The 68th National Book Awards were held on November 15th in New York City, honoring outstanding books in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Literature for Children. This year, the winner of the Literature for Children prize went to Robin Benway’s young adult novel Far From the Tree (Harper Teen). The novel tells the story of three siblings separated at birth who find each other as teens. It was selected from a stellar short list of young adult titles that included What Girls Are Made Of by SCBWI member Elena K. Arnold (Carolrhoda Lab / Lerner Publishing Group), I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins), and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by SCBWI member Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad / HarperCollins).
Upon accepting the award, Benway thanked her fellow finalists, saying "Your books have just been so beautiful, and to see my title amongst yours is something I don't think I've quite understood yet." She added, "Creativity is not inspiration. It's not that bolt of lightning. It's about getting up and making the coffee and finding the room that bolt of lightning lit for just one moment."
A big congrats to all the finalists! Prestigious literary prizes like the National Book Awards go a long way in bringing attention to outstanding children’s literature.
Visit www.nationalbook.org to see the full list of winners.