Los Angeles Times Book Prize Shortlists Announced!

BookendsLynn: It has been my great pleasure to serve again this year on the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Youth Jury. This year the jury was made up of Jonathan Hunt, Walter Mayes, and myself. It was so much fun to argue books with these two astute readers again. We all served together on the Michael L. Printz Award committee in 2007, and they are just as dedicated and thoughtful as they were then. It was a great year for young adult books and we had so many outstanding books to chose from. After a hard struggle, we arrived at our shortlist and are very proud to to announce and congratulate our shortlist winners.

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleischman

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnston

Watch for the winners, who will be announced at the outstanding Los Angeles Times Book Festival on April 18, 2015.

Cindy: Ooooooh, I’ve been waiting for this announcement, and what a FINE shortlist this is. I’ve not read The Story of Owen yet, but am eager to do so and I love the others on the list. I am particularly happy to see Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov in the mix, a book that my 2015 Sibert Award Committee selected as one of our Honor Books. I can’t wait for April 18th to hear which book will be the winner.

And, on a sad note, I want to acknowledge this week’s passing of Mal Peet. When I served on the L.A. Times Book Prize Youth Jury for 2011 we selected Life: An Exploded Diagram as one of our shortlist titles. Mal traveled to L.A. for the festival and ceremony and my admiration for this extraordinary writer expanded upon meeting him. What an intelligent, witty, mischievous, delightful man. He will be missed.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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