National Book Award Honors Wrong Book

Last Wednesday, Lauren Myracle experienced a high mark in her career as a writer. Shine, her young-adult novel about a gay teenager’s experience with a hate crime, was named as a finalist for the National Book Award. Her excitement was short-lived, however, after the National Book Foundation announced they had made the simplest of errors. The New York Times reports that the book the foundation had intended to place on the shortlist was Chime, a young-adult novel by Franny Billingsley about a teenaged witch, and not Myracle’s similar-sounding Shine.

The Times says Shine was left on the shortlist after the National Book Foundation acknowledged the mistake, but on Friday they abruptly asked Myracle to remove her title from the running in order to, as they told her, “preserve the integrity of the award and the judges’ work.” She complied, and now Shine won’t get that spiffy “National Book Award Finalist” sticker on its cover.

It’s not all bad for Myracle: On her behest, the National Book Foundation has agreed to make a $5,000 donation to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Also, Shine is currently ranked #693 on’s bestseller list, a full 7,114 places ahead of Chime.

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