2010 Young People’s Literature National Book Award Finalists

For serious, book awards are SO exciting. There’s this little thrill I get when I learn about books being recognized for being very high quality.  Therefore, when I hopped onto Twitter and saw the National Book Award 2010 finalists had been announced, I thought I would share them with you!

Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ship Breaker Cover Book Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker

“Set initially in a future shanty town in America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, we meet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she’ll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead”

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Mockingbird Kathryn Erskine Book Cover


An unforgettable story in the tradition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful.

Dark Water by Laura McNeal

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dark Water Laura McNeal Book Cover

Dark Water

Fifteen-year-old Pearl DeWitt and her mother live in Fallbrook, California, where it’s sunny 340 days of the year, and where her uncle owns a grove of 900 avocado trees. Uncle Hoyt hires migrant workers regularly, but Pearl doesn’t pay much attention to them . . . until Amiel. From the moment she sees him, Pearl is drawn to this boy who keeps to himself, fears being caught by la migra, and is mysteriously unable to talk. And after coming across Amiel’s makeshift hut near Agua Prieta Creek, Pearl falls into a precarious friendship—and a forbidden romance.

Then the wildfires strike. Fallbrook—the town of marigolds and palms, blood oranges and sweet limes—is threatened by the Agua Prieta fire, and a mandatory evacuation order is issued. But Pearl knows that Amiel is in the direct path of the fire, with no one to warn him, no way to get out. Slipping away from safety and her family, Pearl moves toward the dark creek, where the smoke has become air, the air smoke.

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lockdown Walter Dean Myers Book Cover


When I first got to Progress, it freaked me out to be locked in a room and unable to get out. But after a while, when you got to thinking about it, you knew nobody could get in, either.It seems as if the only progress that’s going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he’s picked for the work program at a senior citizens’ home. He doesn’t mean to keep messing up, but it’s not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he’s a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he’ll be able to convince himself.Acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers offers an honest story about finding a way to make it without getting lost in the shuffle.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams

Synopsis from Goodreads:

One Crazy Summer Rita Williams-Garcia Book Cover

One Crazy Summer

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

I have not yet read any of these books, but you can bet they are moving toward the top of my TBR, as I love to read books that have been recognized for excellence.

What are your favorite award winning books? Are there any awards you pay special attention to?

The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Oh! Mockingbird was so good. I haven’t read the others, but it definitely deserves its spot in the finals!

  2. I’m intrigued by Ship Breaker and Dark Water…those are probably the only two I’ll be reading anywhere in the near future.

  3. Wow! These books sounds great! I’m going to look them up! And I totally agree that book awards rock! 🙂

  4. Going Bovine, The Book Thief, and the Graveyard Book were some of my favorite award winners.
    I’m intrigued by Dark Water, not only because it sounds good but because it takes place in Fallbrook which is like the next town over from me!

  5. Mockingbird sounds like it’d be a wonderful and moving read. I’ll definitely keep that one in mind.

  6. I know I already commented here, but I’m leaving another one to tell you that I’m tagging you. 🙂 I like you blog a lot, so I’m including you in my tag!


  7. Ship Breaker was GREAT! One of my favorite reads this year by far.

  8. All of these look so good!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anne Mazer and Lee & Low Books, April C. April C said: 2010 National Book Award YA finalists w/ synopsis http://bit.ly/dlY5t9 […]