John Green, only more so.

*I hold out hope because like I said, I'm always wrong, and also Frankie’s a little precocious-y and the NBAs have leaned that way before.

And now we wait.

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