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Nigerian, Akwaeke Emezi Makes List National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Ten books, including a book by a Nigerian, have been shortlisted for 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Though the works shortlisted were targeted at young people, they tackle complex themes with topics spanning global politics, loss, race and gender identity.

The works of six of the book/author up for the award- — Cynthia Kadohata, Jason Reynolds, Kwame Alexander, Laura Ruby, Laurie Halse Anderson and Akwaeke Emezi, have been honoured by Coretta Scott King Book Awards, the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott Honor, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Eisner Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the NAACP Image Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Awards respectively.

The debut novel of the Nigerian, Akwaeke Emezi, “Pet,” follows a transgender teen living in a dystopia plagued by monsters.

More contenders feature narratives tackling issues ranging from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs to Pearl Harbor and its aftermath.

The foundation will announce finalists Oct. 8 and winners at the private National Book Awards ceremony and benefit dinner Nov. 20 in New York City.

See the full list below.

Kwame Alexander; illustrations by Kadir Nelson, “The Undefeated”
Versify / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Laurie Halse Anderson, “SHOUT”
Viking Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Akwaeke Emezi, “Pet”
Make Me a World / Penguin Random House

Cynthia Kadohata; illustrations by Julia Kuo, “A Place to Belong”
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Simon & Schuster

Jason Reynolds, “Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks”
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Simon & Schuster

Randy Ribay, “Patron Saints of Nothing”
Kokila / Penguin Random House

Laura Ruby, “Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All”
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins Publishers

Martin W. Sandler, “1919: The Year That Changed America”
Bloomsbury Children’s Books / Bloomsbury Publishing

Hal Schrieve, “Out of Salem”
Triangle Square / Seven Stories Press

Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw, “Kiss Number 8″
First Second Books / Macmillan Publishers


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About Author

Joshua Oyenigbehin is an introvert who is passionate about Storytelling, writing, and teaching. He sees his imagination as an unsearchable world, more magical than a fairyland. He has written a novel and working on another

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