The National Book Award is an award given by authors to authors, to distinguish the most excellent work of American fiction in four catagories. The winner of the Young People’s Literature Award goes to Cynthia Kadohata for her book, The Thing About Luck.
This thoughtful story chronicles the coming of age a Japanese-American girl who lives and works in the rural Midwest. While her parents are overseas dealing with a crisis, Summer and her little brother must work and live with her grandparents, who run combines for hire. Summer navigates the complex dynamic between generations to find a balance between her childhood and her grown-up responsibilities. Life changes from her first interest in a boy to her brush with malaria give Summer new respect for the fragile beauty of life, and the importance of making her own luck.
At 288 pages, the book is not overly long, but the leisurely pace will be best enjoyed by readers who delight in quiet characters and the rhythms of farm life. Cynthia Kadohata also won the Newbery Award for her 2006 novel, Kira-Kira.