36 Books in 36 Days: The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Middle Grade Literature finalist:

 

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse, by Brian FarreyThe Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Category Sponsor: Education Minnesota

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a desolate bog the people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it except an ominous warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign. In this thrilling modern fairytale, Farrey has created an exciting new world where friendship is more powerful than fate and the most important thing is to question everything.

 

Brian Farrey, The Secret of Dreadwillow CarseAbout the Author:

Brian Farrey is the author of the Vengekeep Prophecies series and the Stonewall Honor Book and Minnesota Book Award-winner With or Without You. He knows more than he probably should about Doctor Who. He lives in Edina, Minnesota, with his husband and their cat, Meowzebub.

 

Rave Reviews:

“A fast-paced story about two strong young women who face their fears as they step into the dark, forbidding place . . . Farrey knows how to keep up the excitement. Aon and Jeniah are so vividly drawn it’s easy to see them in your imagination, and boys and girls will like the touches of magic. The story is so involving young readers won’t even realize they’re being given some valuable lessons.”

St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Farreyblends subtle references to racial and sexual diversity with inventive fairy tale worldbuilding and enticing clues to the carse’s mystery. The labyrinth of characters and dilemmas expands as the novel progresses, culminating in a rewarding ending that highlights the importance of embracing emotions, curiosity, and measured choices.” — Publisher’s Weekly

 

Beyond the Book:

Excerpt from an interview by School Library Journal:

Farrey: “I’d like to think that, as a society, we’ve reached a point where it’s become impossible not to acknowledge the diversity of our world and reflect that in art. In reality, I don’t know that we’re quite there yet. For me, personally, it was important to recognize diversity on as many levels as possible. I’m a firm believer that kids need to see themselves and what they know to be true in books. I hope a lot of different kids from many different backgrounds and experiences will get that from Dreadwillow.

Read the full interview here.

 

See the Winners Announced Live!

Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music.Get Tickets Now

 

36 Books in 36 Days: This is Where I Am

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education MinnesotaToday we feature 2017 Memoir & Creative Nonfiction finalist:

 

This Is Where I Am: A Memoir by Zeke Caligiuri
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Category Sponsor: Faegre Baker Daniels

Prison is where Zeke Caligiuri is. Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis, dubbed “Murderapolis” the year he turned eighteen, is where he comes from. It was the same neighborhood his father grew up in but had changed dramatically by the early 1990s. Yet in Zeke’s family, father and mother and grandmother kept things together while all around them the houses decayed and once-safe streets gave way to the crush of poverty and crime. This Is Where I Am is Zeke Caligiuri’s clear-eyed account of how he got from there to here, how a boy who had every hope went from dreaming of freedom to losing it, along with nearly everything and everyone he loved.

 

ZekeAbout the Author:

Zeke Caligiuri is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who grew up in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of South Minneapolis. His Short Story, “There Will Be Seeds for Next Year” is in the collection Prison Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and his writing was also published in From Education to Incarceration: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline and From the Inside Out: Letters to Young Men and Other Writings. His articles have been featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, and he has won awards through the PEN Prison Writing Contest, including two first prizes for “The Last Visit from the Girl in the Willow Tree” and “Bombs,” which was published in the 2016 PEN America journal Hauntings. Caligiuri is incarcerated at the Faribault Correctional Facility in Minnesota, where he works as a prison justice advocate and continues to write.

 

Rave Reviews:

“He’s brutally honest. In raw yet lyrical language, he attempts to explain how a once promising life went wrong.” Star Tribune

“This is an important story to tell, especially with the rise of the prison population. The view from inside is invaluable, and his exploration of craft through the telling of this narrative impressed the panel on the micro level (in turns of phrase, such as in describing bullets shot as tears shed) as well as the macro level (in using the photograph of a friend as a means to explore their relationship and the path each chose to follow).” Minnesota Book Awards judge

 

Beyond the Book:

Interview on KFAI’s Write on Radio: Zeke speaks with Lynette Reini-Grandell by phone from the Faribault Correctional Facility (beginning at 2:45), followed by a brief interview with editor Erik Anderson beginning at 14:45.

Caligiuri reflects on the role writing has played in his rehabilitation in this interview with Erica Rivera of City Pages: It’s been a way for me to have an ongoing dialogue with myself. It’s a self-check. I have these projects that keep me on task so I don’t get lost in the long stretches of time. That’s a really easy thing to do in these places. There’s a re-humanization process involved in it, too. A lot of what the writing does is it allows me to rebuild the human aspect of me, sort of re-establish the value of my own life.”

Read the full interview here.

See the Winners Announced Live!

Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music.Get Tickets Now

36 Books in 36 Days: The Born and the Made

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Genre Fiction finalist:

 

The Born and the Made, by Robert SpandeThe Born and the Made by Robert Spande
Self-published
Category Sponsor: Macalester College

Hand-sewn, illustrated, and crafted by the author, The Born and the Made is a novel set in The Heart-Shaped Forest, located somewhere in the American Midwest during a hazy time in the mid-‘70s. Nestled in this forest is a town shaken by the terrible murder of its one, beloved schoolteacher, Holly. Particularly enamored of the late Miss Holly is 15-year-old Johnny Cleary. Johnny, with the help of his bullheaded younger sister, Cot, set out to solve the crime and are drawn into a supernatural nightmare of world-ending proportions.

 

Bob Spande, The Born and the MadeAbout the Author

Robert Spande is a police and fire dispatcher in Minneapolis. For the last 10 years he has been working on The Born and the Made, when not attending to his lovely wife, his four kids (all teens), his two retrievers, his two chinchillas and his cat. He lives in Bloomington, MN.

Rave Reviews

“This undeniably original book centers on a mystery in a very unique small town. The end result is a gripping read. From the handmade cover to the never ending twists in the story, this book is a deserving finalist.” – Minnesota Book Awards Judge

 

Beyond the Book

Excerpt from Q&A:

Where did you learn how to make books?

I watched YouTube vids on how to make blank journals. Vis-à-vis the material, eternal “book,” my main goal has always been to evict the phenomenon of cracked spines from the universe. This I have been fairly successful in doing with The Born and the Made, through a yet-to-be-patented process which I will divulge only to you contains the mystery-enshrouded alchemy, passed from master to acolyte throughout the millennia, known as “drilling” and “sewing” and “gluing.” Please do not tell anyone. In the early days, I hacked my printer, turning it into a low-cost toner-swilling slave, endlessly churning out duplexed pages, which I would then laboriously fold and stack and glue and drill and sew and cover. These I would force on anyone in the vicinity, and if there was no one in the vicinity, I would stuff it into a Little Free Library.

Bob working 2

 

 

 

 

Bob working

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full Q&A with Robert here.

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now

36 Books in 36 Days: Thrill Me

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 General Nonfiction finalist:

 

Thrill Me Essays on Fiction, by Benjamin PercyThrill Me: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy
Published by: Graywolf Press
Category sponsor: College of Saint Benedict Literary Arts Institute and Saint John’s University

Thrill Me challenges the notion that literary and genre fiction are somehow mutually exclusive. In fifteen essays on the craft of fiction, Percy looks to disparate sources such as Jaws, Blood Meridian, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to discover how contemporary writers engage issues of plot, suspense, momentum, and the speculative, as well as character, setting, and dialogue. An urgent and entertaining missive on craft, Thrill Me brims with Percy’s distinctive blend of anecdotes, advice, and close reading, all in the service of one dictum: Thrill the reader.

 

Benjamin Percy, Thrill Me_About the Author:

Benjamin Percy is the author of three novels, most recently The Dead Lands, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga. He is also the author of Red Moon and The Wilding, as well as two books of short stories. His fiction and nonfiction have been read on National Public Radio, performed at Symphony Space, and published by Esquire, GQ, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, and Ploughshares, among others. He also writes the Green Arrow and Teen Titans series at DC Comics.

His honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. Percy’s next novel, The Dark Net, is due out in 2017 with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Rave Reviews:

“[Benjamin Percy] peppers his observations of today’s literary scene with homey, witty anecdotes, and he couches his analysis in no-nonsense wisdom. . . . Not only does he frame the ins and outs of the writing process with warm, wry reminiscences drawn from his own life, he refuses to lapse into stereotypical preciousness or pretentiousness. He talks bluntly and amiably about how stories work and why they matter, an approach that doesn’t take a fellow writer to appreciate.”NPR.org

“Deeply personal and intriguing. . . . This is a craft book about how to be a better writer, but it’s also a colorful memoir about a young boy who loved reading. . . . Would-be writers will find Percy’s passionate, pragmatic cheerleading inspiring and energizing.”Kirkus Reviews

“A compelling exhortation to writers of fiction to bring life to their work with vivid writing and word-images. Written in lively prose and liberally laced with engaging examples, author Benjamin Percy has turned what could have been an instructive but ploddingly work-a-day book into a page turner. Though aimed at writers of fiction, this book has a lot to say to anyone who writes and will reward a read by anyone who enjoys good writing.” MN Book Awards judge

 

Beyond the Book:

Percy discusses the elements that combine to create thrilling fiction on Talk of Iowa (Iowa Public Radio).

Learn about Percy’s phobias (clowns, sharks, dentists), his workspace wall hangings (antlers, skulls, dead tarantulas), and more in this Q&A by Powell’s Books.

 

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now

36 Books in 36 Days: Worm Loves Worm

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Children’s Literature finalist:

Worm Loves WormWorm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato
Published by: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Publishers
Category Sponsor: Books For Africa

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because worm loves worm.

“Curato’s spare but sure silhouetted images and Austrian’s straightforward text are a perfect match to deliver the simple story of two characters who just want to declare their love and commit to each other. With patience and good cheer they accept the various matrimonial trappings offered to them by their well-meaning ­insect friends, like a wedding party, a cake and rings — even though they have no fingers. The all-embracing spirit of the story is best represented by the worm couple’s lack of regard for traditional wedding garb: Each wears bits and pieces of a tuxedo and a wedding dress during the ceremony.” – The New York Times

3.21 Worm Loves Worm 1.00_

JJ Austrian, Worm Loves WormAbout the Author:

J.J. Austrian grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, graduated from Bard College, and worked in Los Angeles before returning to the East Coast, where he met his wife at a Halloween party. She married him a few years later, in spite of his costume choice. After moving to Minnesota so that they could be closer to family, J.J. earned his MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. Worm Loves Worm is his first picture book. Follow J.J. Austrian on Twitter.

3.21 Mike Curato_Illustrator photo

About the Illustrator:

Mike Curato is an illustrator, author, graphic designer and cupcake connoisseur. He is the creator of the popular Little Elliotseries. Mike has a range of creative experience, from layout, packaging, logos and branding, to drawing, painting, and digital illustration. He and his husband, Dan, were married in a very wormy wedding. They live in New York City.

 

3.21_Worm Loves Worm 2.00_

Rave Reviews:

“Austrian and Curato turn the simple wedding of two worms into a three-ring circus that slyly turns the whole controversy over same-sex versus heterosexual marriage on its head… As in life, love conquers all.”  –Kirkus Reviews (starred review.)

“How do you explain a revolution to a young audience? This book is a terrific start…Debut author Austrian proves that it’s possible to be silly and incisive at the same time, while Curato (the Little Elliot books) works in a stripped-down style that subtly reinforces the ‘all you need is love’ message.”  –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Beyond the Book:

Austrian and Curato speak with Matthew Winner of the All The Wonders Podcast.

J.J. Austrian joins the Lu and Bean Podcast live from the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival.

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now

36 Books in 36 Days: LGBTQ+ Athletes Take the Field

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Young Adult Literature finalist:

 

LGBTQ Players Claim the Field, by Kirstin Cronn-MillsLGBTQ+ Athletes Take the Field: Striving for Equality by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Published by:  Lerner Publishing
Category Sponsor: Brainfuse

In 2015, the world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her then-wife after the US women’s World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league first baseman David Denson came out as gay. And Caitlyn (born Bruce) Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender. It hasn’t always been this way. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Together, athletes, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.

 

Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Original Fake and LGBTQAbout the Author:

Kirstin Cronn-Mills, PhD, teaches writing, literature, and critical thinking at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. She writes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction books and articles. Her first young adult novel, The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don t Mind, was a 2010 Minnesota Book Award finalist. Her second, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, a coming-of-age story about Gabe, a trans music geek, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and the 2014 Stonewall Book Award winner for best children’s and young adult book about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender experience.

Rave Reviews:

“Hope is found in the past for present and future athletes who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning/queer, or other…The positive tone and multitude of examples create the optimistic belief that LGBTQ athletes will be able to be true to themselves while competing in their chosen sports.” – Kirkus Review

“Hers is an important contribution to the blossoming field of LGBTQ+ literature.” – Booklist

Beyond the Book:

Blog: Teen Library Toolbox, School Library Journal

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now

 

36 Books in 36 Days: Tula

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Poetry finalist:

Tula, by Chris SantiagoTula by Chris Santiago
Published by: Milkweed Editions
Category Sponsor: Wellington Management, Inc.

Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.” Inspired by the experiences of the “blood stranger”—the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents—Chris Santiago’s debut collection of poems begins with one word and transforms it, in a dazzling sleight of hand, into a multivalent symbol for the immigrant experience. Tula: Santiago reveals to readers a distant land devastated by war. Tula: its music beckons in rhythms, time signatures, and lullabies. Tula: can the poem, he seems to ask, build an imaginative bridge back to a family lost to geography, history, and a forgotten language? Prismatic, startling, rich with meaning yet sparely composed—a collection that examines the shortcomings and possibilities of both language and poetry themselves—Tula announces the arrival of a major new literary talent.

 

Chris Santiago, TulaAbout the Author:

Chris Santiago’s first collection of poetry, Tula, is winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, selected by A. Van Jordan. His poems, fiction, and criticism have appeared in FIELD, Copper Nickel, Pleiades, and the Asian American Literary Review. He holds degrees in creative writing and music from Oberlin College and received his PhD in English from the University of Southern California. The recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, Santiago is also a percussionist and amateur jazz pianist. He teaches literature, sound culture, and creative writing at the University of St. Thomas.

Rave Reviews:

“Santiago seems to recognize that words will always hold power, even as their meanings evolve. Through everything, Tula delves into these nuances of language: how it is suppressed, how it is weaponized, how it loves, how it informs, and how it is often as fleeting as a birdsong. Tula is therefore a celebration of the ephemeral and the permanent, a lovely testament to the beauty of contradiction.” – Chicago Review of Books

“Santiago examines the second-generation-immigrant experience in a debut collection that is a spare, elegant engagement with language…his linguistic savvy and precision truly stand out.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“The translation of the untranslatable was utterly amazing as Santiago tries to bring the stories of his parents’ Filipino past—which is split into two dialects—into his own completely American ethos.  The poems are done so deftly and yet with such honesty. English may not always be enough to do the job, but poetry is.” – MN Book Awards judge

Beyond the Book:

Article: “How this son of immigrants reimagined his parents’ homeland,” by Mary Jo Brooks, PBS News Hour

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now

36 Books in 36 Days: Do Not Find Me

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Novel & Short Story finalist:

Do Not Find Me, by Kathleen NovakDo Not Find Me by Kathleen Novak
Published by: The Permanent Press
Category Sponsor: Fitzgerald in Saint Paul

Do Not Find Me tells the story of Gigi Paulo, a quiet, romantic man, who falls for a secretive and dangerous young woman in New York City during 1961. After his death decades later, his daughter uncovers a note this woman wrote to her father, leaving Gigi’s daughter, Meg,  to question the desires and mysteries of his life and her own. The novel moves between the voices of Gigi and Meg with a compelling grace, its haunting undercurrents remaining long after the story has ended.

 

Kathleen Novak, Do Not Find MeAbout the Author:

Kathleen Novak is a poet and writer who grew up on the iron mining range of northern Minnesota, the granddaughter of Italian and Croatian immigrants. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she has worked as an English teacher, independent marketing consultant and freelance writer. Her poems have been published widely in small literary magazines nationally and have won recognition in contests as diverse as the AAUW and New York Public Radio. Her writing is fueled by her colorful family history, her love of art, old tunes and cooking.

Rave Reviews:

“Set alternately on the tranquil shores of northern Minnesota’s Lost Lake and the buzzing streets of 1960s New York City, her story bores deeply into the complexities of family and the often unfulfilling pursuit of love… It’s a suspenseful and gracefully told tale.” – Star Tribune

[A] taut and beguiling meditation on love, loss, secrets, and silences…Tender and intricately written, this well-crafted novel is poetic, evocative, and beautiful.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Poetic, lyrical, meditative. The story is about a woman who comes to pack up her father’s house after his death but it then unfolds into her reflection and exploration about his secret past. So much is revealed just in her remembered dialogue with her father and his life—including his near religious reverence for northern MN fishing. Gorgeous writing!” – MN Book Awards judge

Beyond the Book:

Interview: The Permanent Press blog featuring Kathleen Novak

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now

Advocacy Action Steps: A Letter from The Friends’ President

This letter was sent to board members and staff of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library on March 16, 2017 in reaction to President Trump’s proposed budget.

Dear Friends Board Member:

President Trump released a partial outline of his 2018 budget today, and this budget includes spending cuts that will directly and severely affect libraries and the people we serve.

In addition to proposing the elimination of two highly-visible federal agencies that support and align with the work of libraries (the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities), the budget would eliminate the critically important Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS has provided nearly $1 million to the Saint Paul Public Library and we have a $250,000 pending application right now. In addition, proposed severe cuts to the Department of Education directly target programs and partnerships that involve library and literacy programs.

The result of these cuts would be devastating to libraries, including our Saint Paul Public Library. Over the coming weeks, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library will work with the American Library Association and other library champions nationwide to mobilize and coordinate opposition to these proposed cuts. (Note: as a tax exempt 501 (c)(3) organization, The Friends is legally able to advocate on behalf of policy issues and proposed legislation. What we cannot do is endorse or support a particular party or candidate.)

Public funding for libraries is not historically a partisan issue and voices of support from all ends of the political spectrum have sustained libraries for more than a century. Please reach out to your own federal legislators in opposition to these proposed cuts.

Saint Paul’s legislators are supportive of cultural funding, so your outreach is to affirm these legislators as they fight for continued cultural and library funding. Make three phone calls and share the message below. If you do not reach a staff member, leave a voicemail message. If you can’t get through, try again later.

Senator Al Franken: 202-224-5641
Senator Amy Klobuchar: 202-224-3244
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (District 4 – Saint Paul): 202-225-6631

I know a few of you live outside of Saint Paul. Keith Ellison’s phone number at his Minneapolis office is 612-522-1212. Freshman Congressman Jason Lewis prefers contact in his Washington office at 202-225-2271. Since Rep. Lewis has not yet had the opportunity to vote for or against library funding, it is particularly important that he hear from his constituents in support of library funding.

Your message:

“I support public libraries and oppose President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, NEA, NEH, and the Department of Education. Libraries leverage the tiny amount of federal funds they receive to create an enormous range of services for virtually all Americans.

“Libraries are trusted centers that provide access to technology, job counseling, safe spaces for children, homework support, entrepreneurship, English language literacy, AND also books. Please fight for library funding in the federal budget.”

Thank you for all you do to support the Saint Paul Public Library and libraries nationwide. Call or email me directly with any questions or ideas you’d like to share. If you are able to speak with a Congressional staff member when you make your calls, please report back to me with any insights that are shared.

Beth Burns
President, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

36 Books in 36 Days: The Ford Century in Minnesota

Each day we highlight one of the 36 finalists leading up to the April 8 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Education Minnesota. Today we feature 2017 Minnesota Nonfiction finalist:

The Ford Century in Minnesota, by Brian McMahonThe Ford Century in Minnesota by Brian McMahon
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Category Sponsor: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

In 1903, before the Ford Motor Company was even incorporated, Stephen Tenvoorde signed a contract to sell “Fordmobiles” at his bicycle shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Four generations later, the Tenvoorde family still operates what is now the oldest Ford dealership in the world. Brian McMahon chronicles how the fortunes of the company and the state became intertwined during that century. First-person accounts of more than 40 retired auto workers detail experiences of working at Ford Motor Company—from the early years in Minneapolis to the final hours of the Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul. McMahon documents the company’s transformation—through the Depression, World War II, women joining the workforce, globalization, outsourcing, the closing of the plant, and more.

 

Ford 1_courtesy MN Historical Society
Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

 
Brian McMahon, The Ford Century in MNAbout the Author:

Brian McMahon, a trained architect, has lectured and written extensively on industry, urban history, and architecture and has developed and designed several exhibits for museums and galleries in New York and Minnesota.

Rave Reviews:

“Solidly based on 18 years of research, this handsome, well-written and serious hardbound tome transcends the “local history” category… the book will provide a much greater understanding of the incredibly complicated and ever-changing environment in which American cars were built in the 20th century.” –speedreaders.info

“Ironically, Henry Ford, who famously stated that “History is bunk,” is the focus of this riveting history. The issues that affected the establishment and eventual end of the Ford plant in Saint Paul remain relevant: the often shortsighted incentives governments offer businesses; the importance of alternative sources of energy; the role of automation in the fate of labor. An important book.” – MN Book Awards judge

 

ford 2_courtesy of the Tenvoorde family
Photo courtesy of the Tenvoorde family

 

Beyond the Book:

Article: “New book explores Minnesota’s unique role in the Ford Motor Company,” by Amy Goetzman, Minnpost

Audio: “Henry Ford’s influence in Minnesota,” MPR

Audio: Minnesota Access Online Interview with Brian McMahon

See the Winners Announced Live!
Award winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront. The evening features a Preface Reception with author meet-and-greet and book signing; the Awards Ceremony with live music, celebrity presenters, artisan cheese plates and complimentary wine; and the Epilogue After-Party with complimentary champagne, desserts, and more live music. Get Tickets Now