The 2012 National Book Award Finalists were announced today. Here is the place to find all the nominees. I am, of course, mostly concerned with the finalist's in Young People's Literature. I have read one of them. One. This is sort of unheard of for me. I suppose I can console myself with the reminder that one of them just came out last week and one won't come out until next week.
Goblin Secrets by William Alexander
Goblin Secrets has been on my TBR since I saw Betsy Bird give it a 5 star rating on Goodreads, read the synopsis, and realized it was exactly my sort of book. I have been waiting patiently for my library to get a copy. That patient wait just came to an end. Except I just ordered a bunch of books. I may have to wait a couple more weeks to order this one. Budgets-sigh.
Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
Out of Reach is one of those contemporary YA novels that I usually go running in the other direction from. Not because I don't think there is value in them, but because I don't read that much contemporary YA and when I do I tend to like it light and fluffy. This one I will definitely read though because it sounds intriguing and mysterious. Out of Reach has a release date of October 16.
Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge. The Killing Fields. This is the setting for Never Fall Down. I have known since I heard about it that it would be amazing. It's written by Patricia McCormick. It is one of those books you have to brace yourself before reading though. And my library still doesn't have a copy of it.
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Endangered was released on October 1. It is about endangered bonobos AND a violent coup. A girl has to rescue herself and the bonobos from said coup and survive in the jungle. I don't tend to like books where survival in nature is a key aspect. I probably would have dismissed it for that reason if it had not been nominated. I am interested to see how the author melds all of these themes together.
Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
The one I've read! And I LOVE it. Because non-fiction is not the focus of this blog I don't review the non-fiction books I read here. I do review them on Goodreads and you can see my review of Bomb here. It is an account of the Manhattan Project and follows the science, the scientists, and the agents being sent from various countries to other countries to halt-or steal-that science. As I say in my review: It is everything excellent non-fiction is supposed to be while also being everything a good novel should be.
Is it just me or does it seem like they went out of their way to nominate books that weren't being talked of as much? Also the skewed very YA this year.
There is a good chance I will not be able to read all four of the books I haven't read prior to the award being announced.
The head of this year's Young People's Literature panel is Gary Schmidt. I happened to attend a talk given by him last night which I will be writing up for the blog and posting later. (Probably Saturday)