The Kirkus Prize

Last week, the Kirkus Prize announced the nominees for its inaugural slate of nominees in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature. The winners will receive $50,000 each and will be announced at an awards ceremony in Austin, TX on October 23, 2014.  Books that received a Kirkus star are automatically placed on the list and then winnowed down to the final nominations.

I don’t know if any of the other prizes include a cash prize, but I have to admit that $50,000 caught my attention.

There are 6 nominees in the young readers category:

Picture Books
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet (Eerdmans)
Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth (Clarion)

Middle Grade
El Deafo by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Young Adult
The Story of Owen, Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston (Carolrhoda Lab)
The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell (Scholastic)

As much as I read, I have to admit.  I’ve read exactly zero of these titles.  0.  Zilch.  Nada.  None.  Not sure what this says about me and my reading but I’m a tad red in the face.

Have any of you read any of these books?  If so, which is your favorite?