Announcement: Winners of the 2014 Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards


The Booksellers Have Spoken!  Thanks to everyone who nominated titles for the 2014 Booksellers Choice Awards.  The nominations poured in, the votes have been tallied, and we have finally determined the winners in each of five genres.  With no further ado, the winners are:



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Nickolas Butler, Shotgun Lovesongs (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press)


David Rhodes, Jewelweed (Milkweed Editions)

Larry Watson, Let Him Go (Milkweed Editions)



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Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass (Milkweed Editions)


Kent Nerburn, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo (New World Library)

Amy Thielen, The New Midwestern Table (Clarkson Potter)


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Joyce Sidman, What the Heart Knows (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Sean Hill, Dangerous Goods (Milkweed Editions)

Robert Bly, Stealing Sugar from the Castle (WW Norton & Co)



YA & Middle Grade

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Kate DiCamillo, Flora & Ulysses (Candlewick)


Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Anne Ursu, The Real Boy (Walden’s Pond)


Children’s Picture Books

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Richard T. Morris, This is a Moose, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (Little, Brown for Young Readers)


David LaRochelle, Arlo’s Artrageous Adventure, illustrated by David LaRochelle (Sterling)

Pam Zietlow Miller, Sophie’s Squash, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Schwartz & Wade)


Congratulations to the winning authors and publishers, and congratulations to all the finalists!


The Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards Voting Process

Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards operate with a three-step process:

1) The MIBA Award Committee solicits nominations from area booksellers and publishers in each of the five genres that receive an award (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Children’s Lit (YA & Middle Grade), and Children’s Picture Books). An eligible title must have been published in its original edition between May of the previous year and April of the current year, and must pertain to the Midwest in theme, content, or origin of author.

2) Nominated titles are compiled into a list of suggested nominees, which is distributed to booksellers. This list is non-exhaustive, but provides a starting point to inspire booksellers regarding the many exemplary titles published in or about our region. Booksellers nominate up to three titles per genre.

3) The top three nominated titles in each genre are announced as finalists (in the case of a tie, more than three finalists may appear). Booksellers vote for their favorites of the finalists by ranking “1” for their favorite, “2” for their second favorite, and “3” for their third favorite.  If they have no opinion on a title, they can mark it “0” or leave it blank.

Votes are tallied using a system whereby the lowest number (the number “1” vote) receives the most points.  The number of points awarded to a number “1” vote is determined by the number of titles voted on within a genre. For instance, if a voter ranks each of the three finalists, the number “1” vote will receive 3 points.  If a voter ranks two of the titles but no the third, the number “1” vote only receives 2 points.  And if the voter only ranks one title, that title receives 1 point.


2013 Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards Winners

Adult Fiction   

William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace

Finalists: Peter Geye, The Lighthouse Road, Louise Erdrich, The Round House

Adult Nonfiction


Michael Perry, Visiting Tom

Finalists: Anton Trueur, Everything You  Wanted to Know about Indians but were Afraid To Ask, Luke Longstreet Sullivan, Thirty Rooms to Hide In


Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

Finalists: John Koethe, ROTC Kills, Jim Harrison, Songs of Unreason

Children’s Literature (YA & Middle Grade)


Sheila O’Connor, Keeping Safe the Stars

Finalists: WH Beck, Malcolm at Midnight, Louise Erdrich, Chickadee, Kelly Barnhill, Iron-Hearted Violet

Children’s Picture Book

Loren Long, Otis and the Puppy  (illustrated by Loren Long)

Finalists: Mary Logue, Sleep Like a Tiger. Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, David LaRochelle, It’s a Tiger. Illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

We celebrated these award-winning authors at our book awards luncheon at the Heartland Fall Forum in October 2013. Congratulations to all of the winners past and future, and to all of the finalists.

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