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AWARD WINNERS: National Book Awards - Young People's Literature

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X : a novel

Shabazz, Ilyasah, author.


Co-written by Malcolm X's daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

2015 nominee

Walk on Earth a Stranger

Carson, Rae


A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush-era America.

2015 nominee

Bone Gap

Ruby, Laura, author.


Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.

2015 nominee

Most dangerous / Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

Sheinkin, Steve.

The story of Daniel Ellsberg and his decision to steal and publish secret documents about America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

2015 nominee

Challenger deep

Shusterman, Neal, author.


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.

2015 nominee


Stevenson, Noelle, author, illustrator.


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.

2015 nominee

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda

Albertalli, Becky, author.


Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity--and that of his pen pal--will be revealed.

2015 nominee

Symphony for the city of the dead : Dmitri Shostakovich and the siege of Leningrad

Anderson, M. T., author.


An account of the Siege of Leningrad reveals the role played by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his Leningrad Symphony in rallying and commemorating their fellow citizens.

2015 nominee

Brown girl dreaming

Woodson, Jacqueline.

J 811.54 WOODSON

In vivid poems, Jacqueline Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

2014 Winner


Schrefer, Eliot, 1978- author.


Luc is an orphan, living in debt slavery in Gabon, until he meets a Professor who claims to be studying chimpanzees, and they head off into the jungle--but when the Professor disappears, Luc has to fend for himself and join forces with the chimps to save their forest.

2014 Finalist

The Port Chicago 50 : disaster, mutiny, and the fight for civil rights

Sheinkin, Steve.


Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.

2014 Finalist


Whaley, John Corey.


After dying at age sixteen, Travis Coates' head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body, and now the old Travis and the new must find a way to coexist while figuring out changes in his relationships.

2014 Finalist


Wiles, Deborah, author.


It's 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny's town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn't much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.--From publisher description.

2014 Finalist

The Thing About Luck

Kadohata, Cynthia.


Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.

2013 Winner


Yang, Gene Luen, author, artist.


In China in 1898 bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough: harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers--commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils."

2013 Finalist


Yang, Gene Luen, author, artist.


China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship and a name, Vibiana in the most unlikely of places: Christianity. But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie ... and whether she is willing to die for her faith.

2013 Finalist

Picture me gone

Rosoff, Meg, author.


Twelve-year-old Mila travels with her father to upstate New York to visit friends and family, who may lead them to clues to the whereabouts of her father's best friend, who has gone missing.

2013 Finalist

The true blue scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

Appelt, Kathi, 1954-


Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn, ancient Sugar Man, and his raccoon-brother Swamp Scouts Bingo and J'miah try to save Bayou Tourterelle from feral pigs Clydine and Buzzie, greedy Sunny Boy Beaucoup, and world-class alligator wrestler and would-be land developer Jaeger Stitch.

2013 Finalist

Far far away

McNeal, Tom.


When Jeremy Johnson Johnson's strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown.

2013 Finalist

Goblin secrets

Alexander, William (William Joseph), 1976-


Hoping to find his lost brother, Rownie escapes the home of the witch Graba and joins a troupe of goblins who perform in Zombay, a city where humans are forbidden to wear masks and act in plays.

2012 Winner

Never fall down : a novel

McCormick, Patricia, 1956-


Cambodian child soldier Arn Chorn-Pond defied the odds and used all of his courage and wits to survive the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge.

2012 Finalist

Bomb : the race to build-- and steal-- the world's most dangerous weapon

Sheinkin, Steve.

J 623.4511 SHEINKI

Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos.

2012 Finalist

Inside out & back again

Lai, Thanhha.


Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

2011 Winner

Okay for now

Schmidt, Gary D.


As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

2011 Finalist

My name is not easy

Edwardson, Debby Dahl.


Alaskans Luke, Chickie, Sonny, Donna, and Amiq relate their experiences in the early 1960s when they are forced to attend a Catholic boarding school where, despite different tribal affiliations, they come to find a sort of family and home.

2011 Finalist

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