Tag Archives: award winners

Massachusetts Must Reads 2015 & Advocacy Needed

Massachusetts Book Award sealThe Massachusetts Must-Reads – finalists in the Massachusetts Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s/Young Adult – are being announced this week on Facebook by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

The 2015 Massachusetts Book Awards are for books published in 2014. Librarian judges serve for one year on a panel of three librarians plus a convener; they read, read, and read to decide on the best, most discussable books, either by a Massachusetts author or with a Massachusetts theme. I was disappointed to see that my personal favorite, The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis, didn’t make the short list of Must Reads in the fiction category, but clearly there was a lot of tough competition this year. (Check the Giveaways page for your chance to win your very own copy of The Orphans of Race Point this month, though!)

MassBook Must Read seal

The 2015 Must-Read Titles


cover imageAnita Diamant, The Boston Girl (Scribner)
Bret Anthony Johnston, Remember Me Like This (Random House)
Ward Just, American Romantic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Randy Susan Meyers, Accidents of Marriage (Atria)
Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You (Penguin)
Annie Weatherwax, All We Had (Scribner)

Michael Blanding, The Map Thief (Gotham Books)cover image
Michael M. Greenburg, The Court-Martial of Paul Revere (ForeEdge)
Fred Kaplan, John Quincy Adams (Harper)
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction (Henry Holt)
Doug Most, The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway (St Martin’s)
Jennifer Taub, Other People’s Houses (Yale University)


cover imageLiam Day, Afforded Permanence (Aforementioned Productions)
Jeffrey Harrison, Into the Daylight (Tupelo Press)
Fanny Howe, Second Childhood (Graywolf Press)
Jennifer Markell, Samsara (Turning Point)
January Gill O’Neil, Misery Islands
Afaa Michael Weaver, City of Eternal Spring (Pittsburgh UP)

To be announced

Massachusetts residents, your help is needed! The Massachusetts Center for the Book, which administers the Massachusetts Book Awards among other programs, is struggling for its funding in the state budget again.

At first, the House zeroed out funding for the Center for the Book in their proposed FY2016 budget, but then amended it to $200,000, thanks to Rep. Kate Hogan and other library advocates in the House, including Rep. Tom Calter.  However the Senate then voted to zero it out of their budget, and voted not to adopt the amendment sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan to keep funding for the Center at $200,000, despite support from Senators Eldridge, Brownsberger and (my own senator) Sen. Tom Kennedy.

Now, since the House and Senate budgets don’t match, the budget is in joint conference committee. If you live in Massachusetts and want to advocate for your local library on the state level, now is the time to contact members of the Senate/House Conference Committee to ask them to support the FY2016 Library Legislative Agenda, especially the following line items:

7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries (This is local aid that goes directly to support local public libraries throughout the state.)

7000-9506 Automated Networks/Library Technology & Resource Sharing (This goes straight to supporting the networks that connect libraries throughout the state, helping to lower costs for local libraries.)

7000-9508 “For the Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc., chartered as the Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress; to continue its work as a public-private partnership……$200,000”

Conference Committee (click for contact info)

Brian Dempsey, Haverhill
Steven Kulik, Worthington
Todd Smola, Warren

Karen Spilka, Ashland
Sal DiDomenico, Everett
Viriato (Vinny) deMacedo, Plymouth

Thank you!!!

Massachusetts Book Awards 2012 & 2013 @MassBooks

Massachusetts Book Award sealThe Massachusetts Center for the Book held a combined ceremony for the 2012 and 2013 Massachusetts Book Award winners and honorees yesterday at the State House.

Massachusetts State House
A view of the State House, where the Massachusetts Book Awards ceremony was held yesterday.
Laura Harrington won the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award for fiction with Alice Bliss, her first novel.

It was a lovely celebration of books and authors in the Grand Staircase space at the State House on the kick-off day for the Boston Book Festival, which runs through Saturday, October 19, in Copley Square locations, including the Boston Public Library.

Several authors received additional citations from their own state representatives. Among the speakers who spoke warmly of the need to continue to fund school and public libraries, and other literacy advocacy efforts such as the Center for the Book were Senate Majority Leader Stanley C. Rosenberg and the head of the library caucus, Representative Kate Hogan.

Matthew Pearl, the 2013 winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for fiction with The Technologists, poses for a photo with Jan Resnick of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, convener of the fiction panel of judges.

“The Massachusetts Center for the Book champions writers and writers need champions.” – Maureen Stanton, author of Killer Stuff & Tons of Money, winner of 2012 Massachusetts Book Award for Nonfiction.

Authors who were honored in person at the State House were:

Laura Harrington, Alice Bliss, Fiction Award 2012
Matthew Pearl, The Technologists, Fiction Award 2013
Maryanne O’Hara, Cascade, Fiction Honors 2013
William Landay, Defending Jacob, Fiction Honors 2013
B.A. Shapiro, The Art Forger, Fiction Honors 2013
Maureen Stanton, Killer Stuff & Tons of Money, Nonfiction Award 2012
George Howe Colt, Brothers, Nonfiction Award 2013
Natalie Dykstra, Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, Nonfiction Honors 2013
Martin Espada, The Trouble Ball, Poetry Award 2012
Michael Cantor, Life in the Second Circle, Poetry Honors 2013
Sallie (Penny) Chisholm, Ocean Sunlight, Children’s/YA Award 2013
Cynthia Levinson, We’ve Got a Job: The 1983 Birmingham Children’s March, Children’s/YA Honors 2013
Carol A. Peacock, Red Thread Sisters, Children’s/YA Honors 2013
Matt Tavares, There Goes Ted Williams, The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived, Children’s/YA Honors 2013

For a complete list of all Massachusetts Book Award winners and honorees, visit the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Watch for the professional photos taken by Janet Picinich to be posted on Facebook on the Center for the Book’s page.

A copy of the Massachusetts Must Reads 2013 poster is available to public libraries upon request from the Center for the Book.

“Congratulations to the Massachusetts Center for the Book for producing such a beautiful [2013 Must Reads] poster! I confess it’s the first poster I’ve hung on my wall since the psychedelic Jefferson Airplane poster, senior year of high school.” – George Howe Colt, author of Brothers, winner of the 2013 Massachusetts Book Award for Nonfiction.

Authors in attendance graciously posed for photo after photo.
Honorees' books on display
Honorees’ books on display
Honorees’ books on display




YA Book Wins Both Morris and Printz Awards for 2012

http://www.johncoreywhaley.com/books/Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley is the winner of both the 2012 William C. Morris Award (for young adult book by first-time author) and Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults). John Corey Whaley has got to be one very happy author! Where Things Come Back was published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
Four 2012 Printz Honor books were also named: Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, The Returning by Christine Hinwood, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket).
Susan Cooper is this year’s winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. A well-deserved honor! (And apparently she has recently moved back to Massachusetts, so we can once again claim this English native and Oxford graduate as a Massachusetts author.) As an adult, I really enjoyed reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising sequence aloud to my kids, especially as I remembered reading it myself back in the 70s or so. All five books in The Dark Is Rising sequence are excellent examples of quality fantasy written for young adults that adult readers can also enjoy without a qualm. I haven’t kept up with the rest of Susan Cooper’s work, except for The Boggart (also excellent) but her later books have also received high praise.
Winners of all of the 2012 American Library Association media awards were announced this morning in Dallas at the annual Midwinter Meeting. See today’s press release for the complete list of all winners.