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Young People’s literature gets a boost from the National Book Foundation

For the first time in its history, the National Book Foundation has announced the 2013 Young People’s Literature Longlist for the National Book Award. This is the first time the National Book Foundation has announced a “longlist” of ten titles for each National Book Awards category. The list includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The Longlist for Poetry will be announced today, the Longlist for Nonfiction on Sept 18, and the Longlist for Fiction on September 19. The short list of five finalists in each category will be announced in mid-October.

The nominees for Young People’s Literature address important contemporary issues, including the immigrant experience, coming of age as an LGBT teen, and the impact of technology on civilization.

Personally, I’ve read some great books for young people and I’m excited this category is doing more to recognize the incredible talent in the field.

One example is Lisa Graff’s nominated book, A Tangle of Knots,which takes place in a slightly magical version of our world, where most everyone has a special talent—something he or she is uniquely gifted at, often to a supernatural degree.

The main character, eleven-year-old Cady, has a talent for cake baking: she can bake the absolute perfect cake for any person she meets. When Cady moves into an upstairs bedroom of the town’s Lost Luggage Emporium, she encounters several different characters with a wide array of talents, and discovers that her fate is intricately linked to each of theirs.

The finalists will be announced October 16, with the winners revealed at the awards ceremony on November 20.

See a full list of nominees and books.

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