Minnesota Book Award Finalists 2021

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The finalists for the 2021 Minnesota Book Awards were chosen on Saturday, January 25, by a group of 27 judges from around the state.


Sarah Kieffer
Description: "A cookbook of perfect weeknight baking projects: 100 delicious cookies "-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 641.8654 Kie
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Caren Barzelay Stelson, Akira Kusaka
Description: "Six-year-old Sachiko and her family suffered greatly after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and in the years that followed, the miraculous survival of a ceramic bowl became a key part of Sachiko's journey toward peace"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: E Ste
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Virginia M. Wright-Peterson
Description: "During World War II, women in Minnesota-like women across the country-made bold, unconventional, and important contributions to the war effort. They enlisted in all branches of the military and worked for the military as civilians. They labored in factories, mines, and shipyards. They were also tireless peace activists, and they worked to relocate interned Japanese American citizens and European refugees. They served as cryptologists, journalists, pilots, riveters, factory workers, nurses, entertainers, and spies. This rich chronological account relates dramatic stories of women discovering their own potential in a time of national need, surprising themselves and others--and setting the roots of second-wave feminism."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 940.5377 Wri
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Alan Page, Kamie Page, David Geister
Description: Otis wasn't scared of many things, but at the top of his list? Bees. When Grandpa was younger, he was afraid of bees too. That is, until he learned more about them. To help Otis overcome his fear, Grandpa takes him to a bee farm, where he learns that while "bee love" can be hard, it is also rewarding. The book includes extended information about bees, beekeeping, and pollinators.
Call Number: E Pag
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Daniel Bernstrom, Shane Evans
Description: Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.
Call Number: E Ber
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Fredrick Soukup
Description: "In search of meaning amid America's sedated upper-middle class, a cynical college graduate forgoes medical school and moves to inner-city Chicago. When he falls in love with a woman uncompromisingly devoted to her community, he finds himself caught between two lives, one he does not want and one he cannot have."--Page 4 of cover.
Call Number: FIC Sou
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Roy G. Guzmán
Description: The debut collection from one of America's most inventive new poets. A name for the people of Honduras, Catrachos is a term of solidarity and resilience. In these unflinching, riveting poems, Roy G. Guzmán reaches across borders--between life and death and between countries--invoking the voices of the lost. Part immigration narrative, part elegy, and part queer coming-of-age story, Catrachos finds its own religion in fantastic figures such as the X-Men, pop singers, and the "Queerodactyl," which is imagined in a series of poems as a dinosaur sashaying in the shadow of an oncoming comet, insistent on surviving extinction. Guzmán's debut is a display of lyrical and moral complexity--an introduction to an immediately captivating, urgently needed voice.
Call Number: 811 Guz
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Drew Brockington
Description: "The CatStronauts, the elite group of cat astronauts, are back! This time, they've been invited to the first-ever space hotel. It's anything but relaxing when the hotel's Artificial Intelligence starts wreaking digital havoc!"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: J FIC Bro
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Jane Lamm Carroll
Description: A woman's remarkable life provides a new perspective on a century of turbulent change.Daybreak Woman, (also known as Jane Anderson Robertson), the daughter of an Anglo-Canadian trader and a Scots-Dakota woman, was born at a trading post on the Minnesota River in 1810. When she died in 1904, after having lived in the region all those years, she had witnessed seismic changes, survived cataclysmic events, and, with her children, endured to rebuild lives as Anglo-Dakota people in an anti-Indian world.--From back cover.
Call Number: 970.3 Car
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Jane King Hession
Description: "Elizabeth "Lisl" Scheu Close (1912-2011) was the first female modern architect in Minnesota. Over her 60-year career, she designed more than 150 residences in the state, which were stylistically rooted in Austrian and other European modern movements of the 1920s and 30s. The work of architect Adolf Loos was a primary influence -Close grew up in the 1912 Loos-designed Scheu House, a seminal early modern house in Vienna, Austria. In 1938 with her husband Winston Close, she cofounded the first practice in Minnesota dedicated to modern architecture. The book traces Lisl's life, education, and career from pre-World War I Vienna, to MIT, to Minnesota. Lisl was in the vanguard of professionally-trained women architects. Not only was she perceived as a "woman in a man's field" when she launched her career, she was also committed to a design aesthetic then not widely adopted by the public or the profession. Modernism, to Lisl, meant the design of buildings that "fit the modern style of living," or those that were practical, efficient, durable, and of their time"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 720.92 Hes
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Ray González
Description: "In Feel Puma, Gonzalez traces his love of reading, philosophy, and learning with poems constantly in conversation--with each other, with texts by other writers and the writers themselves, with world history and his personal history and people he has encountered. Woven over five sections, Feel Puma is a complex and gorgeous dive into creativity and the inner life of a poet at the height of his craft"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 811 Gon
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
David Housewright
Description: "Once a police detective in St. Paul, Minnesota, Rushmore McKenzie became an unlikely millionaire and an occasional unlicensed private investigator, doing favors for friends. But this time, he finds himself in dire need of working on his own behalf. His dear friend and first love Shelby Dunston attends a public reading by a psychic medium with the hope of connecting with her grandfather one final time. Instead, she hears McKenzie's name spoken by the psychic in connection with a huge sum of stolen--and missing--money. Caught in a world of psychic mediums, along with a man from his past who has a stake in the future, and more than one party willing to go to great and deadly lengths to get involved, McKenzie must figure out just how much he's willing to believe--before everything takes a much darker turn" -- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Hou
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Nate Granzow
Description: Antonio Espinar, capo of Mexico's nefarious Las Brujas cartel and foosball fanatic, has no love for the media. In fact, he has a history of hanging the corpses of reporters he's murdered from highway overpasses as a sign to stay out of his business. So if a journalist could get an interview with him and survive it, they would no doubt get the attention of everyone in the world--including the Pulitzer board. But it would take someone fearless to do it.Travel writer Nick Ripley is not fearless. He's desperate. Desperate to win his wife back after losing their life savings in a real-estate scam. Desperate enough to not only interview Espinar face to face, but to offer to write the man's biography--for a paltry 10 million dollars. Surprise: Espinar accepts. Bigger surprise: Espinar pays out the 10 million in marijuana. Saddled with this burdensome prize, Nick and his sticky-fingered fixer, Manu Paulo, must find a way to smuggle their truckload of contraband across the border and sell it to reap their payday. Further complicating matters, Manu liberated Espinar's prized pet emu, Idiota, before their departure. Now, Espinar wants their heads--and his bird back. A modern Amazonian village wants to keep them as sex slaves. An oddball trio of criminals with a penchant for the occult and explosives wants to steal their goods. And every law enforcement agency from Mexico City to Manitoba wants them locked up. Can they escape with their lives and come away with a fortune?
Call Number: FIC Gra
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Danez Smith
Description: Homie is Danez Smith's anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith's close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. Part friendship diary, part elegy, part war cry, Homie is the new book written for Danez and for Danez's friends and for you and for yours.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 811 Smi
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Yelena Bailey
Description: "In this book, Yelena Bailey examines the creation of 'the streets' not just as a physical, racialized space produced by segregationist policies but also as a sociocultural entity that has influenced our understanding of blackness in America for decades. Drawing from fields such as media studies, literary studies, history, sociology, film studies, and music studies, this book engages in an interdisciplinary analysis of the how the streets have shaped contemporary perceptions of black identity, community, violence, spending habits, and belonging"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 305.896 Bai
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Kurtis Scaletta
Description: Lucas, small and unathletic, is obsessed with being powerful Trunkzilla in an online game, but after becoming a volunteer Senior Sitter and saving Isaac in real life, everything changes.
Call Number: J FIC Sca
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Sue Leaf
Description: "The story of the scientist who first mapped Minnesota's geology, set against the backdrop of early scientific inquiry in the state"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: B Win
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Laura Zimmermann
Description: "If Greer Walsh could only live inside her head, life would be easier. She’d be able to focus on excelling at math or negotiating peace talks between her best friend and . . . everyone else. She wouldn’t spend any time worrying about being the only Kennedy High student whose breasts are bigger than her head. But you can’t play volleyball inside your head. Or go to the pool. Or have confusingly date-like encounters with the charming new boy. You need an actual body for all of those things. And Greer is entirely uncomfortable in hers" --Amazon.com.
Call Number: YA FIC Zim
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Jonathan C. Slaght
Description: "A young field scientist and conservationist tracks the elusive Blakiston's Fish Owl in the forbidding reaches of eastern Russia"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 598.97 Sla
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Kawai Strong Washburn
Description: In 1995 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on a rare family vacation, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard a cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean. When a shiver of sharks appears in the water, everyone fears for the worst. But instead, Noa is gingerly delivered to his mother in the jaws of a shark, marking his story as the stuff of legends. Nainoa's family, struggling amidst the collapse of the sugarcane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favor from ancient Hawaiian gods - a belief that appears validated after he exhibits puzzling new abilities. But as time passes, this supposed divine favor begins to drive the family apart: Nainoa, working now as a paramedic on the streets of Portland, struggles to fathom the full measure of his expanding abilities; further north in Washington, his older brother Dean hurtles into the world of elite college athletics, obsessed with wealth and fame; while in California, risk-obsessed younger sister Kaui navigates an unforgiving academic workload in an attempt to forge her independence from the family's legacy. When supernatural events revisit the Flores family in Hawai'i - this time with tragic consequences - they are all forced to reckon with the bonds of family, the meaning of heritage, and the cost of survival.
Call Number: FIC Was
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Carolyn (Carolyn L.) Holbrook
Description: A collection of linked essays, Tell Me Your Names follow Carolyn Holbrook's transformation from a pregnant 16-year-old incarcerated in the Minnesota juvenile justice system through her years living in Minneapolis, raising a family, and eventually to the founder of an organization that challenges conventional ideas about writers of color and provides support for them. Each essay grows from, in some way, stories that are born from silence, or being silenced; stories held inside and untold, hidden traumas: from her family history; her time incarcerated as a teen mother; her life as a teacher, especially working with children of color; cycles of domestic and sexual abuse; and why telling these stories is so necessary for working through traumas personal and collective.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 818 Hol
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
William D. (William Davis) Green
Description: The Children of Lincoln takes an intimate look at African-American civil rights in Minnesota during the fifteen years following the Emancipation Proclamation and in the wake of the Civil War. Framed around the lives of four white patrons who worked for black freedom, Green's history lays bare an era when many white patrons, seemingly content with the notion that African Americans were now legally "free," turned their sights to other causes, abandoning their earlier work towards equality. In truth, African Americans in Minnesota were entering a new era of darkness--while not in the same way as in the South, where white supremacy and racial violence spread with horrific force--but still an era where racism, hatred, and growing prejudice kept them from many of the rights that were seemingly now theirs.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 323.1 Gre
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Brian Freeman, January LaVoy
Description: Deputy Shelby Lake was abandoned as a baby, saved by a stranger who found her in the freezing cold. Now, years later, a young boy is missing, and in her search Shelby must confront the darkest truth.
Call Number: FIC Fre
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Anton Treuer
Description: Anton Treuer has been at the forefront of the battle to revitalize Ojibwe for many years. Here he discusses the interrelationship between language and culture, the problems of language loss, strategies and tactics for resisting, and the inspiring stories of successful language warriors. He recounts his own single-minded and sometimes hilarious struggle to learn Ojibwe as an adult, and he depicts the success of the language program at Lac Courte Oreilles in northern Wisconsin, where dedicated families and teachers have raised a hundred children who speak Ojibwe as their first language. This is a manifesto, a rumination, and a rallying cry for the preservation of priceless languages and cultures.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 306.44 Tre
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Margi Preus, Cheryl Pilgrim
Description: In 1792, Jean Pierre Petit Le Rouge, a squirrel, eager for adventure, stows away in the canoe of a group of voyageurs, unaware of what they are traveling so far to trade.
Call Number: J FIC Pre
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Kao Kalia Yang, Khoa Le
Description: "Drawn from Kao Kalia Yang's childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee, this heartfelt picture book offers a window into the life of a family with little money and a great deal of love"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: E Yan
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Louise Erdrich
Description: "It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an 'emancipation' bill; but it isn't about freedom -- it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal? Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie -- 'Patrice' -- Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband and kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother and brother, let alone her alcoholic father who sometimes returns home to bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny if she's ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn’t been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life." --Publisher description.
Call Number: LP FIC Erd
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Raki Kopernik
Description: The Things You Left is a 37-story collection built on magical realism and seemingly inconsequential moments between sweet and strange loners that meet in the space between the heart and the mind. A couple throw plates at each other for therapy, a cat shape shifts into a woman, a man is obsessed with canned tuna, a woman relives time with her lover through objects left behind. Sometimes humorous, sometimes sad; an exploration of love, addiction, relationships, and loss.
Call Number: FIC Kop
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Kaia Solveig Preus
Description: A blend of memoir, research, and historical fiction in order to explore Benjamin Britten's choral and orchestral music piece, the War Requiem, Op. 66. The composition blends the Latin Mass for the Dead with nine poems by Wilfred Owen. This book braids three separate stories of Britten, Owen, and the author, to better understand the process of art-making and the lasting effects of both art and war.--From back cover.
Call Number: 782.3238 Pre
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Carrie Mesrobian
Description: "'How quickly everything in the world disintegrates. Everything but the loneliness of young women.' So begins The Whitsun Daughters, a story of three girls in a small Midwestern town, narrated by the ghost of a young Irish immigrant who, over a century earlier, lived and loved on the same small patch of farmland the girls and their mothers now call home. Carrie Mesrobian weaves the story of the girls’ day-to-day struggles with the fractured and harrowing memories of their unseen observer. The threads of the tales are familiar: An arranged marriage. An impulsive proposal bitterly refused. Secret affairs. And pregnancies, both welcome and not. Each young woman fights her own lonely battle in the generations-long war of those who would no longer settle for haunting the margins of a world that wants to ignore them" --Amazon.
Call Number: YA FIC Mes
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Amy Lynn Green
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Jeffrey Zuckerman
Description: Unglued is a candid, funny, and refreshingly irreverent portrayal of the role a spouse takes in loving a partner with a mental illness. Intimate and ultimately hopeful, Jeff's story chronicles the power of compassion, faith, and resilience in the survival of a marriage and a caregiver's own well-being.
Call Number: 616.895 Zuc
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Nicole Kronzer
Description: When seventeen-year-old Zelda is chosen for an elite team at a prestigious improvisation camp, it is a big step toward achieving her dreams, but first she must survive her teammates' sexism and coach's cruelty.
Call Number: YA FIC Kro
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Anika Fajardo
Description: "Eleven-year-old Eddie Aguado is convinced that winning the 14th Annual Arne Hopkins Dock Fishing Tournament (once he actually learns how to fish) will bring him closer to his dad, who died when Eddie was only five"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: J FIC Faj
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Alison McGhee
Description: Told in the voices of two high school juniors, Micah is held captive by the cult his parents joined and Sesame, his orphaned girlfriend, rallies their friends to save him.
Call Number: YA FIC McG
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Torrin A. Greathouse
Description: "Wound from the Mouth of the Wound was selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil as the winner of the 2020 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 811 Gre
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 13, 2021
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Minnesota Book Award Finalists 2021
100 Cookies : The Baking Book For Every Kitchen With Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, And More
Sarah Kieffer
641.8654 Kie
Owls Of The Eastern Ice : A Quest To Find And Save The World's Largest Owl
Jonathan C. Slaght
598.97 Sla
A Bowl Full Of Peace : A True Story
Caren Barzelay Stelson, Akira Kusaka
E Ste
Sharks In The Time Of Saviors
Kawai Strong Washburn
FIC Was
A Woman's War, Too : Women At Work During World War Ii
Virginia M. Wright-Peterson
940.5377 Wri
Tell Me Your Names And I Will Testify
Carolyn (Carolyn L.) Holbrook
818 Hol
Bee Love (Can Be Hard)
Alan Page, Kamie Page, David Geister
E Pag
The Children Of Lincoln : White Paternalism And The Limits Of Black Opportunity In Minnesota, 1860-1876
William D. (William Davis) Green
323.1 Gre
Big Papa And The Time Machine
Daniel Bernstrom, Shane Evans
E Ber
The Deep, Deep Snow By Brian Freeman.
Brian Freeman, January LaVoy
FIC Fre
Bliss
Fredrick Soukup
FIC Sou
The Language Warrior's Manifesto : How To Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter The Odds
Anton Treuer
306.44 Tre
Catrachos : Poems
Roy G. Guzmán
811 Guz
The Littlest Voyageur
Margi Preus, Cheryl Pilgrim
J FIC Pre
Catstronauts : Digital Disaster
Drew Brockington
J FIC Bro
The Most Beautiful Thing
Kao Kalia Yang, Khoa Le
E Yan
Daybreak Woman : An Anglo-dakota Life
Jane Lamm Carroll
970.3 Car
The Night Watchman Louise Erdrich.
Louise Erdrich
LP FIC Erd
Elizabeth Scheu Close : A Life In Modern Architecture
Jane King Hession
720.92 Hes
The Things You Left : Stories
Raki Kopernik
FIC Kop
Feel Puma : Poems
Ray González
811 Gon
The War Requiem
Kaia Solveig Preus
782.3238 Pre
From The Grave
David Housewright
FIC Hou
The Whitsun Daughters
Carrie Mesrobian
YA FIC Mes
Get Idiota
Nate Granzow
FIC Gra
Things We Didn't Say
Amy Lynn Green
Homie : Poems
Danez Smith
811 Smi
Unglued : A Bipolar Love Story
Jeffrey Zuckerman
616.895 Zuc
How The Streets Were Made : Housing Segregation And Black Life In America
Yelena Bailey
305.896 Bai
Unscripted
Nicole Kronzer
YA FIC Kro
Lukezilla Beats The Game
Kurtis Scaletta
J FIC Sca
What If A Fish
Anika Fajardo
J FIC Faj
Minnesota's Geologist : The Life Of Newton Horace Winchell
Sue Leaf
B Win
Where We Are
Alison McGhee
YA FIC McG
My Eyes Are Up Here
Laura Zimmermann
YA FIC Zim
Wound From The Mouth Of A Wound : Poems
Torrin A. Greathouse
811 Gre