29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Finalists Announced

SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA, January 28, 2017The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce finalists in all nine categories for the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, presented this year by sponsor Education Minnesota. Chosen on Saturday, January 28, by 27 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community – the finalists for each category are:

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:
Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (Chronicle Books)

This Is Not a Cat! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (Sterling Children’s Books/Sterling Publishing)

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Publishers)

Yellow Time by Lauren Stringer (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster)

General Nonfiction:

Canoes: A Natural History in North America by Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims (University of Minnesota Press)*

Designing Our Way to a Better World by Thomas Fisher (University of Minnesota Press)*

Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy (Graywolf Press)*

The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It by Shawn Otto (Milkweed Editions)*

Genre Fiction, sponsored by Macalester College: 

The Born and the Made by Robert Spande (self-published)

The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens (Seventh Street Books/Prometheus Books)

Rise of the Spring Tide by James Stitt (self-published)

Stealing the Countess by David Housewright (Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press)

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels:

I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland by Michelle Leon (Minnesota Historical Society Press) *

The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father by Kao Kalia Yang (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company)

This Is Where I Am: A Memoir by Zeke Caligiuri (University of Minnesota Press)*

The Thunder Before the Storm: The Autobiography of Clyde Bellecourt by Clyde Bellecourt, as told to Jon Lurie (Minnesota Historical Society Press)*

Middle Grade Literature, sponsored by Education Minnesota:

Little Cat’s Luck by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)*

-The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey (Algonquin Young Readers/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

-Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper (Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan)

Minnesota Nonfiction, sponsored by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota:

The Big Marsh: The Story of a Lost Landscape by Cheri Register (Minnesota Historical Society Press)*

The Ford Century in Minnesota by Brian McMahon (University of Minnesota Press)*

Richard F. Lack: Catalogue Raisonné 1943-1998 by Gary B. Christensen, biography by Stephen A. Gjertson (Afton Historical Society Press)*

Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation by Virginia M. Wright-Peterson (Minnesota Historical Society Press)*

Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Fitzgerald in Saint Paul:

The Annie Year by Stephanie Wilbur Ash (Unnamed Press)

Do Not Find Me by Kathleen Novak (The Permanent Press)

LaRose by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins Publishers)

Wintering by Peter Geye (Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House)

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:
May Day by Gretchen Marquette (Graywolf Press)*

Tula by Chris Santiago (Milkweed Editions)*

Unbearable Splendor by Sun Yung Shin (Coffee House Press)*

Yes Thorn by Amy Munson (Tupelo Press) 

Young Adult Literature, sponsored by Brainfuse:

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers (HarperTeen/HarperCollins Publishers)

LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Twenty-First Century Books/Lerner Publishing Group)*

The Memory Book by Lara Avery (Poppy/Little, Brown and Company)

Original Fake by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, art by E. Eero Johnson (G. P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House)

*Indicates a Minnesota-based publisher.

Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 8, at InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The Preface Reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Awards Ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are from $40 – $55 and are available by visiting www.thefriends.org or calling 651-222-3242. The official hashtag for social media is #mnbookawards. All are encouraged to use it when posting comments, status updates, or sharing information about any of the authors or their books.

Originally created in 1988, the Minnesota Book Awards is now a year-long program that fosters the literary arts community in our state with the ultimate goal of creating stronger communities. The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter and into spring with two rounds of judging. Also woven throughout the season are various engagement activities and events that promote the authors and connect the entire world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state. Hosting the Book Awards program led to The Friends’ designation as the Minnesota Center for the Book, which is the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

For additional information on the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, the Awards Ceremony, or the Minnesota Center for the Book, please visit www.thefriends.org or call 651-222-3242. The Minnesota Book Awards is a program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Generous support for the Book Awards has been provided by the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts; The Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation; and The McKnight Foundation. Media sponsors include Minnesota Public Radio; the Star Tribune; and Twin Cities Public Television. Outreach partners and supporting organizations include: Augsburg College; The Loft Literary Center; Minnesota Center for Book Arts; and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

About The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library:
The Friends, with a staff of 18 and an operating budget of $3 million, produces 70 events per year and provides over $1.5 million in support annually to the library, resulting in the Saint Paul Public Library being recognized as a national leader in serving its community. With a mission of stronger libraries for stronger communities, The Friends supports not only the Saint Paul system, but also libraries and library organizations across the country and internationally through its consulting services, Library Strategies. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit thefriends.org.