National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Winner

The National Book Award winners were announced yesterday. Here’s a brief look into how the award process works with a focus on the winnder of the Young People’s Literature Award.

“Each year, the Foundation assembles twenty-five distinguished writers, translators, critics, librarians, and booksellers to judge the National Book Awards. Submissions open in mid-March. For the Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature Awards, judges consider only books written by authors who are U.S. citizens and authors who have been approved via the petition process. For the Translated Literature Award, neither author nor translator are required to be U.S. citizens. All books under consideration must have been published in the United States between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. Only publishers may nominate books for the National Book Award, although Panel Chairs can request books publishers have not nominated.”

“Each category has a panel of five Judges who have expertise in that category. Judges are nominated by past National Book Award Winners, Finalists, and Judges, and then selected and recruited by the Foundation’s Executive Director.”

Young People’s Literature Judges

Joan Trygg, Chair
Randy Ribay
Neal Schusterman
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Colleen Af Venerable

“Each panel reads all of the books submitted in their category over the course of the summer. This number typically ranges from 150 titles (Poetry) to upwards of 500 titles (Nonfiction). As of 2013, each panel compiles a Longlist of ten titles, to be announced in mid-September.”


King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender; Scholastic Press

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne; Viking

Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth; Levine Querido

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh; Dutton

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed; Dial

Trowbridge Road by Marcella Pixley; Candlewick

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco; Crown

The Way Back by Gavriel Savit; Knopf

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas; Macmillan/Swoon Reads

“They will then narrow down that list to five Finalists, to be announced in mid-October. They may arrive at these choices using whatever criteria they deem appropriate, as long as they do not conflict with the official Award guidelines.”


King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender; Scholastic Press

We Are Note Free by Traci Chee; Houghton Mifflin

Everybody Looking by Candice Iloh; Dutton Books for
Young Readers/ Penguin Random House

When Stars are Scattered by Omar Mohammed and Victoria Jamieson; Dial Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Random House

The Way Back by Gavriel Savit; Knopf Books for Young
Readers/Penguin Random House

The night before the Awards, each Finalist receives a prize of $1,000, a medal, and a citation from the panel at a private Medal Ceremony. Immediately following the Medal Ceremony, all twenty-five Finalists read from their nominated books at the Finalists Reading. The five Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature are announced the following evening at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, where each Winner receives $10,000 and a bronze sculpture. Once an author has been honored by the National Book Awards, they become a permanent member of the National Book Foundation family.”

“On the day of the Awards Ceremony, each panel meets to determine the winner in their category. No one else, not even the Foundation staff, learns who the Winners are until they are announced at the Ceremony that evening.”


King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender; Scholastic Press




2 thoughts on “National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Winner

  1. Edi,

    You forgot to include the winner on the long list. It shows in the cover pictures so it may not be worth editing. I adore the winning title, King and the Dragonflies, so I noticed it was missing.

    As always, and the main reason for this email, is to tell you how thankful I am for your words and your courage and your brilliance! If you listen carefully, you will hear that you are counted when our family begins speaking of blessings.

    Stay safe, stay strong! Hugs to you.




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