Minnesota Book Award Finalists 2020

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The finalists for the 2020 Minnesota Book Awards were chosen on Saturday, January 25, by a group of 27 judges from around the state.


D Allen
Description: 'A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe' is a hybrid collection of lyric essays, poems, dictionary erasures, and images that emerged out of the poet's diagnosis with a connective tissue disorder. Slipping in and out of form, space, and language, this text gathers answers to the question: What holds us together when the body falls apart?
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 3, 2020
Winner!
Kao Kalia Yang, Seo (Illustrator) Kim
Description: Paj Ntaub, a young Hmong American girl, spends a busy year with her family in their new home, and seeks a way to share the beauty of the world with a grieving neighbor.
Call Number: E Yan
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
H. M. Bouwman, Yuko Shimizu
Description: Told in two voices and times, Artie runs away from her abusive stepfather and Rayel from an arranged marriage, and both find adventure on the high seas beyond Raftworld.
Call Number: J FIC Bou
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Winner!
Karen Babine
Description: "Memoir of mother's cancer from daughter's eyes, mediated with cooking anecdotes"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 616.994 Bab
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Erika Lee
Description: Many of us like to think of the United States as a nation of immigrants. We pride ourselves on our history of welcoming foreigners and believe this sets our nation apart from every other. But the phrase 'a nation of immigrants' only dates from the mid-twentieth century, and has served to paper over a much darker history of hatred of--and violence against--foreigners arriving on our shores. Erika Lee shows that the recent spasm of xenophobic policy and treatment of immigrants--from the abuses of ICE to the Muslim ban to the proposed border wall--is only the latest manifestation of another, less known but even more influential American creed. An intense fear of strangers based on their race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin has always been at the heart of the American project. Xenophobia has been an ideological force working hand-in-hand with American nationalism, capitalism, and racism. Lee shows that more often than not in our nation's history, xenophobia has been the rule--not the exception. At the same time, she reveals why we cannot understand institutionalized racism, sexism, classism without first examining the role of xenophobia in creating these related problems. Forcing us to reckon with the less palatable side of American history and beliefs, America for Americans is a necessary corrective and ultimately a spur to action for any concerned citizen.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 305.8 Lee
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Winner!
Marlon James, Dion Graham
Description: Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard. As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Call Number: FIC Jam
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Winner!
Su Hwang
Description: Against the backdrop of the war on drugs and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, a Korean girl comes of age in her parents' bodega in the Queensbridge projects, offering a singular perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions pulsing in the margins where they live and work.
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Winner!
Naomi Kritzer
Description: Because her mother is always on the move, sixteen-year-old Steph hasn't lived anywhere longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet -- a social media site where users upload cat pictures -- a site whose admin is CheshireCat, a sentient AI who loves cat pictures. When a threat from Steph's past catches up to her and CheshireCat's existence is discovered, it's up to Steph and her friends, both online and IRL, to save them. Catfishing on CatNet is a near-future thriller about online privacy and out-of-control technology and the importance of making connections in an increasingly fragmented society.
Call Number: YA FIC Kri
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Bill Lindeke, Andy Sturdevant
Description: "In Closing Time, William Lindeke and Andy Sturdevant dive into tales from famous and infamous drinking establishments from throughout Twin Cities history. Readers are led on a multigenerational pub crawl through speakeasies, tied houses, rathskellers, cocktail lounges, gin mills, fern bars, social clubs, singles bars, gastropubs, and dives. Featuring beloved bars like Matt's, Palmer's, the Payne Reliever, and Moby Dick's, the book also resurrects memories of long-forgotten establishments cherished in their day. Lindeke and Sturdevant highlight neighborhood dives, downtown nightspots, and out-of-the-way hideaways, many of which continue to thrive today. Closing Time brings together stories of these spaces and the people who frequented them"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 647.9577 Lin
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Maggie Ryan Sandford, Rodica Prato
Description: An exploration of the history and features of more than 50 animals that provides insight into our current understanding of evolution. Using Darwin's theory as a springboard, Maggie Ryan Sandford details scientists' initial understanding of the development of creatures and how that has expanded in the wake of genetic sequencing. Sandford describes each animal's significant features and how these have adapted to its environment. Consider the Platypus showcases species as diverse as the sloth, honey bee, cow, brown kiwi, and lungfish, to name a few, to tackle intimidating concepts in an accessible way. -- ǂc From statement at Amazon.com.
Call Number: 590 San
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Geoff Herbach
Description: While recovering from a game-related concussion, football star Isaiah wonders what his life would be like without the game.
Call Number: YA FIC Her
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Nancy (Science writer) Atkinson, Rusty Schweickart
Description: In July of 1969, three astronauts set off on an historic mission to land on the moon. Now, 50 years later, a new book celebrates the achievement of the Apollo missions, detailing an incredible period of science and engineering history. This book tells the personal stories of over 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make the Apollo program possible. The eight years from President Kennedy's challenge in 1961 to the first Moon landing in 1969 are filled with stories of the dedication and perseverance it took to overcome the challenges, hurdles and conflicts of doing things that had never been done before. The stories provide a glimpse into the lives of some of the hundreds of thousands of people who made it possible to land humans on the Moon.--From statement at Amazon.
Call Number: 629.454 Atk
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Winner!
Sheila O'Connor
Description: "In an ambitious blend of fact and fiction, including family secrets, documents from the era, and a thin, fragmentary case file unsealed by the court, novelist Sheila O'Connor tells the riveting story of V, a talented fifteen-year-old singer in 1930s Minneapolis who aspires to be a star. Drawing on the little-known American practice of incarcerating adolescent girls for "immorality" in the first half of the twentieth century, O'Connor follows young V from her early work as a nightclub entertainer to her subsequent six-year state school sentence for an unplanned pregnancy. As V struggles to survive within a system only nominally committed to rescue and reform, she endures injustices that will change the course of her life and the lives of her descendants. Inspired by O'Connor's research on her unknown maternal grandmother and the long-term effects of intergenerational trauma, Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions is a poignant excavation of familial and national history that remains disturbingly relevant--a harrowing story of exploitation and erasure, and the infinite ways in which girls, past and present, are punished for crimes they didn't commit. O'Connor's collage novel offers an engaging balance between illuminating a shameful and hidden chapter of American history and captivating the reader with the vivid and unforgettable character of V."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC OCo
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Eliza Wheeler
Description: During the Great Depression six-year-old Marvel, her seven siblings, and their mother find a tarpaper shack in the woods and, over the course of a year, turn it into a home. Based on the author's grandmother's childhood; includes historical notes.
Call Number: E Whe
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
P. J. Tracy
Description: It's a bitter winter in Minnesota--too cold to kill. There hasn't been a murder for a month, but the lull quickly comes to an end for Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, when they're called to the gruesome homicide of Kelly Ramage. Found in a friend's vacant house, this was no random attack, and clues reveal that she was living a very dangerous secret life. Magozzi and Gino trace her steps back to an art gallery where she was last seen alive. The gallery seems like a dead end, but the art is disturbing and exploitative. It may very well be inspiring a sadistic killer, because in this instance, art doesn't imitate life, it imitates death. Tipped off about a year-old murder that is a mirror-image of Kelly's crime scene, Gino and Magozzi enlist the aid of Grace MacBride and her eccentric, tech genius partners in Monkeewrench Software to help them decipher the digital trail that might connect the cases. As coincidences emerge, Magozzi, Gino, and the team have to work around the clock at breakneck pace to unravel a series of clues that form the framework of a larger, more sweeping, and insidious conspiracy than any of them could have imagined. Is Kelly the last person to die or just the most recent? And is there any way to stop it?
Call Number: FIC Tra
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Jacqueline West
Description: "Anders Thorson, front man of his metal band, Last Things, is unusually gifted for a teenager, but strange things in the Minnesota woods near his hometown are threatening him. Thea, the new girl in town, says she's there to protect him, but is that the whole truth?"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: YA FIC Wes
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Anika Fajardo
Description: "Magical Realism for Non-Believers is set against the backdrops of Colombia and the United States (particularly Minneapolis) of the mid-1990s, and flashes back to the unsettled freedoms of the 1970s. It's the story of a half-Colombian, half-Minnesotan exploring her past and discovering her future, taking readers on a journey from the US to Fajardo's birthplace in Colombia and the discovery of a half-brother she never knew existed, to the creation of her own family in Minneapolis"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 977.6579 Faj
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Ed-Bok Lee
Description: Taking mitochondrial DNA as his guide, Lee explores familial and national legacies, and their persistence across shifting boundaries and the erosions of time. In these poems, the trait of an ancestor appears in the face of a newborn, and in her cry generations of women's voices echo. Stories, both benign and traumatic, travel as lore and DNA. Using lush, exact imagery, whether about the corner bar or a hilltop in Korea, Lee is a careful observer, tracking and documenting the way that seemingly small moments can lead to larger insights.
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Bao Phi, Basia Tran
Description: Upset after being bullied, Thuy, a Vietnamese American, pretends she is different creatures, including an especially strong, wonderful being made up of her two mothers and herself. Includes note about the phoenix and the Sarabha.
Call Number: E Phi
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Allen Eskens
Description: After fifteen years of growing up in the Ozark hills with his widowed mother, high-school freshman Boady Sanden is beyond ready to move on. He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere other than Jessup, Missouri. The new kid at St. Ignatius High School, if he isn't being pushed around, he is being completely ignored. Even his beloved woods, his playground as a child and his sanctuary as he grew older, seem to be closing in on him, suffocating him. Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady's life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins--a black family settling into a community where notions of "us" and "them" carry the weight of history--forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he's taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold: the mother who wraps herself in the loss of her husband, the neighbor who carries the wounds of a mysterious past that he holds close, the quiet boss who is fighting his own hidden battle. But the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African-American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world. As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town, and he is forced to choose sides.
Call Number: FIC Esk
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Description: Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado--a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite--these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.
Call Number: FIC Faj
Format: Book
Date Added: May 7, 2020
Steve Healey
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 3, 2020
Winner!
Christopher P. Lehman
Description: From the 1840s through the end of the Civil War, leading Minnesotans invited slaveholders and their wealth into the free territory and free state of Minnesota, enriching the area's communities and residents. Dozens of southern slaveholders and people raised in slaveholding families purchased land and backed Minnesota businesses. Slaveholders' wealth was invested in some of the state's most significant institutions and provided a financial foundation for several towns and counties. The money generated by Minnesota investments flowed both ways, supporting some of the South's largest plantations. Christopher Lehman has brought to light this hidden history of northern complicity in building slaveholder wealth.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 306.362 Leh
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Nancy J Hedin
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 3, 2020
Benjamin Percy
Description: "In his first story collection since the acclaimed Refresh, Refresh, Benjamin Percy delivers a potent brew of horror, crime, and weird happenings in the woods. A boy in his uncle's care falls through the ice on a pond and emerges in a frozen, uncanny state. Patients in therapy for suicidal ideation undergo a drastic session in the woods with fatal consequences. And in a pulse-quickening novella, thrill seekers on an expedition in Alaska are stranded on a sinister island that seems to want them dead. A master class in suspense and horror, Suicide Woods is a dark, inventive collection packed to the gills with eerie, can't-miss tales."--Back cover.
Call Number: FIC Per
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Anne Frasier
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 3, 2020
Winner!
David Treuer
Description: The received idea of Native American history has been that it essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee: Not only did more than 150 Sioux die at the hands of the U.S. Cavalry, but Native civilization did as well. David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Not despite but rather because of American Indians' intense struggles to preserve their tribes, their cultures, and their very existence, the true story has been one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention. Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir to explore how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering. The forced assimilation of children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and at the same time steered the emerging shape of self-rule and inspired a new generation of resistance. This is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative epoch.--From dust jacket.
Call Number: LP 970.004 Tre
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Winner!
Kate Allen
Description: "Following a tragedy that further alters the course of her life, twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart decides to continue the shark research her marine biologist mother left unfinished when she died years earlier"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: YA FIC All
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire
Description: When you're an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark. Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant--and from their first moments in the world together, they've never left each other's side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together. When fifth grade arrives, however, it's decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different classrooms, and something breaks in them both. Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city around them, things both great and small going missing without a trace. As Iris begins to understand that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it's up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.
Call Number: J FIC Urs
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Rebecca K. S. Ansari
Description: When he keeps insisting that his little brother is missing even though no one else can remember that Liam ever existed, Charlie and his best friend Ana are determined to follow the instructions on a note that may help them find out what happened to Liam.
Call Number: J FIC Ans
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Junauda Petrus
Description: "Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she's going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor's daughter. Audre's grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won't lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels--about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that's plagued her all summer. Mabel's reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner. Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it's Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future." -- amazon.com
Call Number: YA FIC Pet
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Alex Messenger
Description: A six-hundred-mile canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is a seventeen-year-old's dream adventure, but after he is mauled by a grizzly bear, it's all about staying alive. This true-life wilderness survival epic recounts seventeen-year-old Alex Messenger's near-lethal encounter with a grizzly bear during a canoe trip in the Canadian tundra. Alex and five companions paddled north through harrowing rapids and stunning terrain. Twenty-nine days into the trip, while out hiking alone, Alex is attacked by a barren-ground grizzly. Left for dead, he wakes to find that his summer adventure has become a struggle to stay alive. Over the next hours and days, Alex and his companions tend his wounds and use their resilience, ingenuity, and dogged perseverance to reach help at a remote village a thousand miles north of the US-Canadian border.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 917.193 Mes
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
William Kent Krueger
Description: 1932, Minnesota. The Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O'Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent's wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. -- adapted from jacket
Call Number: FIC Kru
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Staci Lola Drouillard
Description: "Walking the Old Road revisits a time when generations of Ojibwe ancestors called the lost community of Chippewa City home. Staci Lola Drouillard, whose family once lived in Chippewa City, draws on memories, family history, historical analysis, and testimony passed down through generations to conduct us through the ages of early European contact, government land allotment, family relocation, and assimilation"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: ordered 103119
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 28, 2020
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Minnesota Book Award Finalists 2020
A Bony Framework For The Tangible Universe
D Allen
Mitochondrial Night
Ed-Bok Lee
A Map Into The World
Kao Kalia Yang, Seo (Illustrator) Kim
E Yan
My Footprints
Bao Phi, Basia Tran
E Phi
A Tear In The Ocean
H. M. Bouwman, Yuko Shimizu
J FIC Bou
Nothing More Dangerous : A Novel
Allen Eskens
FIC Esk
All The Wild Hungers : A Season Of Cooking And Cancer
Karen Babine
616.994 Bab
Sabrina & Corina : Stories
Kali Fajardo-Anstine
FIC Faj
America For Americans : A History Of Xenophobia In The United States
Erika Lee
305.8 Lee
Safe Houses I Have Known
Steve Healey
Black Leopard, Red Wolf [Audiobook]
Marlon James, Dion Graham
FIC Jam
Slavery's Reach : Southern Slaveholders In The North Star State
Christopher P. Lehman
306.362 Leh
Bodega : Poems
Su Hwang
Stray
Nancy J Hedin
Catfishing On Catnet
Naomi Kritzer
YA FIC Kri
Suicide Woods : Stories
Benjamin Percy
FIC Per
Closing Time : Saloons, Taverns, Dives, And Watering Holes Of The Twin Cities
Bill Lindeke, Andy Sturdevant
647.9577 Lin
The Body Keeper
Anne Frasier
Consider The Platypus : Evolution Through Biology's Most Baffling Beasts
Maggie Ryan Sandford, Rodica Prato
590 San
The Heartbeat Of Wounded Knee : Native America From 1890 To The Present
David Treuer
LP 970.004 Tre
Cracking The Bell
Geoff Herbach
YA FIC Her
The Line Tender
Kate Allen
YA FIC All
Eight Years To The Moon : The History Of The Apollo Missions
Nancy (Science writer) Atkinson, Rusty Schweickart
629.454 Atk
The Lost Girl
Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire
J FIC Urs
Evidence Of V : A Novel In Fragments, Facts, And Fictions
Sheila O'Connor
FIC OCo
The Missing Piece Of Charlie O'reilly
Rebecca K. S. Ansari
J FIC Ans
Home In The Woods
Eliza Wheeler
E Whe
The Stars And The Blackness Between Them
Junauda Petrus
YA FIC Pet
Ice Cold Heart
P. J. Tracy
FIC Tra
The Twenty-ninth Day : Surviving A Grizzly Attack In The Canadian Tundra
Alex Messenger
917.193 Mes
Last Things
Jacqueline West
YA FIC Wes
This Tender Land : A Novel
William Kent Krueger
FIC Kru
Magical Realism For Non-believers : A Memoir Of Finding Family
Anika Fajardo
977.6579 Faj
Walking The Old Road : A People's History Of Chippewa City And The Grand Marais Anishinaabe
Staci Lola Drouillard
ordered 103119