The 2016 National Book Awards announced their longlist for their Young People’s Literature, which includes three YA titles: Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina, When The Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore, and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.
In Meg Medina’s Burn Baby Burn, Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam.
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable in Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees.
In Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star, Natasha definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when her family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be her story.
The judges for the Young People’s Literature award are William Alexander, Valerie Lewis, Ellen Oh, Katherine Paterson and Laura Ruby. Yoon, Medina and McLemore will compete against Kwame Alexander’s middle grade Booked, Kate DiCamillo’s middle grade Raymie Nightingale, John Lewis’s middle grade graphic novel March: Book Three, Grace Lin’s middle grade When The Sea Turned to Silver, Sara Pennypacker’s middle grade Pax, Jason Reynold’s middle grade Ghost, and Caren Stelson’s nonfiction middle grade Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story.
Finalists will be announced on October 13 and the winners announced in a presentation on November 16.