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  Minnesota Book Awards 2021  

The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program that connects readers and writers throughout Minnesota with the stories of our neighbors.

The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter with two rounds of judging. Winners are announced at the annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony each spring. Woven throughout the season are various activities and events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state.

A full list of winners and nominees can be found here:

Children's Literature

Big Papa and the Time Machine

Daniel Bernstrom · HarperCollins
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover

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.


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General Nonfiction

Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World's Largest Owl

Jonathan C. Slaght · Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover

A field scientist and conservationist tracks the elusive Blakiston's Fish Owl in the forbidding reaches of eastern RussiaI saw my first Blakiston's fish owl in the Russian province of Primorye, a coastal talon of land hooking south into the belly of Northeast Asia . . . No scientist...
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Genre Fiction

The Deep, Deep Snow

Brian Freeman · Blackstone Publishing
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback

In an intense, emotional mystery that spans a decade in the life of a small town, bestselling author Brian Freeman brings us an unforgettable heroine who discovers that the dead may sometimes be easier to rescue than the living. Deputy Shelby Lake was abandoned as a baby, saved by a stranger...
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Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Essays

Carolyn Holbrook
Format: Paperback

Carolyn Holbrook's life is peopled with ghosts - of the girl she was, the selves she shed and those who have caught up to her, the wounded and kind and malevolent spirits she's encountered, and also the beloved souls she's lost and those she never knew who beg to have their...
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Middle Grade Literature

What If a Fish

Anika Fajardo · Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover

A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian....
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Minnesota Nonfiction

Minnesota's Geologist: The Life of Newton Horace Winchell

Sue Leaf · Univ Of Minnesota Press
Pages: 280
Format: Hardcover

At twenty, Newton Horace Winchell declared, "I know nothing about rocks." At twenty-five, he decided to make them his life's work. As a young geologist tasked with heading the Minnesota Geological and Natural History Survey, Winchell (1839-1914) charted the prehistory of the region,...
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Novel & Short Story

Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel

Kawai Strong Washburn · MCD
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover

"Sharks in the Time of Saviors is the story of a family, a people, and a legend, all wrapped in one. Faith and grief, rage and love, this book pulses with all of it. Kawai Strong Washburn makes his debut with a wealth of talent and a true artist's eye." -- Victor LaValle,...
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Homie: Poems

Danez Smith · Graywolf Press
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback

Danez Smith is our presidentHomie is Danez Smith's magnificent 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....
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Young Adult Literature

My Eyes Are Up Here

Laura Zimmermann · Dutton Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover

Insightful, frank, and funny, My Eyes Are Up Here is a razor-sharp debut about a teenage girl struggling to rediscover her sense of self in the year after her body decided to change all the rules.A "monomial" is a simple algebraic expression consisting of a single term. 30H, for example....
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