Think of it as "Shane" set in a modern-day high school, with motorcycles instead of horses.

Each day leading up to the April 16 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature 2011 Young People’s Literature finalist:

Blank Confession
Pete Hautman
Simon & Schuster
Category Sponsor: Sit Investment Associates


An excerpt from with interview Pete Hautman:

“When I’m writing YA [young adult] books, I’m interested in vicariously experiencing the emotions and drama the world has to offer. As a teenager, I wanted ambiguous endings, books that perplexed and made me think.

“I think of YA as coming-of-age stories about kids taking on adult responsibilities for the first time, in terms of friendship, sex, violence, any number of things. It’s about discovering your personal power, and how you can affect the world.”

Shayne Blank is the new kid in town. The other kids don’t understand him, he’s not afraid of anything and his background doesn’t add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There’s more to Shayne—and his story—than meets the eye.


Pete Hautman is the author of Godless, which won the National Book Award, and many other critically acclaimed books for teens and adults. He has won three Minnesota Book Awards.


“Masterfully written with simple prose, solid dialogue and memorable characters, the tale will grip readers from the start and keep them reading in one big gulp, in the hope of seeing behind Shayne’s mask. A sure hit with teen readers.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Hautman’s skillful pacing, funny dialogue, and fully realized characters make this a taut mystery that’s nearly impossible to put down.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Blank Confession’s deft and timely exploration of bullying will find an eager audience among teens searching for gripping, realistic fiction.” – School Library Journal

“Engaging characters, well drawn and appealing.  Wonderful humor.  Tension builds to conflict. Satisfying resolution.” – MN Book Awards preliminary judge


Blank Confession book trailer in three parts. Blank Confession is about a teen who walks into a police station an says he’s killed someone. Who did he kill? How? Why?


Award winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.

Have you read Blank Confession? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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