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600 Students to Interview National Book Award Finalists at Teen Press Conference as Part of National Book Awards Week

Teen Press will be live- streamed via nationalbook.org

New York, NY (November 11, 2016) – The National Book Foundation’s annual National Book Awards Teen Press Conference will take place this year at the 92nd Street Y on November 15, beginning at 10:30 am EST. 600 New York City middle-and high-school students will play the role of reporters as they direct questions to the Finalists for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature on the day before the 67th National Book Award Ceremony.

To prepare for the press conference, students are provided with a free copy of one of the honored books three weeks in advance. The students are asked to read and draft questions for the Finalists about the text, the writing life, and/or what it means to be a National Book Award Finalist. The goals of the upcoming event are to introduce literary culture to the students and for them to view writers as role models.

The 2016 Finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature are:

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

March: Book Three by U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (artist)

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This year’s event will be hosted by Brendan Kiely, a young adult author. Kiely’s debut novel, the Gospel of Winter, has been published in ten languages and selected as one of the American Library Association’s Top Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015. Lisa Lucas, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, will appear as a special guest.


November 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., followed by a book signing

1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128

The event has always been emceed by a literary figure, such as Jacqueline Woodson, a three-time Finalist and a 2014 National Book Award Winner, David Levithan, an editor at Scholastic and author of Two Boys Kissing, which was named to the 2013 National Book Award Longlist, and Jon Scieszka, the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. LeVar Burton appeared with Ms. Woodson as a special guest.

Brendan Kiely is the author of the New York Times bestselling All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been translated in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, and was selected as one of the American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.

The Teen Press Conference is part of National Book Awards Week. The week begins on November 14 with a series of events in New York City leading up to the announcement of the four National Book Award Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. After the Awards, the celebration continues in Miami at the Miami Book Fair International. For more information visit about National Book Awards Week visit nationalbook.org.

For press interested in attending, please contact Sherrie Young at syoung@nationalbook.org.

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The National Book Foundation’s mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. In addition to the National Book Awards, for which it is best known, the Foundation’s programs include 5 Under 35, a celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by former National Book Award Finalists and Winners; the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, an opportunity for New York City students to interview the current National Book Award Finalists in Young People’s Literature; the Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading; NBA on Campus, a partnership that brings current National Book Award authors to colleges across the country; and BookUp, an after-school reading program for middle-school students.

The 67th National Book Awards will be announced on November 16, 2016.

CONTACT:  Sherrie Young
National Book Foundation
(212) 685-0261

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