On Wednesday evening, November 20, members of the book publishing community gathered at Cipriani Wall Street in lower Manhattan for the 70th National Book Awards. Our photographer caught up with the five finalists for the Young People’s Literature prize, along with their editors, and also captured the award announcement. (Click here to see our coverage of winner Martin W. Sandler’s acceptance speech.) All photos © 2019 Nancy Crampton.

Jason Reynolds, finalist for Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, with his editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy, v-p and editorial director of Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Jordan Brown, executive editor at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, and finalist Laura Ruby, author of Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All.

Erin Clarke (l.), editorial director at Knopf Books for Young Readers, with finalist Akwaeke Emezi, author of Pet (Random House/Make Me a World).

Finalist Randy Ribay, author of Patron Saints of Nothing, with his editor, Namrata Tripathi, v-p and publisher of Penguin Young Readers’ Kokila imprint.

This year’s winner: Martin W. Sandler, author of 1919 The Year That Changed America, flanked by his editors at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Susan Dobinick (l.) and Mary Kate Castellani.

In accepting the Young People’s Literature award, Sandler paid tribute to his four fellow nominees. “As the elder statesman of that group,” he said, “I am so confident of the future of young people’s literature, and I want to tell all of them how much I admire their work.” Sandler, who has been writing for children since the 1970s, told the audience, “I’ve written 60 books, I intend to write at least 60 more, and I hope I’m back here to celebrate it with you.”