The 2022 National Book Awards Longlist: Young People’s Literature


This week, The New Yorker will be announcing the longlists for the 2022 National Book Awards. Check back this afternoon for the list for Translated Literature.

The titles on the longlist for this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature address gender and sexuality, racism and xenophobia, and self-esteem and self-acceptance. Three novels are coming-of-age stories that shed light on complex family and community structures: Isaac Blum’s “The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen” weaves anti-Semitism and communal conflict into a tale of forbidden love; Sabaa Tahir’s “All My Rage” follows a working-class Pakistani American family from Lahore to California; and Sonora Reyes’s “The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School” introduces readers to sixteen-year-old Yamilet, a queer Mexican American girl, during her first year as a transfer student at a predominantly white and wealthy Catholic school.

Two contenders on this year’s longlist are graphic novels or memoirs. In Johnnie Christmas’s self-illustrated “Swim Team,” a middle-school student confronts her fear of swimming and the sport’s exclusionary history. Tommie Smith’s graphic memoir, “Victory. Stand!,” co-written with Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, details the athlete’s career, culminating in the Mexico City Olympics of 1968, at which Smith, the winner of the gold medal in the two-hundred-metre sprint, and John Carlos, the winner of the bronze medal, raised their fists to protest racial injustice.

The ten titles on this list were chosen from two hundred and ninety-six submissions by publishers. Two nominees, Traci Chee and Anna-Marie McLemore, have previously been honored by the National Book Awards. The full list is below.

Kelly Barnhill, “The Ogress and the Orphans
Algonquin Young Readers / Workman Publishing

Isaac Blum, “The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
Philomel Books / Penguin Random House

Traci Chee, “A Thousand Steps Into Night
Clarion Books / HarperCollins Publishers

Johnnie Christmas, “Swim Team
HarperAlley / HarperCollins Publishers

Anna-Marie McLemore, “Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix
Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Publishers

Sonora Reyes, “The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School
Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins Publishers

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile, “Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice
Norton Young Readers / W. W. Norton & Company

Sabaa Tahir, “All My Rage
Razorbill / Penguin Random House

Sherri Winston, “Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution
Bloomsbury Children’s Books / Bloomsbury Publishing

Lisa Yee, “Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Random House Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

The judges for the category this year are Becky Albertalli, whose novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” was long-listed for the National Book Award in 2015; Joseph Bruchac, the author of more than a hundred and seventy books, including “Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two”; Meghan Dietsche Goel, the children’s-book buyer for BookPeople, in Austin, Texas; Jewell Parker Rhodes, the author of “Black Brother, Black Brother”; and Lilliam Rivera, the author of “We Light Up the Sky.” ♦


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