The Minnesota Book Awards, presented by 3M Library Systems, announces 26th annual MNBA finalists

Minnesota Book Awards SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA, January 25, 2014The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and 3M Library Systems are pleased to announce the finalists in all eight categories for the 26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards. Chosen on Saturday, January 25, by 24 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community – the finalists in each category are:

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:

The Case of the Missing Donut by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Isabel Roxas (Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers)
How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mark Fearing (Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers)
Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (Walker Books for Young Readers/Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Peep Leap by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello (Two Lions/Amazon Children’s Publishing)

General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Evil Men by James Dawes (Harvard University Press)
Harriman vs. Hill: Wall Street’s Great Railroad War by Larry Haeg (University of Minnesota Press)
The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII by Jack El-Hai (PublicAffairs Books/Perseus Books Group)
Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition by Rae Katherine Eighmey (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

Genre Fiction, sponsored by Alerus Financial:

The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart (Scribner/Simon & Schuster)
The Cold Nowhere by Brian Freeman (Quercus)
Tamarack County by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)
Wolves by Cary J. Griffith (Adventure Publications)

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by GovDelivery:

The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder and the Light from an Ancient Sky by Kent Nerburn (New World Library)
Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert (Beacon Press)
Thunder of Freedom: Black Leadership and the Transformation of 1960s Mississippi by Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner with Cheryl Reitan (University Press of Kentucky)
We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger’s Daughter by Rachael Hanel (University of Minnesota Press)

Minnesota, sponsored by MSR Architects:

A Love Affair with Birds: The Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts by Sue Leaf (University of Minnesota Press)
Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront by Penny A. Petersen (University of Minnesota Press)
Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison by W. Jackson Rushing III and Kristin Makholm (University of Oklahoma Press)
Survival Schools: The American Indian Movement and Community Education in the Twin Cities by Julie L. Davis (University of Minnesota Press)

Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Education Minnesota:

Let the Dark Flower Blossom by Norah Labiner (Coffee House Press)
Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman (Soho Press)
The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories by Ethan Rutherford (Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers)
Vacationland by Sarah Stonich (University of Minnesota Press)

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:

Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen (Louisiana State University Press)
The First Flag by Sarah Fox (Coffee House Press)
It Becomes You by Dobby Gibson (Graywolf Press)
Slip by Cullen Bailey Burns (New Issues Poetry & Prose)

Young People’s Literature, sponsored by Sit Investment Associates:

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi with graphics by Craig Phillips (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books)
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins Publishers)
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian (Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing Group)
Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering (Candlewick Press)

Award winners will be announced at the 26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 5, at the historic Union Depot, 214 Fourth Street East, Lowertown, Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by visiting or calling 651-222-3242.

Three special awards for contributions to Minnesota’s literary and artistic community will be presented on April 5, as well. Fred Hagstrom will receive the seventh annual Minnesota Book Artist Award, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group and presented with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). A distinguished professor of art at Carleton College since 1984, Hagstrom came to the book arts through a long background in printmaking. An exhibit featuring his work is on display in the Cowles Literary Commons at Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, now through March 30.

The Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by Common Good Books, honors a lifetime contribution to the literary community, and the 2014 winner will be announced in late February. The Kay Sexton Award is presented annually to an individual or organization in recognition of long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading and literary activity in Minnesota. The award is named for Kay Sexton, a book buyer for many years at Dayton’s and B. Dalton Bookstores in the Twin Cities.

Finally, an announcement of the winner of the biennial Hognander Minnesota History Award, sponsored by the Hognander Family Foundation, will be made in early March. This award recognizes and celebrates the most outstanding scholarly work by an author on a topic of Minnesota history published in the previous two years.

For additional information on the 26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards or the Gala, please visit or call 651-366-6497. The Minnesota Book Awards, presented by 3M Library Systems, is a program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Generous support for the Book Awards has been provided by the Huss Foundation; The Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation; and The McKnight Foundation. Outreach partners and supporting organizations include: The Loft Literary Center; Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA); Minnesota Center for Book Arts; Minnesota Department of Education—State Library Services; and Minnesota Educational Media Organization.

About The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library:
Currently celebrating its 69th year, The Friends is a nonprofit membership organization which supports the Saint Paul Public Library through private fundraising, advocacy, cultural programming and public awareness activities, and shares knowledge and expertise to strengthen libraries and library organizations everywhere. Since 2006, The Friends has led the Minnesota Book Awards and serves as the Minnesota Center for the Book – the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit

Bailey Veesenmeyer, Program Coordinator
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
[email protected]