professornana (professornana) wrote,

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roller coaster ride: all downhill

Yesterday's announcement of the National Book Award finalists for Young People's Literature has, deservedly, caused a stir. STITCHES by David Small made this illustrious list despite it being published for an adult market and not for young people. Is the book worthy of a nomination? Absolutely. Should it be one of the YP noms? Not in my opinion or in the opinion of others (Chasing Ray, Fuse8 among others). The adult book means that one book pubbed for young people was left off the list. In a year of incredible wealth in the field, this is a loss in my book. But, the committee is allowed to include books for other markets if the publisher submits them. Such is not the case for Newbery and Printz. Not sure if that is not a good idea. So, yesterday was spent tweeting and reading posts. I did manage to finish this book, though.

Jonah and Simon are on the road, heading out from a home filled with painful memories: the death of their mother, their father's arrest and imprisonment, their brother's tour of duty in Vietnam. They pick up a ride from Mitch and Lily who have a metal sculpture of Don Quixote in the back seat of the car. And that is where the dangerous ride begins. Mitch is a psychopath and now Jonah and Simon must dance to his tune. The book grabs you by the throat and begins careening downhill at breakneck speed toward a climax that, while somewhat predictable, is nonetheless surprising. Wow.
Tags: national book awards
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