Kevin Powers’ THE YELLOW BIRDS (9780316219365/Little, Brown and Company) and Domingo Martinez’s THE BOY KINGS OF TEXAS (9780762779192/Globe Pequot Press) are 2012 National Book Award Finalists. THE YELLOW BIRDS has been nominated as one of the five finalists for fiction and THE BOY KINGS OF TEXAS has been nominated as one of the five finalists for non-fiction.  The National Book Awards ceremony is November 14, 2012. For a full list of the National Book Award finalists, click here - http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2012.html#.UHcfS65418F. Congratulations to both nominees!

THE YELLOW BIRDS By KEVIN POWERS 9780316219365 $27.99 Little, Brown and Company

About the Book

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year-old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.

THE BOY KINGS OF TEXAS by Domingo Martinez 9780762779192 $18.95 Globe Pequot Press

About the Book

Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving, in a Texas border town in the 1980s. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author’s boyhood spent in his sister’s hand-me-down clothes, The Boy Kings of Texas delves into the enduring and complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed but fiercely protective older brother, Daniel, and features a cast of memorable characters. Charming, painful and enlightening, this book examines the traumas and pleasures of growing up in South Texas and the often terrible consequences when two very different cultures collide on the banks of a dying river.