If you shop through our links, Insider can earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Each year, the National Book Foundation appoints 25 expert juries to read hundreds of hopeful submissions in the fields of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translated works, and youth literature to determine the best books of the year.
In mid-September, they publish the top 10 books in each category on a longlist, before limiting themselves to a shortlist in October and a winner in November. The prize pays $ 10,000 to the winners and $ 1,000 to the finalists – plus an expected increase in book sales for each.
This year the Young People’s Longlist books deal with essential topics such as identity, community and sexuality. Some take a magnifying glass into history; “Unspeakable” records the racist violence of the Tulsa Race massacre, “Revolution in Our Time” contextualizes the Black Panther Party and the repression of the US government, and “From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry” addresses the murder of Vincent Chin and the Asian-American civil rights movement.
Others reinvent familiar stories: “A Snake Falls to Earth” integrates oral traditions from the Lipan Apache, while “The Legend of Auntie Po” rewrites the legend of Paul Bunyan, which focuses on an older Chinese matriarch, Aunt Po.
The 10 books on the longlist of the National Book Award 2021 for youth literature: