As you can imagine, winning a National Book Award, or even being nominated for one, is a huge deal.
This means that you're guaranteed a good read, just by knowing a book has been nominated. If you live in my world, that's nice to know. I see a lot of books. Every day. Sometimes it's hard to pick one. Awards help.
You know how much I loved The Absolutely True Diary of A Part Time Indian--National Book Award. See? It's true. National Book Award = Good Book.
We know our winner for 2009, Claudette Colvin: Twice for Justice by Phillip Hoose--it's downstairs in the Children's Room if you want to read it.
It tells us all about Colvin, a young African-American woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus and...
Wait. Sound's familiar, huh?
Except Rosa Parks did it nine months later.
Instead of being celebrated like Parks was, Colvin was shunned and dismissed by classmates and community leaders. She later took her case to court, as she continued to stand up against segregation in the south.
Oh, and she was only 15. Did I mention that?
But I'm betting you don't go downstairs much, because I hardly see you. You're like wraiths, you come in the night and check out books that I've picked out, and when I arrive in the morning, the books are gone. And sometimes checkers are on the ground.
So I suggest you take a look at the YA books that were nominated--books I'm betting you'll like.
Read about David Small's eerie childhood in his memoir, Stitches.
Small's family went about their respective lives in almost-complete silence, giving this graphic novel the look and feel of a silent movie. If silent movies had secret cancer. Let me tell you, some things shouldn't be secrets, and cancer is one of them.
Another nominee is Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia.
I've just started this one, but the prose catches you from the first paragraph, so it promises to be an engrossing read. The novel switches between three perspectives, all girls whose lives intertwine even as their stories do the same.
You can also venture into the adult section and pick up Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman.
This book is a kind of dual-biography, describing the conflict between Charles Darwin's love of science and Emma Darwin's faith in God and their shared love for each other. The call number is 576.82 Hei--ask them at the front desk if you want help finding it.
Our last nominee is still on its way...so I'll wait to show it off later. But if you want to take a peek, it's Lips Touch: Three Times by the very pink-haired Laini Taylor.