No, not the Young People’s Literature category. Many, many others have done a great job of writing about those unfortunate events. I would like to take a brief look at the NBA Fiction finalists.
They are (from the NBA website):
Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn (Bellevue Literary Press)
Tea Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife (Random House)
Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House)
Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision (Lookout Books, an imprint of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury USA)
I was happy to see three titles among the five nominees with genuine appeal for teen readers. Click on the links to see our AB4T reviews.
In my library, the most popular of the three is The Buddha in the Attic. Not only was it one of the first two books checked out this fall when we returned to school, it was placed on hold the very next day by a student who talked to me about her love for Otsuka’s first novel, When the Emperor was Divine.
Speaking of the best of the year, all of us who review for this blog are right now embroiled in choosing the Best Adult Books 4 Teens, 2011. We are narrowing our year’s reading down to the 15 to 20 best. It’s a challenge. What are we really looking for? As one reviewer, Mark Flowers, wrote in an e-mail today, are we looking for “great books with teen appeal, books with great teen appeal, or great books with great teen appeal?”
Ideally the latter, but it’s hard not to be swayed by a truly great novel that might only appeal to a certain segment of teens, or that popular genre thriller that has appeal in spades and less literary panache. I speak in suppositions, of course!
So, tell us. What were the best adult books (fiction, nonfiction, graphic novel, poetry, you name it) with teen appeal that you read this year? What adult books did the teens you know enjoy?