So I’m out of pocket and have only lobby-level access to a computer, so I will be brief to say that: YAY! The National Book Award nominations have been announced! Yay!

The hugest congratulations ever to fabulous and lovely fellow Southerner Kathi Appelt (a senior faculty member at my MFA program) for her nod for The Underneath* and to E. Lockhart for her wonderful novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Laundau Banks. See the sidebar to the right for my take on each of these very deserving books, two of my favorites of this year or any other, to be sure. And I can’t wait to check out the other young readers finalists. Well done, judging types (who included the inscrutable Holly Black and Daniel Handler).

OOOOh-kay, I now return you to my previously scheduled silence, with one last YAY!

*If she don’t win the Newbery, there is no justice. And you know what they say about no justice, right? No peace!

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