Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath (Atheneum, 311 pp., $19.99, ages 8 and up) made the shortlist for the 2009 Newbery Medal and 2008 National Book Award for young people’s literature. But the novel lost the top prizes to Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and the Judy Blundell’s What I Saw and How I Lied. Were the judges put off by a violent plot that abounds with cruelty to people and animals? A review of the novel will appear on Saturday.
© 2009 Janice Harayda