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National Book Award young adult nominees are back to five

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(Read caption) "I was asked to withdraw by the National Book Foundation to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges’ work, and I have agreed to do so," author Lauren Myracle said in a statement.

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There’s been even more confusion over the National Book Awards Young People’s Literature category – and now the finalists are back to five again after author Lauren Myracle was asked to withdraw.

It all began Oct. 12 when National Book Foundation announced its choices for the shortlist for the Young People’s Literature award in a live radio broadcast in front of an audience in Oregon. Judges read the list of nominees to the NBF staff over the phone. Customarily, five novels make the category, so the book world was surprised when the book “Chime” by Franny Billingsley was announced as the sixth contender.

The foundation later said that there had been a mistake, and that was why “Chime” had been added on.

“There was a miscommunication,” National Book Foundation executive director Harold Augenbraum said about the extra nominee. It’s been suggested that the fact that “Chime” and “Shine,” the title of Myracle’s novel, sound similar accounted for the mistake.

Augenbraum said that staff had realized they made a mistake and, rather than take one book off the list, had decided to simply include “Chime” as well.

“We could have taken one of the books away to keep it five, but we decided that it was better to add a sixth one as an exception, because they're all good books,” he said soon after the initial announcement.

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