The National Book Award finalists were announced last week and cover fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult literature written by an American author. In the original announcement, Lauren Myracle's Shine was mistakenly announced as a finalist for the young adult literature category instead of Chime by Franny Billingsley. The National Book Awards admitted to the mistake right away and made an announcement that Shine would remain on the list due to it's literary strength. But in a new shocking twist this week, The National Book Awards has asked Myracle to withdraw from the shortlist.
Amid all this mess, Shine looks really interesting and I hope it gets the boost from all the publicity anyway. Set in a small apathetic Southern town rife with deep set prejudices, poverty, and betrayals a young gay teen, Patrick, is viciously beaten. Patrick's friend Cat must find the strength to confront her community in the name of justice and find out who is responsible.
While she may be seething inside, Myracle made a classy move after withdrawing her book by asking the National Book Awards to donate $5000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.