Last week when the National Book Awards were announced there was a mistake in the books announced for the Young Readers categories. Now the NBA seeks to rectify that mistake by asking for an author to withdraw.
The original list for the National Book Award included Shine by Lauren Myracle and four other books. The list was then adjusted to include a sixth book, Chime by Franny Billingsley. Immediately the NBA issued a statement that a mistake had been made and they wanted to include all of the books. Now however; it seems that the NBA has changed their minds. In a statement released today through Amulet, Myracle’s publishing house, she says, “I was asked to withdraw by the National Book Foundation to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges’ work” on Friday and agreed to do so. To make amends for the mistake the NBA is donating $5000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
“From the very beginning we acknowledged that a mistake was made. We regret the hurt that it caused Lauren. It’s none of her doing. On behalf of the Foundation, I apologize. [Myracle's] work is very good. what more can I say?” As to how things changed from last Wednesday, when the category expanded to include six titles, to Friday, when the Foundation asked Myracle to withdraw, Augenbraum reiterated that it was a matter of respecting the integrity of the awards process, which “goes to the idea that the judges’ choices need to be respected.”
What do you think about the NBA’s decision to ask Myracle to withdraw? Quite frankly if they wanted to keep they integrity of the award they should have been more accurate in their relaying of the information in the first place. I think by asking Myracle to withdraw only weakens the integrity of the award not strengthen it. Lauren Myracle is a class act and amazing writer.