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2022 National Book Awards Final List: Young Adult Literature

This week, The New Yorker will announce the shortlists for the 2022 National Book Awards. Check back this afternoon for the Literature in Translation list.

The titles on the long list for this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature address gender and sexuality, racism and xenophobia, and self-esteem and self-acceptance. Three novels are coming-of-age stories that shed light on complex family and community structures: Isaac Blum’s “The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen” weaves anti-Semitism and communal conflict into a story of forbidden love; Sabaa Tahir’s “All My Rage” follows a working class Pakistani American family from Lahore to California; and Sonora Reyes’ “The Lesbian’s Guide to Catholic School” introduces readers to Yamilet, a sixteen-year-old Mexican American girl, during her first year as a transfer student at a wealthy, predominantly white Catholic school.

Two contenders on this year’s long list are graphic novels or memoirs. In Johnnie Christmas’s self-illustrated “Swim Team,” a high school student confronts her fear of swimming and the sport’s unique history. Tommie Smith’s graphic memoir, “Victory. Stand Up!”, co-written with Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, details the athlete’s career, culminating in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, in which Smith, a gold medal winner in the 200-meter race, and John Carlos, the bronze medal winner, raised his fists to protest racial injustice.

The ten titles on this list were chosen from two hundred and ninety-six editor submissions. Two nominees, Traci Chee and Anna-Marie McLemore, have previously been honored by the National Book Awards. The full list is below.

Kelly BarnhillThe ogress and the orphans
Algonquin Young Readers / Workman Publishing

isaac blumThe Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
Philomel Books/Penguin Random House

traci cheeA thousand steps into the night
Clarion Books / HarperCollins Publishers

johnny christmasswimming team
Harper’s Alley / HarperCollins Publishers

Anna Maria McLemoreSelf Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix
Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Publishers

sonorous kingsThe lesbian guide to catholic school
Balzer and Bray / HarperCollins Publishers

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawood Anyabwilevictory Stand!: Raising my fist for justice
Norton Young Readers / W. W. Norton & Company

Sabah Tahirall my rage
Razorbill/Penguin Random House

winston sherryLotus Bloom and the Afro revolution
Bloomsbury Children’s Books / Bloomsbury Publishing

Lisa YeeMaizy Chen’s Last Chance
Random House Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

The judges for the category this year are Becky Albertalli, whose novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” was long-listed for the National Book Awards in 2015; Joseph Bruchac, author of more than one hundred and seventy books, including “Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War II”; Meghan Dietsche Goel, children’s book buyer for BookPeople, in Austin, Texas; Jewell Parker Rhodes, the author of “Black brother, black brother”; and Lilliam Rivera, the author of “We light up the sky.” ♦

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