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2015 National Book Awards: Young people's literature

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The Young People's Literature longlist
The long list for the National Book Awards Young People's Literature prize was unveiled Sept. 14.
Courtesy of National Book Foundation

The National Book Foundation unveiled the longlist for the Young People's Literature prize this morning.

The contenders range from a debut graphic novelist to seasoned veterans of the young adult genre. 

The finalists will be announced Oct. 14, and the winner will be announced Nov. 18. How many can you read before then?

National Book Awards longlist: Young People's Literature

"Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli

This a 21st-century coming-of-age — and coming out — story. Sixteen-year-old not-so-openly-gay Simon is pushed out of his comfort zone when an email falls into the wrong hands.

"Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad" by M.T. Anderson

Young readers with a love for history will fall deep into Anderson's story of the Siege of Leningrad during World War II, one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history. Anderson reveals how Russian composer Shostakovich and the Leningrad symphony played an unlikely role in this historical moment.

"The Thing About Jellyfish" by Ali Benjamin

When Suzy's best friend drowns, she's left to sort through the grief and anguish. She decides the true cause of the accident must have been a jellyfish sting, and retreats into her research to prove the theory. Kirkus Reviews called it "a painful story smartly told."

"Walk on Earth a Stranger" by Rae Carson

Settle in for an epic saga: This is the first in a new trilogy from Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense gold sets out on a journey in the middle of the American Gold Rush.

"This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs" by Gary Paulsen

Best known for "Hatchet," Paulsen returns to the wilderness with a collection of true stories about his relationships to animals.

"Bone Gap" by Laura Ruby

Ruby brings readers along on the stories of two lives, changed forever. She follows Roza, a young girl kidnapped from a small Midwestern town, and Finn, the only witness to the crime. 

"X: A Novel" by Ilyasah Shabazz, with Kekla Magoon

Co-written with Malcolm X's daughter, this novel tells the story the civil rights leader from his childhood to age 20, when he started on the path that would make him a household name.

"Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War" by Steve Sheinkin

Sheinkin writes nonfiction for children, and never shies away from a complicated story. In "Most Dangerous," he tackles the story of Ellsberg, and how he transformed from a government analyst to the "most dangerous man in America" during the Vietnam War.

"Challenger Deep" by Neal Shusterman

Caden Bosch lives in two worlds: In one, he's a regular high school student, though he's becoming more paranoid every day. In the other, he's on board a ship bound for Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the oceans. Shusterman's novel tackles the issue of teen mental illness with honesty and heart.

"Nimona" by Noelle Stevenson

Stevenson melds medieval lore with modern technology in her debut graphic novel. Nimona is a shape-shifting, sidekick to a supervillain — but she's also a hero in her own right.