The announcement of the nominees for the 2011 National Book Awards had an extra dose of drama this year as the National Book Foundation added a sixth selection to the Young People’s Literature category after the original broadcast over Oregon Public Broadcasting’s program Think Out Loud had only five nominees.

The NBF cited “miscommunication” between the NBA judges and staff for leaving out Chime by Franny Billingsley (Penguin/Dial Books) in the original selection. After the judges heard the broadcast, they told the NBF staff of the omission. The addition of a sixth nominee in YPL makes a total of 21 NBA finalists this year.

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The five other YPL nominees

Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name Is Not Easy (Marshall Cavendish)

Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again (Harper)

Albert Marrin, Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy (Knopf)

Lauren Myracle, Shine (Abrams/Amulet Books)

Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now (Clarion Books)

The adult nominations include a healthy mix of nominees from large and small presses with Bellevue Literary Press, publisher of last year’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Tinkers, receiving a fiction nomination for Andrew Krivak’s The Sojourn.

The adult nominees


Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn (Bellevue Literary Press)

Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife (Random House)

Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic (Knopf)

Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision (Lookout Books)

Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury USA).


Deborah Baker, The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism (Graywolf Press)

Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (Little, Brown)

Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (W. W. Norton)

Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Viking Press)

Lauren Redniss, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout (HarperCollins/It Books)


Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split (Northwestern Univ. Press/TriQuarterly)

Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Carl Phillips, Double Shadow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Adrienne Rich, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007–2010 (W.W. Norton)

Bruce Smith, Devotions (Univ. of Chicago Press)

The winners will be announced November 16 at a dinner in New York City.