On Thursday morning, the National Book Foundation narrowed its longlist down to five finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The finalists are: Kate DiCamillo for Raymie Nightingale; John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell for March: Book Three (Top Shelf); Grace Lin for When the Sea Turned to Silver; Jason Reynolds for Ghost; and Nicola Yoon for The Sun Is Also a Star. The winners will be announced at the NBA’s annual awards dinner on November 16. Read on for PW’s starred reviews of the books by all five finalists.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick).
“With extraordinary skill, two-time Newbery Medalist DiCamillo traces the girls’ growing trust in each other while using understated confessionals and subtly expressed yearnings to show how tragedies have affected each of them.”
March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf).
“The final volume of congressman and civil rights crusader Lewis’s memoir... gives a perfect balance of clarity and passion, drawing readers into the emotions of civil rights struggles, while carefully providing context and information, as well as empathy, even for the worst of the movement’s foes.”
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin (Little, Brown)
“Lin’s fans will not be disappointed: she again delivers a rich interweaving of ancient tales with fast-paced adventure, fantasy, and slowly unfolding mysteries told through captivating language.”
Ghost by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Dlouhy)
“Reynolds uses a light hand to delve into topics that include gun violence, class disparity, and bullying in this compelling series opener.”
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte).
“With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of every character she introduces, Yoon weaves an intricate web of threads connecting strangers as she delves into the personal histories of her protagonists, as well as the emotions and conflicts of others who cross their paths.”