Finalists Announced for 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards


Minnesota Book Awards Announces Finalists 

Finalists announcedThe Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce the finalists for the 24th annual Minnesota Book Awards, sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.

Chosen on Saturday, January 28, by 24 judges from around the state, the finalists for each category are:

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:

  • BookSpeak! Poems About Books by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)
  • Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships by Catherine Thimmesh (Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)
  • The Last Day of Kindergarten by Nancy Loewen and illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa (Marshall Cavendish Children)
  • Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)

General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO:

  • Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto (Rodale)
  • Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma by Michael Tonry (Oxford University Press)
  • Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager by Brett Laidlaw (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
  • Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America by Eric Dregni (University of Minnesota Press)

Genre Fiction, sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors:

  • Big Wheat by Richard A. Thompson (Poisoned Pen Press)
  • The Bone House by Brian Freeman (Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press)
  • Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster,Inc.)

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Leonard, Street and Deinard:

  • For Love of Lakes by Darby Nelson (Michigan State University Press)
  • The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq by Bronson Lemer (The University of Wisconsin Press)
  • Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet by Catherine Friend (Da Capo Press/Perseus Books Group)
  • A Song at Twilight of Alzheimer’s and Love by Nancy Paddock (Blueroad Press)

Minnesota, sponsored by Xcel Energy:

  • Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez by Jim Northrup (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
  • The Pillsburys of Minnesota by Lori Sturdevant with George S. Pillsbury (Nodin Press)
  • Pioneer Modernists: Minnesota’s First Generation of Women Artists by Julie L’Enfant (Afton Press)
  • Sisterhood of War: Minnesota Women in Vietnam by Kim Heikkila (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Anchor Trust:

  • In Caddis Wood by Mary François Rockcastle (Graywolf Press)
  • The Law of Miracles and Other Stories by Gregory Blake Smith (University of Massachusetts Press)
  • The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin (Milkweed Editions)
  • Merit Badges by Kevin Fenton (New Issues/Western Michigan University)

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:

  • Bodies of Light by Athena Kildegaard (Red Dragonfly Press)
  • Buddha, Proof by Su Smallen (Broadcraft Press)
  • Invisible Strings by Jim Moore (Graywolf Press)
  • Whorled by Ed Bok Lee (Coffee House Press)

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

  • The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman (Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc.)
  • The Books of Elsewhere: Spellbound by Jacqueline West (Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Group USA Inc.)
  • The Tanglewood Terror by Kurtis Scaletta (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books)
  • With or Without You by Brian Farrey (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)

Congratulations to the authors and publishers of the 32 books which were chosen from among nearly 300 nominations. The finalists were selected on Saturday, January 28 by 24 judges from around the state. Winners in each of the eight book categories will be announced at the Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14.

Be sure to check out the list for some top-notch reading. During the month of March participate in the Readers’ Choice Award, sponsored by the Pioneer Press and, by voting online for your favorite finalist book. Mark your calendar for the Readers’ Choice event on Friday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Open Book in Minneapolis. Meet many of this year’s finalists who will give a short presentation of their work, followed by a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. And stay tuned for information about free upcoming programs featuring finalist authors.

Friday, February 10 Event Showcases the 2012 Book Artist Award Winner 

Cave PaperThe Friends recently announced Cave Paper and its founders, Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener, as the winners of the 2012 Minnesota Book Artist Award. Now, see their award-winning work for yourself.

An exhibit featuring Cave Paper will be on display in Minneapolis at Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, through March 25, 2012. On Friday, February 10, please join us for a reception celebrating the exhibit and honoring O’Malley and Degener. This event is free and open to the public, and runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with a brief program at 6:30 p.m. The reception features hors d’oeuvres, wine, and live music by Tommy Lieberman and His Rhythm.

Can’t make it to Open Book? Cave Paper’s work will also be displayed at Saint Paul’s Central Library from April 2 through May 13, and exhibited around the state throughout the year. To learn more about the Minneapolis-based pair and the Artist Award, click here. The Minnesota Book Artist Award is sponsored by Lerner Publishing G
roup and presented with Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Tickets Now on Sale for April 14 Book Awards Gala

MN Book Awards Gala, Saturday, April 14, 2012 The 24th annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala, sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors, takes place Saturday, April 14 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Saint Paul. Celebrate our state’s best authors and books, and be part of the excitement when this year’s winning titles are announced. Opening reception 7 p.m. Meet the finalist authors, book sales and signings, cash bar. Awards ceremony at 8 p.m. featuring complimentary wine and refreshments during the ceremony, with champagne and dessert at the after-party, immediately following. This annual event has sold out for the past four years, so don’t delay! Tickets are $45 each ($40 for members of The Friends and MEMO).

Nominees Announced for Inaugural Hognander Minnesota History Award

Seven books are in the running to win the first-ever Hognander Minnesota History Award, sponsored by the Hognander Family Foundation. This new, biennial award honors an outstanding scholarly work exploring the state’s rich history. Click here for a complete list of the nominees. The winner will be honored at the Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14.   

Free outreach materials: DVDs, Bookmarks, and Posters… Oh My!

Free outreach materials featuring the 2011 Minnesota Book Award winners are available to schools, libraries, book clubs, and other organizations. The bookmarks and posters feature the nine winning books and authors. Also available, two DVDs – one with the 2011 Book Awards Gala and interviews with the winning authors, and one with the four episodes of the TPT “Prized Writers” series featuring Minnesota Book Award winners in conversation.If interested, please contact Ann Nelson at with quantities desired and mailing address. Reading guides for the 2011 winners as well as previous winners are also available online.

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