Book awards season is officially here, which means you can clear your schedule (who wants to go out when it's raining, anyway?) and settle in with one or two or 30 new books, beginning with the ones listed below. On Wednesday, the
National Book Foundation released the longlist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and the 10 titles on the list truly exemplify the best that YA literature has to offer.
Last year, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature was awarded to
Robin Benway for her novel, , an exploration of adoption and the meaning of family, in all its many forms. This year, Far From The Tree Benway served as one of the judges for the award.
In previous years, the award has been given to Rep. John Lewis, Nate Powell, and Andrew Aydin for their graphic novel about the civil rights movement,
to Neal Shusterman for his powerful and poignant journey through the nuances of mental illness, March: Book Three, and to Jacqueline Woodson for her striking examination of black girlhood, Challenger Deep, Brown Girl Dreaming.
One of the below novels will take home this year's prize — take a look at the nominees and a brief description of their books below:
'The Poet X' by Elizabeth Acevedo
In this novel-in-verse, Harlem teenager Xiomara uses slam poetry to channel the anger, the love, the passion, and the frustration she feels for her family, their religion, and the boy she can't stop thinking about, Aman.
Click here to buy. 'The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge' by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin
A social commentary in children's book form,
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge is the story of warring elf and goblin kingdoms and two bumbling scholars on a mission to save the world from an international crisis. Click here to buy. 'We’ll Fly Away' by Bryan Bliss
Luke and Toby are best friends with big dreams of getting away from their dead-end town. But a series of irrevocable choices lead them in a frightening new direction and ultimately their friendship is reduced to a series of letters — all sent by Luke to Toby from death row.
Click here to buy. 'The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle' by Leslie Connor
Mason Buttle can barely read or write, and his learning disabilities have only been exacerbated by grief since his best friend, Benny, was discovered dead in the Buttle's orchard. When another friend goes missing, Buttle finds himself in trouble — and desperate for answers about the death and disappearances of those he loves.
Click here to buy. 'The Journey of Little Charlie' by Christopher Paul Curtis
Charlie is just 12 years old when his father dies and the fearsome Cap'n Buck comes to collect the family's debts. Unable to pay the money back, Charlie strikes a deal: He'll track down some people accused of stealing from Cap'n in exchange for clearing the debts. But he begins to feel uneasy about his mission when he meets the people who Cap'n money.
Click here to buy. 'Hey, Kiddo' by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
When his kindergarten teacher asks him to draw a picture of his family, Jarrett doesn't know what to do: His mom is an addict, his dad is a mystery, and he lives with his grandparents. Years later, as a teenager, Jarrett decides to piece together the truth of his family, once and for all.
Click here to buy. 'A Very Large Expanse of Sea' by Tahereh Mafi
It's 2002, and the world is a scary place for Shirin, a 16-year-old Muslim girl, who is tired of the rude stares, racist comments, and even physical violence. She's built so many emotional walls to protect herself — but then she meets Ocean James, who seems like he really wants to know her.
Click here to buy. 'Blood Water Paint' by Joy McCullough
Inspired by the
real story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman to successfully prosecute a man for rape, Blood Water Paint is a novel-in-verse that illuminates the historical roots of rape culture and celebrates the women who have fought against it. Click here to buy. 'Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam' by Elizabeth Partridge
Elizabeth Partridge tells the history of the Vietnam War in a stunning nonfiction book that centers on eight people — six American soldiers, one American nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee.
Click here to buy. 'What the Night Sings' by Vesper Stamper
An illustrated novel about a teen Holocaust surviver who lost her entire family in the war,
What the Night Sings is a wrenching account of one girl's journey to rebuild her life and forge a new future. Click here to buy.