From the press release: "Raised by his eccentric ex-suffragette godmother to be a free-thinker, young Noel is thrown into chaos when the London Blitz forces him into the home of a scam artist loyal only to her layabout son. Thrust together, the two oddballs are forced to find a way through the wartime landscape."
The short list is as follows:
Jam on the Vine, LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Grove Press.
The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah. St. Martin’s Press.
Paradise Sky, Joe R. Lansdale. Mulholland Books.
The Truth According to Us, Annie Barrows. The Dial Press.
Girl Waits with Gun, Amy Stewart. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
I didn't see any historical novels among the winners in the other seven categories (although some appeared in the shortlists, like Kate Alcott's A Touch of Stardust, set in 1930s Hollywood, in the Women's Fiction category). For more, see the ALA press release.
Also announced at ALA:
The Sophie Brody Medal for Achievement in Jewish Literature went to: The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard (the Warsaw Ghetto, through a child's eyes)
The Book of Aron was also named to the 2016 Notable Books List.
From the press release: "Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse is an exquisite gem. Nell Stillman, the protagonist, is an Everywoman. She lived almost her entire adult life in an apartment above a meat market in the small town of Harvester, Minnesota ... The time of Nell's adult life, c. 1900-1961, saw many historical changes of significant character, for example, numerous improvements in appliances and other implements of women's work, W.W.I, women's suffrage, electrification, prohibition, W.W.II, and so on. The book does not neglect these historical events but presents then from the satisfying perspective of what they meant to this little town, and what they meant to Nell Stillman. Highly recommend."
Receiving an Honorary Mention for 2015 is Meg Waite Clayton's The Race for Paris, about American female war correspondents on the front lines overseas during WWII.
Finally, the winner of the 2016 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, which covers titles for children and young adults set in the Americas, is Laura Amy Schlitz's The Hired Girl, about a 14-year-old Catholic girl sent to work for a Jewish family in Baltimore in 1911. More at the Horn Book site.