National Book Award nominees

The National Book Award nominees were announced today in Portland.

These are the finalists for YA:
Franny Billingsley, CHIME (Dial)
Debby Dahl Edwardson, MY NAME IS NOT EASY (Marshall Cavendish)
Lauren Myracle, SHINE (Amulet/Abrams)
Gary D. Schmidt, OKAY FOR NOW (Clarion/HMH)

Have you read any of them? What did you think?

FLESH AND BLOOD SO CHEAP was written by another client of my agent's.

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OKAY FOR NOW is gut-wrenching and incredible, and one of the best books of the year. I was thinking it had a good shot at the Newbery. I'm glad it's on the NBA list. I started SHINE and then had to return it to the library. WIll have to check it out again...
OMG!! Okay for Now a Finalist!! My favorite book of 2011. Inside Out and Back Again is way up among my favorites and I had hoped that it would get some Newbery love. Shine is one my pile to read. The other two are going on it. Looks like a great list.

That is so weird - I copied that straight out of Publisher's Lunch. I must have missed a line.
Yeah. I'm in a large online group with one of the judges - I wonder if he'll spill the beans or if they are allowed to.
I've read OKAY FOR NOW and was thoroughly blown away, and thus was not the least bit surprised by its nomination. It did so many things so well, and in such an understated way that it's one of those books I'm going to buy to study.

I'm reading CHIMES right now, and am about a third of the way in. I'm impressed by how well Frannie Billingsley creates a world that seems to be rural Victorian England and how deeply she takes you into the mind of her main character, but most of all, I'm impressed by the language, because so far every word is exactly right for this character and this place, in this time, which is far from our time or place. It is a masterpiece.
Interestingly, Chime was left off in another announcement post. Gary's book is pretty good -- there was a big kerfluffle about it on the Heavy Medal blog ( a few weeks ago. Just read "Inside Out" tonight and really liked it. Tried to read "Chime" but the language bogged me down; I'll have to give it another try and maybe try to read when kids are not screaming through the house!

It sounded like (on Publisher's Lunch) that "My Name is Not Easy" is still in galleys or something, so I'm not sure what's up with that.
I feel incredibly sorry for Lauren Myracle, as it is coming out that it should have been CHIME, not SHINE, on the shortlist. (Especially after her comment on SLJ!) What a huge mistake!! (And it was all happening in Oregon, too. I bet we don't get to make announcements ever again!!)

I'm a first round judge on the Cybils middle grade panel this year. The only book on this list classified as MG is Thahhna Lai's--next up in my reding pile.