As much as I'd like to announce myself as one of the 2015 National Book Award finalists in the Young People's Literature category, alas, I cannot. But I'm still excited about the fantastic books up for the prize this year! Here's a quick roundup. Click and add to your TBR list:
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 352 pp
middle grade contemporary
After her best friend
dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of
the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world
of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means
traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores
life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential
for love and hope right next door.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Baltzer + Bray; 268 pp
young adult contemporary
Everyone knows Bone Gap
is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can
disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the
people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first
time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on
their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to
Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go,
the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s
not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the
cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the
searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even
Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to
blame Finn for letting her go.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
HarperTeen; 320 pp
young adult contemporary
Caden Bosch is on a ship
that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the
southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook Press; 384 pp
young adult nonfiction/historical
On June 13, 1971, the
front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page
collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War.
Known as The Pentagon Papers, these documents had been comissioned by
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the
government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of
deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever
changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicans
claiming to represent their interests.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
HarperTeen; 266 pp
young adult fantasy (graphic novel)
Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly
subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an
exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus
conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous
full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web
comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an
impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister
Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain,
Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their
mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his
buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the
heroes everyone thinks they are.
For more information on the award, including the finalists and longlisted titles in other categories, visit the National Book Awards website here.