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Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards have been announced

 

An image from "North Woods Girl," by Aimee Bissonette, illustrated by Claudia McGehee

An image from "North Woods Girl," by Aimee Bissonette, illustrated by Claudia McGehee

 

This year's winners of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards are:

Fiction: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books)

Nonfiction: Locally Laid, by Lucie Amundsen of Duluth (Avery)

·Poetry: The Falling Down Dance, by Chris Martin (Coffee House Press)

Young Adult and Middle Grade: Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart, by Jane St. Anthony (University of Minnesota Press)

Children’s Picture Book: North Woods Girl, by Aimée Bissonette and illustrated by Claudia McGehee (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

The awards are chosen by more than 200 booksellers across the Midwest, in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

 “I’m always proud of our awards program,” Carrie Obry, director of the association, said in a press release, “because it celebrates the power and influence of the collective voice of independent booksellers.”

The authors will be recognized at an awards ceremony in October at the Heartland Fall Forum, a trade show for the publishing industry to be held at the Depot in MInneapolis.

Wisconsin libraries honor Minneapolis writer John Coy

 

John Coy speaks to students at Echo Park Elementary School in 2010. Star Tribune file photo by David Joles.

John Coy speaks to students at Echo Park Elementary School in 2010. Star Tribune file photo by David Joles.

 

"Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game," by Minneapolis writer John Coy, has been honored by the Wisconsin Library Association. The picture book about a clandestine basketball game in 1944 has won the 2016 Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, which goes to the most distinguished work in literature written or illustrated by a Wisconsin native. Coy grew up in Eau Claire.

"Game Changer" was published in 2015 by Carolrhoda Books, an imprint of the Minneapolis Lerner Publishing Group. It tells the story of a basketball game between an all-black team from the North Carolina College of Negroes, and a white team from Duke University Medical School.

“It was an incredible story,” Coy said in an interview last fall. He was drawn to it because of the courage of the men who took part. In those years, in that part of the country, so-called "race mixing" could be punished with death.

Coy is the author of more than 15 books for children and young adults and has been part of COMPAS writers and artists in the schools for 20 years.

Read our story about "Game Changer" here.