The deadline to submit books for consideration for the 2014 Oregon Book Awards is Friday, August 30, 2013. Books with an original publication date between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013 are eligible. The
deadline for submission to the 2014 Pacific Northwest College of Art
Graphic Literature Award is also August 30, 2013. Graphic literature
with an original publication date between August 1, 2011 and July 31,
2013 is eligible. Please note there are separate guidelines for the Graphic Literature award.
Margarita Engle is a Cuban American poet, novelist, and journalist whose work has been
published in many countries. She is the author of young adult nonfiction books
and novels in verse including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor Book, The
Poet Slave of Cuba, Hurricane Dancers, The Firefly Letters,
and Tropical Secrets.
Here are her comments on the 2013 Oregon Book Awards finalists for the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature:
This novella can be described
as a parable, a folktale, or a philosophy.
Original and poetic, certain passages resemble anthropological studies
of human rituals. War is described as a
disease, a different country, a kind of animal, a language, or an “engineering
problem” that makes war smell like oil.
Chess games are proposed as an alternative to greed-driven
violence. Questions are asked, leaving
room for answers to spring from the reader’s imagination. The deceptively simple plot follows a quest
by a soldier who is searching for the foot he lost when he stepped on a
mine. Along the way, he encounters
cruelty and kindness, and learns the true value of peace.
This is historical fiction at its best. Realistic, yet interwoven with a thread of
fantasy, this inspiring story is set against the backdrop of the women’s
suffrage movement in Portland, Oregon, in 1912. Miriam is the daughter of
Jewish immigrants. She dreads being
married off to a man of her parents’ choice.
Curious, intelligent, and stubborn, she longs to work in her father’s
print shop. When a mysterious visitor
appears, and takes her time traveling back to a Biblical era, she learns that
she can be brave. She also learns to
fight for women’s rights. Returning to
her own time, she becomes a suffragist, even though it means risking her
relationship with her family. Miriam’s journey of discovery offers fascinating
glimpses into two different historical time periods, two communities, and two
aspects of the ongoing worldwide struggle for equality. Blue Thread is an intriguing story, with
expertly depicted characters.
Graceful writing lends depth
to this intriguing summer romance. The
narrative alternates between two voices, the quirky one of bold Dylan, who
insists on doing at least one random thing each day, and the cynical, wounded
voice of Gray, a loner who is struggling to overcome a tragic loss. A community college setting, paired with love
scenes and road trips, portrays the yearning for adult independence.