A Salute to the Shut-out (Fiction)


With the Best Fiction for Young Adults list published, I thought I’d give a final salute to some great titles published this year that ended up  shut-out of all the awards.  Here are ten books that didn’t get recognized by any of the major YALSA awards: Printz, BFYA, Graphic Novels, Quick Picks, Odyssey. 

Nominated for BFYA:

  • Liar and Spy – Rebecca Stead
  • Children and the Wolves – Adam Rapp
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Anabel Pitcher
  • Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone – Kat Rosenfield

Non nominated:

  • All You Never Wanted – Adele Griffin
  • Chopsticks – Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
  • Dying to Know You – Aidan Chambers
  • Opposite of Hallelujah – Anna Jarzab
  • Year of the Beasts – Cecil Castellucci
  • Sisters of Glass – Stephanie Hemphill

I don’t love all of these books, but I respect them all, and several were among my favorite 20 or 30 YA novels of the year–and I think even the ones I feel the most ambivalent about are far superior to many titles that were recognized this award season. 

Obviously, there’s not much the BFYA committee could have done about the six titles that weren’t even nominated, and I have a feeling they may have decided Liar and Spy was not a YA title.  Nevertheless, with these books failing to make any major lists, it seems likely that many of them will fall out of the collective memory pretty quickly, so I thought they deserved a last shout out. 

These are all books I personally read and thought deserving of recognition.  If I made any mistakes, or if anyone wants to chime in with books I didn’t get to this year, feel free.

– Mark



Filed under Awards, Books

15 responses to “A Salute to the Shut-out (Fiction)

  1. I thought SONG OF ACHILLES should have won an Alex Award. (But thankfully it won’t fall out of collective memory given the Orange Prize.)

    • Mark Flowers

      Agreed completely, but there are far too many adult titles (and adult awards) to keep track of, so I keep this list to YA. I do have a list of several adult favorites that flew under the radar if anyone really begs for it.

  2. Just for the record, I field nominated Chopsticks when it wasn’t appearing on the nominations list. I learned my lesson the hard way last year with Imaginary Girls. I wonder if it was a format issue?


  3. The Griffin AND Jarzab titles are eligible for next year’s BFYA. My first thing to do will be field nominating both of them as soon as I can.

  4. Seeing 2 of my favorite books this year make both the lists I nominated them for gave me such satisfaction, there’s no way I can’t continue to tell people about this. I don’t want books like some of the ones listed above to be forgotten and this is just one way to do it.

    • Mark Flowers

      which two books?

      • For some reason, I can’t comment on your comment above — you can nominate previously nominated titles! It’s a new committee (there is a little carryover, but it’s still a “fresh” committee).

        The two books I nominated were both for bfya/quick picks: something like normal and this is not a test. A couple other books I nominated never made the nomination list, but both were October releases, so I plan on giving them fresh nominations for this year’s consideration.

  5. Sarah Flowers

    Nominated and not selected: SMALL DAMAGES, by Beth Kephart and NECROMANCING THE STONE, by Lish McBride. Not nominated: PANDEMONIUM, by Lauren Oliver.

    I get that Necromancing and Pandemonium are sequels, but that’s usually not a problem with BFYA. I actually thought PANDEMONIUM was better than DELIRIUM, but I realize I may be alone in that thinking.

    I suppose the graphic portions may have affected YEAR OF THE BEASTS’ chance, too? I’m actually pretty shocked about CHOPSTICKS. I would have thought it would be a natural BFYA choice, and a good Quick Picks choice, too, but it appears not even to have been nominated for QP. Huh.

  6. I, too, was shocked about CHOPSTICKS… if not for BFYA than GN! As for MY SISTER and AMELIA ANNE I wasn’t impressed with them so didn’t care they weren’t honored/mentioned.

  7. On the bright side, LIAR & SPY and MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE both made the ALA Notable Children’s Books list that came out today, so at least they got some recognition!

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