Kirkus announces its finalist lineup, and book prize season is looking good

The Kirkus Prize finalists were announced Tuesday, with six titles each in three categories — fiction, nonfiction and young readers literature. Because that final category is broken into three divisions (picture books, middle grade and young adult), its finalists are closer to winning — there are only two contenders in each reading age bracket.

For those who have not been keeping track, in the last two weeks, we have learned of the long lists for the National Book Award and the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize in fiction.

Fall is a heady time for books. The Nobel Prize in literature is generally announced in the second week of October. The Man Booker Prize, worth about $66,000, will be awarded to a fiction writer on Oct. 17. The Kirkus Prizes, each worth $50,000, will be awarded Nov. 2 in Texas in conjunction with the Texas Book Festival. The National Book Awards gala is held in New York on Nov. 15.

For the Kirkus Prizes, the books, which are selected by committees, are drawn from Kirkus’ pre-publication reviews; only books that are awarded a star rating are eligible.

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