The National Book Award finalists have been announced, and some of my favorite books of 2008 made the list!

Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains (Simon & Schuster)
Kathi Appelt, The Underneath (Atheneum)
Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic)
E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion)
Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now (Alfred A. Knopf)

I was lucky enough to read an advance reader copy of CHAINS last spring, and I already have 30 copies on order for my 7th grade classroom.  You can read my full review here; it’s an incredible, incredible book. (Way to go, halseanderson !)

I read THE UNDERNEATH during our family trip to Washington this summer and stayed up way too late one night to finish.  It’s a powerful, beautifully written American fantasy.  THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS was one of my summer-on-the-back-deck books. I laughed out loud and loved every minute of that one, too.  I’m off to the library now to pick up the two titles I haven’t read yet.

Congratulations to all of the finalists.  Let the reading begin!

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