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Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz Nominated For National Book Award

NEW YORK — A daughter of Malcolm X and prize-winning authors Gary Paulsen and M.T. Anderson are among the 10 nominees on the National Book Awards’ longlist for young people’s literature.

A novel by Mount Vernon’s own Ilyasah Shabazz, a daughter of assassinated civil rights leader Malcolm X, has landed on the longlist of nominees for this year’s National Book Awards.

“X: A Novel,” co-writtem by Kekla Magoon, is nominated in the category of Young People’s Literature. The book explores Shabazz’s father’s formative years, starting with is childhood in Detroit, Michigan. Paulsen was cited for “This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs” and Anderson for “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad.”

The eclectic list, released Monday by the National Book Foundation, includes a graphic novel originally serialized on the Internet and Anderson’s nonfiction account of the composer Shostakovich during World War II. Nominees range from the 76-year-old Paulsen, who has written more than 100 books, to debut novelist Becky Albertalli’s “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.”

Over the next three days this week, ending Thursday, longlists for poetry, nonfiction and fiction will come out. The foundation, which presents the awards, announced last week that Don DeLillo would receive an honorary medal.

Also nominated:

Becky Albertalli, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”

M. T. Anderson, “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad”

Ali Benjamin, “The Thing About Jellyfish”

Rae Carson, “Walk on Earth a Stranger”

Gary Paulsen, “This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs”

Laura Ruby, “Bone Gap”

Steve Sheinkin, “Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War”

Neal Shusterman, “Challenger Deep”

Noelle Stevenson, “Nimona”

Judges will narrow the list to five finalists on Oct. 14, with the winner to be revealed at a ceremony in Manhattan on Nov. 18.


About AJ Woodson (2322 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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