Coronado author Tom McNeal's novel Far Far Away has been long-listed for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature. The story is narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm, whose voice can only be heard by one boy in a modern fairy tale that the Bulletin for Children's Books called "enchanting, romantic, and tinged with terror."
The National Book Awards were established in 1950, and recipients include William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, Wallace Stevens, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Marianne Moore, and W.H. Auden. The first National Book Award for a children's book was given in 1969, and the category was expanded to include titles for teens in 1996. Previous winners include Maurice Sendak, Madeleine L'Engle, William Steig, and Ursula LeGuin. This is the first year the National Book Foundation has released a long list of ten books, and the five finalists who will go to New York City for the National Book Awards ceremony will be announced on October 16.
In an interview with Publisher's Weekly, Tom said that he specifically wrote this novel, which is his fifth young adult title and his eighth book, as his last chance to speak through a fictional narrator to his sons, Sam and Hank, while they're teenagers. "I wanted to illustrate a more expansive and generous view of the world," he said, "where the world’s good intentions can prevail."
Far Far Away is published by Knopf, a division of Random House, and is available at the Coronado Public Library and Bay Books.
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