NAIBAhood News: Winners Edition
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The winners of NAIBA's Books of the Year will be present to accept our accolades at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 29th, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.

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Americus wins for Carla Cohen Free Speech Award
americus

Americus, by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill (First Second 978-1596436015)  

 

Neal Barton just wants to read in peace.Unluckily for him, some local Christian activists are trying to get his favorite fantasy series banned from the Americus public library on grounds of immoral content and heresy. Something has to be done, and it looks like quiet, shy Neal is going to have to do it. With youth services librarian Charlotte Murphy at his back, Neal finds himself leading the charge to defend the mega-bestselling fantasy series that makes his life worth living.  A YALSA Great Graphic Novel, a Graphic Novel Reporter Best of the Year, and an ABC New Voices title, Americus is a funny, gripping, and relatable tale of life and local politics in middle America



civility

Fiction 

Rules of Civility, Amor Towles 
Penguin
This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society-where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York's social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.

 

 

Nonfiction
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo
Random House
forevers From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities. In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

 

 


Picture Book
I, Too, Am America, Langston Hughes
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Simon & Schuster
Caldecott Honor artist Collier (Dave the Potter) uses Hughes's i too am america well-known poem as text for a visual history of Pullman railway porters, one of the first jobs that offered African-American men steady pay, dignity, and a ladder into the middle class. Hughes's lines--"They send me to eat in the kitchen/ When company comes,/ But I laugh,/ And eat well,/ And grow strong"--fit beautifully with the story of the porters, giving the poem new meaning and impact. Collier's portraits of the porters at work alternate with bold, sweeping spreads of cotton fields, onto which a porter scatters discarded books and magazines, planting knowledge along the railway lines. The story travels from South to North and from old to new, ending in Harlem, where a contemporary African-American mother rides in a subway car, her son gazing out the window. In the next spread, he's seen in startling closeup, parting and peering between the stripes of an all-but-invisible American flag. "I, too, am America," he says. It's a powerful metaphor for looking at African-American history--and the issue of race in America--from the inside out.  

 

Middle Readers
Wonder, R. J. Palacio
Knopf
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has wonder prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid-but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. WONDER, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel "a meditation on kindness" -indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.  

 

Young Adult
Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore
Illustrations by Ian Schoenherr
Dial/Penguin bitterblue
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.