When Stars Are Scattered

Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson's graphic novel "When Stars Are Scattered" was released last month by Penguin Random House.

A book co-written by a Lancaster author is a finalist for a National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category. 

“When Stars Are Scattered,” the debut book by Lancaster County-based Omar Mohammed is among five finalists in the category. Mohammed co-wrote the book with Newberry Honor-winning author Victoria Jamieson.

The graphic novel, released with Penguin Random House in April, details Mohamed’s experience growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya. Mohamed and his brother spent 15 years in the camp without knowing if their mother was still alive. 

Reached by phone Wednesday morning, Mohamed said he was hopeful the honor would help the book reach more readers.

“I’m excited and very happy with the news, because the books will reach more of an audience,” Mohamed said in a text message. “I know a lot of people are going to read and learn the real story about who these refugees are.”

The National Book Awards selected 25 total finalists among five categories. The 25 National Book Award nominations were selected out of almost 1,700 submissions. Finalists receive $1,000 and the winner receives $10,000. The winner will be announced during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 18.

Visit nationalbook.org to see a complete list of the finalists.