US National Book Awards 2021 Longlist: Young People’s Literature

In News by Porter Anderson

Stylistic formats in these 10 longlisted titles include verse, illustration, and prose. Topics addressed: gender, sexual identity, race, politics, family history, world events.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘The Fabric of Our Own Communities’
The United States’ National Book Awards now set for November 17, has begun today (September 15) announcing its longlists for the 2021 National Book Awards. As this program likes to do, it’s parsing the announcements across five categories on sequential days.

Finalists—the shortlisted entries—are to be named October 5. The longlist provided today to members of the news media is for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

The longlistings for work in young people’s content includes, as the foundation says in its media messaging today, race and politics, familial history and global events, “and the magic woven in the fabric of our own communities.”

Publishers submitted a total of 344 books for the 2021 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Jurors in this category this year are Cathryn Mercier (chair), Pablo Cartaya, Traci Chee, Leslie Connor, and Ibi Zoboi.

Young People’s Literature 2021 Longlist
Author Title Publisher / Imprint
Safia Elhillo Home Is Not a Country Penguin Random House / Make Me a World
Shing Yin Khor The Legend of Auntie Po Penguin Random House / Kokila
Darcie Little Badger A Snake Falls to Earth Levine Querido
Malinda Lo Last Night at the Telegraph Club Penguin Random House / Dutton Books for Young Readers
Kyle Lukoff Too Bright to See Penguin Random House / Dial Books for Young Readers
Kekla Magoon Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People Candlewick Press
Amber McBride Me (Moth) Macmillan Publishers / Feiwel and Friends
Anna-Marie McLemore The Mirror Season Macmillan Publishers / Feiwel and Friends
Carole Boston Weatherford,
Illustrations by Floyd Cooper
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre Lerner Publishing Group / Carolrhoda Books
Paula Yoo From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement WW Norton & Company / Norton Young Readers

As always, the jury’s decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and board of directors and deliberations are strictly confidential.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the National Book Awards is here, and on awards programs in general is here

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.