Rita Williams-Garcia’s “Clayton Byrd Goes Underground” was among five books named to the shortlist Wednesday for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
“Clayton Byrd” is about a boy who loves hanging out with his grandfather and other blues musicians. After his grandfather’s death, Clayton runs away in hopes of joining the band. Williams-Garcia has written 12 children’s books, including National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor book “One Crazy Summer.” “Clayton Byrd” was the only middle-grade novel to make the shortlist.
Four young-adult works are also contenders for the National Book Foundation’s annual award. They are “American Street” by Ibi Zoboi, “Far From the Tree” by Robin Benway, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” by Erika L. Sánchez and “What Girls Are Made of” by Elana K. Arnold.
The foundation will announce a winner at November’s National Book Awards, which will also honor adult fiction, nonfiction and poetry books.