The National Book Awards launched its first longlist with the 10 books in the running for the 2013 award for Young People’s Literature on Monday.
The list includes Newbery Award-winner Cynthia Kadohata’s “The Thing About Luck” and Tom McNeal’s “Far Far Away,” which was also longlisted for the Southern California Independent Bookseller Award. “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan also made the list (The Times review notes that the number of boys is actually closer to seven).
Animal protagonists make a showing this year. Kathi Appelt, who was previously a finalist for the 2008 award, is nominated for her book about a pair of raccoon brothers, “The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp.” Kate DiCamillo, whose previous book landed her on the 2001 Newbery shortlist, appears on this list with “Flora & Ulysses,” about a little girl and self-described cynic who discovers a magical squirrel named Ulysses in her vacuum cleaner’s dust bag.
Gene Luen Yang’s two volume “Boxers & Saints” is the sole graphic novel on the list.
The other nominees are Lisa Graff for “A Tangle of Knots,” Alaya Dawn Johnson for her nuclear-apocalypse novel “The Summer Prince,” Meg Rosoff for her psychic-comes-of-age story “Picture Me Gone,” and Anne Ursu for “The Real Boy,” which depicts a cellar-bound orphan coming up for air to save the day in a small, magical town.
The $1,000 prize will be awarded by a five-member jury, which this year is composed of former finalists for the award: Deb Calletti (“Honey, Baby, Sweetheart”, 2004), E. Lockhart (“The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks”, 2008), author Cecil Castellucci (“Odd Duck”), children’s bookseller and author Peter Glassman, and Lisa Von Drasek, curator of the children’s literature research collections of the University of Minnesota.
The finalists will be announced Oct. 16, and the winner will be celebrated at the National Book Awards ceremony and benefit dinner on Nov. 20.