This year's Minnesota Book Awards went to a mixed bunch -- some books already recognized nationally, some writers who have previously won Minnesota Book Awards, and some newbies.
Wayzata children's writer and poet Joyce Sidman won for "Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors," which was a Caldecott honor book this year. St. Paul writer Marlon James won for "The Book of Night Women," which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction.
Previous Minnesota Book Award winners include crime writer David Housewright and poet Jude Nutter.
The winners were selected from a pool of 250 books nominated and narrowed to 32 finalists. The 22nd annual awards is a project of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and the city of St. Paul, along with multiple sponsors. Nearly 750 people attended the awards ceremony Saturday night.
The full list of winners:
• Children's literature, sponsored by Books for Africa: "Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors," by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Sidman is the author of several books for children, including "Songs of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems," which was a Caldecott Honor book
• General nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO: "I Go to America: Swedish Women and the Life of Mina Anderson," by Joy K. Lintelman (Minnesota Historical Society Press). Lintelman is a professor of history at Concordia College in Moorhead.
• Genre fiction, sponsored by Wellington Management Inc.: "Jelly's Gold," by David Housewright (Minotaur/St. Martin's). Housewright has won an Edgar and a Minnesota Book Award for his crime fiction.
• Memoir and creative nonfiction: "The Wolf at Twilight," by Kent Nerburn (New World Library). Nerburn has written a dozen books on spirituality and Indian themes.
• Minnesota, sponsored by Xcel Energy: "Opening Goliath: Danger and Discovery in Caving," by Cary J. Griffith (Borealis Books/Minnesota Historical Society Press). Griffith writes about the outdoors.
• Novel and short story: "The Book of Night Women," by Marlon James (Riverhead Books/Penguin). James teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul.
• Poetry: "I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman," by Jude Nutter (University of Notre Dame Press). Nutter won a Minnesota Book Award in 2007 for "The Curator of Silence."
• Young People's Literature, sponsored by 3M: "The Magician's Elephant," by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press). DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for "The Tale of Despereaux" and has won numerous other awards.
• Readers' Choice, sponsored by the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Twincities.com: "Honor Bright: A Century of Scouting in Northern Star Council," by Dave Kenney (Northern Star Council). Kenney is a freelance writer who specializes in Minnesota history.
Also, two previously announced awards were presented. Carolyn Holbrook received the Kay Sexton Award for her lifelong contributions to Minnesota's literary community, and Wilber H. Schilling received the third annual book Artist Award.
Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune books editor, is at 612-673-7302.