From the National Book Foundation:
“The 25 Finalists for the 2023 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature were announced last week with the New York Times. The five Finalists in each category were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, and were advanced from the longlists announced in September with The New Yorker.”
The 5 finalists for the 2023 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature are:
Gather by Kenneth M. Cadow (Candlewick) — Ian, a resourceful teenager in rural Vermont, struggles to hold on to the family home while his mom recovers from addiction in this striking debut novel. “Ian’s genuine first-person narration — enriched by his penchant for pithy metaphors and similes — unveils a protagonist whose innate sense of justice and tentatively hopeful perspective buoy Cadow’s sober debut” (Publishers Weekly).
Huda F Cares? by Huda Fahmy (Dial) — In this laugh-out-loud funny sequel to the graphic novel Huda F Are You?, the Fahmys are off to Disney World, but self-conscious Huda worries her family will stand out too much. “Comedic and poignant, Fahmy’s narrative captures universal feelings of fluctuating confidence and self-deprecation, the ups and downs of family dynamics, and the growing awareness of siblings’ humanity outside the family unit” (Kirkus Reviews).
Big by Vashti Harrison (Little, Brown) — The first picture book written and illustrated by award-winning creator Vashti Harrison traces a child’s journey to self-love and shows the power of words to both hurt and heal. “This emotionally and socially resonant picture book stands out with its exceptional strength, beauty, and grace” (Booklist).
The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine by Katherine Marsh (Roaring Brook) — From the author of Nowhere Boy comes a brilliant middle-grade survival story that traces a harrowing family secret back to the Holodomor, a terrible famine that devastated Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s. “A natural selection for fans of Alan Gratz and a stepping stone to the work of Ruta Sepetys, this sobering and important story will be an excellent addition to classroom and library collections” (Booklist).
A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat (First Second) — In this feel-good coming-of-age memoir, the best-selling author and Caldecott Medalist shares his life-changing middle school trip to Europe during which he experiences a series of firsts, including first love. “As Santat finds friends and a way of being himself, what slowly emerges is one person’s hope in and relief at experiencing the world as a bigger place, finding a space in it, and realizing that both adults and peers are rooting for him” (Publishers Weekly).
Here is the complete list of longlisted titles for young readers announced in September:
- Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow (Middle grades, Fiction)
- Gather by Kenneth M. Cadow (Young adult, Fiction)
- Forget Me Not by Alyson Derrick (Young adult, Fiction)
- Huda F Cares? by Huda Fahmy (Young adult, Graphic novel)
- Big by Vashti Harrison (Primary grades, Picture book)
- The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine by Katherine Marsh (Middle grades, Historical fiction)
- Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day by Dan Nott (Young adult, Nonfiction)
- A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat (Middle grades, Graphic memoir)
- Parachute Kids by Betty C. Tang (Middle grades, Graphic novel)
- More Than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom by Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long (Young adult, Nonfiction)