Shine on and off the NBF list–but Lauren Myracle acts with classiness

Did you catch the rumphus that happened with the National Book Awards? First, Lauren Myracle’s Shine (about hate crime against a gay teen) was announced to be on the teen list, and then it was announced that they’d made mistake and it was actually Franny Billingsly’s Chime (the two titles sound a bit alike, but the authors’ names don’t!).

Then NBF announced that they’d leave Lauren’s Shine on the finalist list because it’s an excellent work of literature. And then they went back and forth about whether they were keeping it or not. Which must have been so hard on Lauren! I would have found it painful to have it publicly debated whether my book was good enough or not to keep on the list!

And THEN the head of the National Book Foundation called Lauren to ask her to withdraw her book to “preserve the integrity of the award”! How incredibly insensitive of them–and downright jerk-y when it’s their own fault–and how painful for Lauren! Yet Lauren handled it with utter grace. She suggested that the NBF donate to the Matthew Sheppard Foundation, which encourages diversity and works to stop anti-gay hate crimes–which ties in completely with her book Shine. She didn’t pitch a fit or freak out after all that humiliation and cruddy treatment of her and her book–she just made a suggestion that will help so many queer youth and is completely appropriate to her book.

Now that takes class!

For a stronger-worded, more detailed, and fabulous account of this check out Libba Bray’s post.

You can also check out PW on this.

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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2 Responses to Shine on and off the NBF list–but Lauren Myracle acts with classiness

  1. Morten says:

    Some people just have that extra format to their personality. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” kind of thing. I admire that quality.
    Great article.

  2. Yes, Morten–some people know how to make something good out of something that doesn’t feel good at all. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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