How often is it that you finish a book, put it down, go to the computer to check on news of the world and find that the book you just put down was one that was nominated as a finalist for the National Book Award in young person’s literature?
Having not read them all, nor understanding how to handicap this award, I have no idea whether it was a mere coincidence or if somehow I was attuned to the celestial spheres of synchronicity and was reading the winning book. But it’s an odd feeling, I’ll say that much. Especially since the book was sent to me for review and I knew nothing abut it when I picked it up.
I’m not quite ready to review the book yet, and out of fairness to the other titles I’m not going to mention it by name here (email me if you really want to know which book it is), but I must say that I’m a little confused about how titles are chosen for this award. Normally you don’t find a middle grade book with animals in the world up against a YA title about an unrepentant alcoholic up against a Revolutionary War slave narrative. I’m not saying these titles aren’t deserving, only that I find the selection odd.
And what a crazy panel of judges! Daniel Handler (chair), Holly Black, Angela Johnson, Carolyn Mackler, Cynthia Voigt. I have to admit, I’m now sort of interested in reading them all before the awards are announced on November 19th.