Kate DiCamillo.

Kate DiCamillo.

This year, the folks with the National Book Awards are doing things a little differently. Rather than just announcing the finalists, this year they're releasing long lists this month, short lists next month, and the winners in November.

They're also drawing out the excitement by announcing one category per day. Today is young adult literature, and there are two Minneapolis authors on the list. Kate DiCamillo made the long list for "Flora and Ulysses," her tale of a little girl and her buddy, a squirrel with superpowers. DiCamillo is a Newbery Award winner for her second book, "The Tale of Despereaux."

Also on the list is Anne Ursu, author of "The Real Boy," the story of a young shop assistant to a magician. Ursu's most recent book, "Breadcrumbs," was widely acclaimed and was named a Junior Literary Guild selection and this year she won a McKnight Artist Fellowship.

Both writers live in Minneapolis. (Keep in mind that the winner of last year's National Book Award for young adult literature was Minneapolis author Will Alexander. We have a reputation to uphold.)

DiCamillo will be in conversation with Minnesota Public Radio's Cathy Wurzer next Tuesday night at the Fitzgerald; Ursu will launch her book at Red Balloon later this month.

Here's the full list:

Kathi Appelt: "The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp."

Kate DiCamillo: "Flora and Ulysses."

Lisa Graff: "A Tangle of Knots."

Alaya Dawn Johnson: "The Summer Prince."

Anne Ursu.

Anne Ursu.

Cynthia Kadohata: "The Thing About Luck."

David Levithan: "Two Boys Kissing."

Tom McNeal: "Far, Far Away"

Meg Rosoff: "Picture Me Gone."

Anne Ursu: "The Real Boy."

Gene Luen Yang: "Boxers & Saints."

The short list will be announced Oct. 16.

Tomorrow: the long list for poetry.

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