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Longlist: National Book Awards 2021: Youth Literature

Longlist: National Book Awards 2021: Youth Literature

This week, The New Yorker announces longlists for the National Book Awards 2021. Check back this afternoon for the list of translated literature.

Several titles on the longlist for this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature give young readers lessons from the past. Three Challengers are non-fiction works that contextualize landmark moments in American history: “Indistinct,” by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, is an account of the Tulsa Race Massacre; Kekla Magoon’s “Revolution in Our Time” documents the societal activism of the Black Panther Party and the US government’s attempts to suppress it; and “From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry” by Paula Yoo places the assassination of Vincent Chin in the broader history of the Asian American civil rights movement.

Other books on the longlist pay homage to old storytelling forms. Anna-Marie McLemore’s “The Mirror Season” reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” for today; “A Snake Falls to the Ground,” by Darcie Little Badger, is an adult story based on Lipan Apache oral traditions; and Shing Yi Khor’s “The Legend of Auntie Po,” which rebuilds the legend of Paul Bunyan, brings folktales to the graphic novel format.

The ten titles on the longlist were chosen from three hundred and forty-four submissions from publishers. Two honorees, Kekla Magoon and Anna-Marie McLemore, have previously been recognized by the National Book Awards. The full list is below.

Safia Elhillo, “Home is not a country”
Make Me a World / Penguin Random House

Shing Yin Khor, “The Legend of Auntie Po”
Kokila / Penguin Random House

Darcie little badger, “A snake falls to the ground”
Dear levine

Malinda Lo, “Last Night at the Telegraph Club”
Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kyle Lukoff, “Too much to see”
Dial Books / Penguin Random House

Kekla Magoon, “Revolution in our time: Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People”
Candlewick Press

Amber McBride, “Me (moth)”
Feiwel and Friends / Macmillan Publishers

Anna-Marie McLemore, “The Mirror Season”
Feiwel and Friends / Macmillan Publishers

Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrations of Floyd Cooper, “Unspeakable: Tulsa Race Massacre”
Carolrhoda Books / Lerner Publishing Group

Paula Yoo, “From a Whisper to a rally: The Assassination of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement”
Norton Young Readers / WW Norton & Company

The judges for the category this year are Cathryn Mercier, who heads the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons University; Pablo Cartaya, author of “The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora”; Traci Chee, the author of “The Reader”; Leslie Connor, author of “The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle”; and Ibi Zoboi, the author of “American Street.”


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