From School Library Journal
By SLJ Staff October 14, 2010
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo Bacigalupi's debut YA novel, Ship Breaker (Little, Brown), a fast-paced postapocalyptic adventure set on the Gulf Coast, is one of five nominees for the top prize, presented annually to authors to celebrate the best of American literature.
"Ship Breaker was a chance for me to write a high-octane adventure story while still touching on themes like peak oil and global warming that fascinate me," wrote Bacigalupi on his blog.
Dark Water by Laura McNeal
After several collaborations with husband Tom McNeal, Laura McNeal went solo with Dark Water (Knopf), which tells the story of a forbidden romance with tragic consequences set against the backdrop of catastrophic wildfires that ravaged Southern California in 2007.
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Kathryn Erskine thanked the National Book Foundation for naming Mockingbird (Philomel) as a finalist, posting comments on her blog at 9:11 a.m. PDT this morning. "I'm so grateful for the National Book Foundation, whose wonderful mission it is to 'celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America,'" she wrote. "What an honor."She also told SLJ that she feels "particularly honored because the judges for these awards are our peers, and I think it's often the case that it's harder to impress another writer than it is to impress a reader."
Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers, who was nominated for a National Book Award in 1999 for Monster—which won the first Michael L. Printz Award and was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book—is nominated again. This time for Lockdown (HarperCollins), a moving story about a kid who may have made a mistake but still deserves the modest future he seeks. (Myers is a Jersey City, NJ resident!)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Meanwhile, SLJ gave a starred review to Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer (HarperCollins), set in 1968 and about three black sisters from Brooklyn who spend a month in California with their mother, a poet who ran off years before and is living in Oakland.
The winner in each category—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature—will be announced on Wednesday, November 17, at the 61st National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.