The Real Competition

I kid; however, the YA books are the only ones I’ve a prayer of reading AND tend to get overlooked (plus, last year, Pete Hautman’s Godless rocked the house) so from the New York Times:

The finalists for the award in young people’s literature include a first-time novelist, Jeanne Birdsall, for "The Penderwicks" (Knopf), a story of four girls and their widowed father; and a previous finalist, Walter Dean Myers, whose new book, "Autobiography of My Dead Brother" (HarperTempest), tells of learning hard lessons while growing up in a tough neighborhood. Also on the short list are Adele Griffin’s "Where I Want to Be" (Putnam), a novel of sibling rivalry and mental illness; "Inexcusable" (Atheneum), an account of date rape told from the point of view of the accused, by Chris Lynch; and "Each Little Bird That Sings" (Harcourt), a Southern coming-of-age novel, by Deborah Wiles.

Anyone recommend or not? These seem a bit more messagey than last year’s finalists.

3 thoughts on “The Real Competition”

  1. I know nothing about these particular books, but I’ve read a couple of Walter Dean Myers books for Lieberry school; well-written for the most part, but yeah, definite message books.

  2. Gwenda:
    I have a review of the Penderwicks up in the current issue of Eclectica ( – I had no idea it was up for the award and I’m a little surprised. It is a very well done story but in a kindler, gentler, Elizabeth Enright sort of way. Not your usual shocker by any means.
    I also have read and reviewed “Auto of My Dead Brother” and will probably have that review up in the Nov issue of Bookslut. It was amazing – intense, honest, and so shockingly real. It was great and the illustrations are equally impressive. I really loved this book and it gets my vote (although i will happily recommend The Penderwicks to one and all as well.)
    I should be writing about this in my blog in the next couple of days!

  3. Colleen, that’s fantastic news. Can’t wait to see your take. And I will definitely pick up Autobiography (which is a great title).
    Dave, you and that lieberry school…

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