22nd annual Minnesota Book Award winners – for the record

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 22nd annual Minnesota Book Awards. In addition to winners in eight categories, the Book Awards presented the Readers’ Choice Award, which was selected by over 2,000 online voters from across Minnesota. A sold-out crowd of nearly 750 people attended the gala award ceremony on Saturday, April 17, hosted by Marianne Combs, Arts Desk reporter from Minnesota Public Radio.

Announced at the gala, the winners of the 2010 Minnesota Book Awards are:


Award for Children’s Literature,
sponsored by Books for Africa:
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman – published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This imaginative book describes the changing colors of the seasons with beautiful poems and vivid illustrations. Color becomes more than just what you see; it becomes something that you can hear and smell – something that has its own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Joyce Sidman is the author of several books of poetry including Songs of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems which won the Caldecott Honor.



Award for General Nonfiction,
sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO:
I Go to America: Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson  by Joy K. Lintelman – published by Minnesota Historical Society Press*

I Go to America traces the story of writer Mina Anderson, who emigrated from Sweden to Wisconsin and then to the Twin Cities where she worked as a domestic servant. It explores her move to rural Mille Lacs County where she and her husband worked a farm, raised seven children, and contributed widely to rural Swedish community life through her poetry, fiction, and letters to Swedish American newspapers. Joy K. Lintelman is a professor of history at Concordia College in Moorhead.



Award for Genre Fiction,
sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:
Jelly’s Gold
 by David Housewright – published by Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press

In 1933, Frank “Jelly” Nash was suspected of masterminding a daring robbery of gold bars, and left the treasure somewhere in St. Paul. Two graduate students and two thugs are in competition to find the legendary stash of gold. Rushmore McKenzie, a retired St. Paul policeman, gets involved in the search for the treasure – and also a killer – when the hunt turns deadly. David Housewright has won both an Edgar and a Minnesota Book Award for his crime fiction.



Award for Memoir & Creative Nonfiction:
The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder’s Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows by Kent Nerburn published by New World Library

Suspenseful, touching, humorous, tragic, and powerful are just a few of the words that could be used to describe Kent Nerburn’s captivating story of his journey to help an elderly Native American man discover what happened to his long lost sister. Nerburn brings light to the complicated friendship between a white American and a Lakota Indian, and the reader is allowed a private and extraordinary glimpse into the life and wisdom of a tribal elder. Kent Nerburn has written a dozen books on spirituality and Native themes, including Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce which was featured on the History Channel.



Award for Minnesota, sponsored by Xcel Energy:
Opening Goliath: Danger and Discovery in Caving by Cary J. Griffith – published by Borealis Books/Minnesota Historical Society Press*

The author recounts the amazing story of Goliath’s Cave in southeastern Minnesota, discovered by recreational cavers in the 1980s. With a mix of adventure, suspense, politics, science, discovery and wonder, Opening Goliath takes readers to a subterranean wilderness where exploration and preservation sometimes coexist – and sometimes collide. Cary J. Griffith is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about the outdoors.



Award for Novel & Short Story:
The Book of Night Women  by Marlon James – published by Riverhead Books/Penguin Group

This sweeping and astonishing novel tells the story of Lilith, a slave on a Jamaican sugar plantation who possesses a dark power. A group of slaves who call themselves the “Night Women” are plotting a revolt and assume Lilith’s powers will be the key to success.  However, as Lilith begins to assume her identity, she chooses a different path which poses a threat to the conspiracy. Marlon James teaches literature and creative writing at Macalester College. The Book of Night Women was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction



Award for Poetry:
I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman
Jude Nutter published by University
of Notre Dame Press

In this collection, the poet invokes, invites and revises Walt Whitman’s civil war poems through contemporary and female perspectives. The poems bridge the gap between past and present, loss and reclamation through passionate lyrics full of clarity, imagination and sureness of vision. Jude has received many national and international awards, including a Minnesota Book Award in 2007 for The Curator of Silence.



Award for Young People’s Literature,
sponsored by 3M Company:
The Magician’s Elephant
by Kate DiCamillo – published by Candlewick Press

Peter Augustus Duchene is a ten year old orphan who is training to be a soldier in the city of Baltese.  He was told his parents and sister are dead, but after a visit to a fortuneteller, he discovers his sister is alive. The fortuneteller tells Peter an elephant will lead him to her, which seems a bit silly and improbable at first; however, when an elephant magically appears, Peter vows to take the elephant and find his sister. Kate DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for her book The Tale of Despereaux.


The Readers’ Choice Award, sponsored by Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com: 
Honor Bright: A Century of Scouting in Northern Star Council
by Dave Kenney – published by Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America*

This captivating and richly illustrated collection consists of stories and photogr
aphs of the Boy Scouts of America’s first century in central Minnesota and western Wisconsin.  From the start of the Boy Scout Movement in 1910 to the Scouts’ contributions to the nation’s war effort in the 1940s, to the growth of Scouting in the 2000s to serve one hundred thousand young people each year, this book covers everything. Dave Kenney is a freelance writer specializing in Minnesota history. 

* Indicates a Minnesota-based publisher

At the Book Awards gala on April 17, Carolyn Holbrook received the previously announced Kay Sexton Award, for her lifelong contributions to Minnesota’s literary community.  Since the early 1980s, Holbrook’s vision has been to promote the inclusion of disparate voices in the global community. She remains committed to writers, readers and spoken word artists – reaching out to individuals and communities whose access to opportunities for exploration of writing is limited or nonexistent. Holbrook’s work connects arts organizations, schools, individual artists, and neighborhoods. The Award is sponsored by Common Good Books.

Also presented was the third annual Book Artist Award, co-sponsored by Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA).  The award, presented to Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling, recognizes a Minnesota book artist for excellence throughout a body of work, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.  Schilling’s work is currently being shown at St. Paul’s Central Library, 90 W. 4th St., through the end of April.   

Books written by a Minnesotan and first published in 2009 were eligible for the 22nd annual Minnesota Book Awards.  250 books were nominated for awards this year, and 32 books were selected as finalists.  The winners were chosen by panels of judges from the list of finalists.  Nominations for next year’s Awards will open in early fall, 2010.  For more information on the Book Awards process, and a complete list of finalists and winners since 1988, visit The Friends website, www.thefriends.org, and click on the Minnesota Book Awards icon.

The Book Awards gala will be broadcast on Saint Paul Neighborhood Network and TPT-MN Channel at a later date.  Check your local listings for the channel, date and time of broadcast.

The 22nd annual Minnesota Book Awards is a Capital City project, led by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, with the Saint Paul Public Library and the City of Saint Paul.  Statewide outreach partners include:  the Loft Literary Center, Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA); Minnesota Department of Education—State Library Services; Minnesota Educational Media Organization; Minnesota Library Foundation; and Saint Paul Almanac.  Media sponsors include: Minnesota Public Radio, Pioneer Press, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Swank Audio Visual and TPT-Minnesota Channel.  Major funding for the Book Awards was provided by Boss Foundation, the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts; the Huss Foundation; The Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation; a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Office of State Library Services; a Cultural STAR grant from the City of Saint Paul, 3M Company, Books for Africa, Minnesota AFL-CIO; Wellington Management, Inc.; and Xcel Energy.



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One comment on “22nd annual Minnesota Book Award winners – for the record
  1. elijahlinscott says:

    I love to read books and when one is completed I look for another which is rate high so that I can pick it up.<br><a href="http://www.dealchecker.co.uk/cheap-holidays/turkey.html">turkey holidays</a>

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