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2014 National Book Award Finalists

The National Book Awards have announced their finalists for 2014! Here are their five winning picks for young people's literature. 

Click here to read more about the other 2014 NBA winners 

Click here to check out the longlist for the NBA's choices for young adult literature 

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

When he was a boy, Luc's mother warned him about the chimpanzees whose cries fill the night. Luc is older now, his mother gone, living in a house of mistreated orphans. When Luc tries to rob a man called Prof, he isn't mad. Instead, he offers Luc a job. Together, Luc and Prof head into the jungle to study the chimpanzees. There, Luc finally finds a new family --- and must act when that family comes under attack.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors and critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks. 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions changed. This is a fascinating story of prejudice against black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II.

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Travis Coates has a good head…on someone else’s shoulders. At some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to another guy’s body, and well, here he is. He’s still 16, but everything and everyone around him changed. If the new Travis and the old Travis find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars.

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded. Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. However, things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool -- where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.

More books like the ones on this list »