Daughter of Malcolm X among book award finalists

AP News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2015 11:30 AM
Daughter of Malcolm X among book award finalists

NEW YORK (AP) — A daughter of Malcolm X and prize-winning authors Gary Paulsen and M.T. Anderson are among the 10 nominees on the National Book Awards' longlist for young people's literature.

Ilyasah Shabazz collaborated with Kekla Magoon on "X: A Novel," a story about the early years of her father, who was assassinated in 1965 when Shabazz was just 2 years old. Paulsen was cited for "This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs" and Anderson for "Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad."

The eclectic list, released Monday by the National Book Foundation, includes a graphic novel originally serialized on the Internet and Anderson's nonfiction account of the composer Shostakovich during World War II. Nominees range from the 76-year-old Paulsen, who has written more than 100 books, to debut novelist Becky Albertalli's "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda."

Judges will narrow the list to five finalists on Oct. 14, with the winner to be revealed at a ceremony in Manhattan on Nov. 18. Over the next three days this week, ending Thursday, longlists for poetry, nonfiction and fiction will come out. The foundation, which presents the awards, announced last week that Don DeLillo would receive an honorary medal.

Other books making the people's literature longlist are Neal Shusterman's "Challenger Deep," Ali Benjamin's "The Thing About Jellyfish" and Laura Ruby's "Bone Gap."

Noelle Stevenson's "Nimona" is a graphic novel and adventure story that began as a webcomic while Stevenson was a student at Maryland Institute College of Art. Steve Sheinkin's "Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War" tells of the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers detailing the country's involvement in Vietnam. Rae Carson's "Walk on Earth a Stranger" is the first of a planned trilogy set in the U.S. during the 19th-century Gold Rush.