On Wednesday evening, November 19, five children’s authors dressed up in their finery and headed to Cipriani Wall Street in lower Manhattan for the 66th National Book Awards. Our photographer caught up with the authors (and their editors) who were nominated in the Young People's Literature category, and captured the winner’s moment of triumph.
All photos by Nancy Crampton.
Finalist Laura Ruby (Bone Gap, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) with her editor, Jordan Brown.
Finalist Ali Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish, Little, Brown) at center, flanked by her agent, Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media (l.), and her editor, Andrea Spooner.
Finalist Steve Sheinkin (r.), author of Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Roaring Brook), with Roaring Brook publisher Simon Boughton.
Finalist Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, HarperTeen), with her editor, Andrew Harwell.
The 2015 National Book Award Medalist, Neal Shusterman, who won for his novel Challenger Deep, and his editor, Rosemary Brosnan.
In accepting his award, Shusterman said, “I finally achieved my father’s dream for me, to be an NBA star!”
Shusterman called his son Brendan to the stage to share the award with him; Challenger Deep had its roots in Brendan’s struggles with schizophrenia as a teenager.
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña presented the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American literacy community to author James Patterson. “It’s a gift as a writer to get people to read your books,” Fariña said. “James Patterson, in my eyes, is a hero.”
In accepting his award, James Patterson said, ““Let’s all be literarians, whatever the hell that means. Let’s make sure there’s another generation of readers, of bookstores, libraries, and publishers.”
All four of the newly minted National Book Award Medalists: (from l.) Adam Johnson (Fiction), Neal Shusterman (Young People’s Literature), Robin Coste Lewis (Poetry), and Ta-Nahisi Coates (Nonfiction).