Kathi Appelt, Faculty, MFA in WCYA, Finalist for National Book Award

The National Book Foundation announced today the 2013 Young People’s Literature finalists for the National Book Award. Kathi Appelt, faculty member in the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults, is among the five finalists for her novel The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp.

Appelt, a National Book Award Finalist in Young People’s Literature in 2008 for The Underneath (also a Newbery Honor Book in 2009), had been on the 2013 Longlist that was presented for the first time in the history of the National Book Awards to include all four categories of its Awards. 

The National Book Award is one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes. Previous winners include poets and writers now firmly established in the canon of American literature: William Carlos Williams, William Faulkner, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich. In addition to Appelt, the finalists in the Young People's Literature category include one other prior finalist, Gene Luen Yang, and three first-time finalists: Cynthia Kadohata, Tom McNeal, and Meg Rosoff. Read about Kathi Appelt's nomination here.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp centers on the complex and dramatic world of a swamp inhabited by a gigantic, fur-covered cousin to the yeti and bigfoot named Sugar Man, asleep for the past sixty years but now awakened to face impending danger. 

Appelt, who lives in Texas, teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults. She has won numerous state and national awards for books. Learn more here.